5 Digital Transformation Challenges Businesses Face with AP Automation and How to Overcome Them

Digital transformation might sound like a pipe dream to some older managers. However, Fresh Desk tells us that digital transformation is a methodology of looking at traditional processes in a new frame of reference, that of technology. If we look at modern enterprise, it becomes evident that many aspects have changed to incorporate technology. Modern enterprises have realized the benefits that tech offers to their processes and have gone to great lengths to ensure that they aren’t left behind.

Yet, despite this, there are a handful of things that no one mentions about digital transformation. Many digital transformation solutions require the company to take on a bit of risk. Others may result in a complete overhaul of the business’s processes to make them more digitally compatible. Here, we’ll examine some of the challenges that companies face when transforming their operations and coping with those issues.

1. Misunderstanding Automated Systems

When you implement an automated AP system, the challenge comes from getting staff to use the system as intended. AP automation systems have a template that they compare incoming data to. If they find that the incoming data doesn’t match the template, they can’t process it. In most cases, possibly nine out of ten, the system will have no issue with the input. However, one out of ten invoices may need to be entered manually.

These manual entries may seem as though the system is malfunctioning, but that’s not true. The AP automation system is developed to handle a particular type of input. If there is anything different, manual overrides will need to be used. If management understands this, they won’t be concerned about manual entry as part of their AP automation system.

2. Failed Implementations

AP automation doesn’t work each and every time. In fact, many implementations fail because the business had no solid plan in place for how they wanted their system put together. There’s no definite explanation why so many implementations fail aside from a lack of foresight.

The typical time frame for an AP automation implementation to come online is around six months. Before that time, the company should be testing use cases to ensure that it fits all the business’s needs and to correct issues as they arise. Hiring a consultant to develop a plan for your AP automation rollout is an excellent idea to avoid this problem.

3. Unclear Goals

AP automation isn’t just something a business starts, and it continues on its own. The company must have clearly defined controls and goals for their implementation to be a success. The question, “What would you like your system to do?” seems like a strange one, but it’s one that a business needs to ask before implementation starts.

For successful adoption, management needs to understand the benefits the software provides for the company and figure out ways to sell its benefits to those using that system. Management should also consider how the new system affects the workflow and encourage the end users to jump on board with the system’s adoption.

4. Inefficient Software or Settings

Occasionally, an AP automation software may flag input incorrectly. In such a case, the fix might be as simple as adjusting the parameters for the software. To avoid this happening in the first place, you may want to standardize your AP processes. Once more, planning is of the utmost importance here.

Additionally, by automating other areas that work alongside AP processing, the system can be made more efficient. However, the integration must be perfect to avoid introducing errors into the cross-linked processes. Streamlining comes with ensuring that all the inputs and outputs are done correctly. Having a consultant can help assess the problems with your AP system and introduce the relevant solutions.

5. Supplier and Vendor Challenges

Just because your system is digital doesn’t mean your suppliers and vendors have the same sort of system. In some cases, your suppliers may provide incomplete or erroneous data, causing a problem within the system when they’re processed. Many of these automated systems don’t use line-by-line checking, and if a single entry is off, it’s probably going to go unnoticed for approval. That’s why manual checks and balances are necessary to ensure that the system is functioning properly. Vendors may benefit from a dedicated dashboard, allowing the company to change individual prices and settings.

A More Efficient System Overall

AP automation works to ensure that businesses can rely on the automated processing of accounts payable. Implementing these AP automation systems starts with planning how the system should work and what problems it’s likely to encounter. While a company can do this on its own, it’s always better to have a skilled advisor present to help. Arista is here to provide all your consultancy needs for digital transformation for your AP automation. Contact us today!

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