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This week, Dan Andrew, Corcentric's SVP of Sales, joined the Source One Podcast to discuss the considerable benefit of transforming Accounts Payable. Before describing the "Nirvana of paperless," however, he paints a dismal portrait of the department's current state.
What does AP typically look like? In Andrew's words, "It's slow, it's manual, you don't gain visibility, and your suppliers don't gain visibility." He goes on to suggest that dismissing AP to a silo does more than hamper the department itself. In reality, failure to invest in Accounts Payable limits the value-generating potential of the entire enterprise.
Though the Payables to Payment Revolution is underway, Andrew estimates that only an elite minority of companies are currently realizing AP's true potential. It's not lack of evidence that's holding them back. The proof is certainly out there. Automating AP means dramatic cost reduction, improved spend visibility, and speedier, more efficient processes. So, why isn't everyone on-board?
Many of the obstacles standing in the way of AP automation are similar to those standing in the way of Procurement Transformation. In Source One's recent Procurement Transformation eBook, numerous contributors emphasized the importance of company-wide alignment, visionary leadership, and a more open mind. Without each, they asserted, a Transformation is unlikely to succeed. Andrew argues that these are just as important for transforming AP.
To successfully move beyond paper, organizations require a visionary, collaborative leader for Accounts Payable. This individual will not only evangelize for the function, but highlight the synergies between AP and other departments. Their efforts will drive home the idea that optimizing AP is never a job for AP alone. By articulating that AP is not a tactical cost center but a "strategic weapon for the entire organization," they'll gain the alignment necessary to abandon paper and realize best-in-class value.
Though few organizations have fully made the switch the paperless AP, Andrew remains optimistic. "We're seeing companies realize five times greater savings. As the word gets out, more and more companies are taking notice and embracing the solution. The Payables to Payment Revolution is real, and it's happening right now."