So far, I have written about the following:
1. Know your environment –Look internally at your process before you look externally.
2. Select a service provider – Use facts, numbers, and data rather than your “gut feeling” to make your decision.
3. Get organized – Compile your learnings from the data you’ve gathered and set the appropriate benchmarks to make sure you will be successful.
4. Execute the project – Stay focused and keep the end in mind.
5. Communicate with your AP vendors –Low change and lots of options.
Training and Go-Live
My hope up to this point is that you are able to read a few trends into the type of material I write. To be very up front about this, I give advice. I get that advice from real people who I have walked with side-by-side while changing their accounting processes. There is no theory here. Pitfall #6 is no exception to the advice machine. The 6th Pitfall is training and go-live. I know this may seem a little dry, but there are so many great resources out there in regard to project management and training. Pitfall #6 has one very basic, but powerful piece of advice - employ an advocate!
The AP Automation Advocate
An advocate is a person or group of people who are charged with managing the change when it comes to AP Automation. An advocate can be both positive and negative, but for the sake of this article I am going to write about the positive aspect of an advocate so you are able to use the idea strategically in your journey to AP Automation.
1) When I use a word like “advocate” it implies one person. It doesn’t have to be one person, it can be a group of people. With the larger companies that I have worked with, there is a committee. Whether it’s a committee or a single person, the role of the advocate will work the same way.
2) The advocate is someone who has respect in the organization. There are two types of respect - there is “titled” and “earned.” People will listen to both, but both are not equal. Titled respect refers to someone who has a high title within the company. Earned respect refers to a person that others in the company look-up to. If you could create a perfect situation, it would be best if your advocate had both.
3) Your advocate is an agent of change. There would be nothing worse than having an advocate that didn’t like change. The advocate you need should have experience with change, meaning he/she has been an advocate for other successful projects.
4) Your advocate should be someone who is brought into AP Automation. Normally the advocate or the group of advocates is the person/people who start the automation project, but they also have to be a champion of AP Automation.
5) This is a tricky one and one that is similar to #3, but your advocate should be someone who has tenure with the company. Be warned that if you are new with the company, that doesn’t mean you need to stay away from AP Automation, but it may mean that you need to recruit some of the “old timers” to help you.
Want to learn more about AP Automation?