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Overcoming Resistance to Accounts Payable Automation

Overcoming Resistance to Accounts Payable Automation

AP automation offers many benefits, such as reduction in human intervention, reduction in processing and approval time, improved accuracy as well as improved visibility to the entire Accounts Payable process. In spite of the benefits, some companies struggle with the decision to automate their processes and sometimes the biggest challenge they face when it comes to adopting AP automation is the resistance they get from their employees, specifically the in-house AP processing team. Thankfully with Octacom’s unique approach and some strategic planning, this fear of automation can be overcome.

The critical message for employees is:

“AP Automation enables the team to focus less time on manual entry and chasing approvals, and more time on strategic elements of Accounts Payable, such as Exception Management, Spend Management and Vendor Training”

Here are a few reasons why some team members are slow to embrace the benefits of AP automation and how to overcome their resistance:

diamond-color Job Security

Some people may see AP Automation as the enemy of job security and they worry that technology will make their jobs redundant. Many elements of the process can be automated, and this leads to new roles and definitions in the workplace. Octacom’s Accounts Payable Automation frees staff from manual process, allowing your employees to focus on more key activities, including:

  • Exception Management
  • Spend Management and Identification of Savings Opportunities
  • Vendor Training
  • Business Training
  • Process Improvement

The Salvation Army have implemented Odiss™ as part of their AP invoice processing services. Their staff accountants have been able to greatly reduce the hours and efforts that were required in their paper-based environment and the company is benefiting from the associated time savings, enabling resources to be reallocated towards additional strategic priorities.

Since implementation, The Salvation Army has deployed automated GL coding on invoices, further automating its workflow in AP.

diamond-color Change Management:

When team members are comfortable with their current processes and fear the unknown, AP automation can appear to be a significant change that results in the entire process being revised.

Octacom recommends introducing AP automation to the team early and being transparent about the project and core goals, which are generally as follows:

  • Enable AP to become more of a strategic centre of excellence
  • Cost savings in low value-add data entry tasks
  • Visibility into the approval workflow process

Octacom works closely with its clients' AP team to train on the new process and ensure their comfort with the new solution and process. 

diamond-color Reliance on Paper:

There was a time when everything was printed on paper and some people still think paper is more portable and easier to read than reading on a computer. However, paper and multiple manual filing systems are inefficient which gives little control over your information and often results in lost documents. Also, records retention boxes and off-site storage are expensive and hard to access.

You can eliminate paper by having Octacom convert your paper invoice documents to image files that can be easily located for quick retrieval as they are securely stored in the cloud. Octacom’s Odiss™ Document Management Software can help you manage your files giving your AP staff easy access to critical business documents from anywhere and on any device.

Octacom is a SOC 2, Type II Audited enterprise software and services company focused on document and data automation solutions, including automated data capture. Founded in 1976, Octacom specializes in accounts payable automation and automated invoice processing, among other digital / automated business process outsourcing services. 

If your organization is looking to learn more about our solutions and services, please contact us and we would be glad to help.

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