Accounts Payable Appreciation Week starts on October 10th. It might be a nice gesture to send flowers, take the team out to lunch, or give them the rest of the day off. But you know what would be the most appreciative? Give them a job that is both fulfilling and valued beyond accepting invoices and cutting checks to suppliers.
Accounts Payable practitioners are some of the most detailed-oriented, process-driven people in the organization. They have to be in order to be the trusted Guardians of the Company’s funds. Even more so if global suppliers or digital networks are involved as the complexities become more complex.
The Accounts Payable staff contends with thousands of individual rules, best practices, and processes that amount to the great scope of work it takes to pay suppliers. But here’s the thing. That attention to detail shouldn’t be spent on manual work. It would be better utilized in helping the company identify real payables anomalies and establishing more strategic insight to outbound finance activities.
The Thankless, Empty Work of Accounts Payable
Onboarding suppliers, gathering payment details, collecting tax forms, accepting and keying invoices, getting payment approvals, setting up payments, communicating payment status, reconciling payments, and resolving payment issues are a burden that creative, intelligent, problem-solving people don’t need to be tasked with. If this happens at volume in your organization, it’s time to consider AP automation.
Every one of those processes can introduce errors to the supplier payment process. Never mind the fact that they tend to be mindnumbing, menial tasks the can add considerable friction to an organization.
Make Accounts Payable Strategic
Accounts payable should be appreciated for their ability to help the company save money. Accounts payable should lead the charge on analyzing how funds are spent and help negotiate better terms and discounts. AP can be crucial to enhancing productivity throughout the financial side an operation so that the business can scale adequately and quickly.
According to a recent survey from TechValidate, if their AP operations were more automated, 65% of finance professionals would use the time saved to help optimize business productivity. Organizations would also focus more time improving the financial performance of their company including conducting more cash flow and business analysis (55%), as well as improving their financial close and reporting (52%).
That’s aspirational and it should be appreciated and rewarded. Let’s treat the Guardians of the Company right.