Guest Column | August 5, 2011

Lack Of A Business Case? Don't Be So Sure …

By David Johnson, Perceptive Software

Okay, so here we are halfway through 2011, armed with the knowledge that automation of accounts payable (AP) processing, through something like an enterprise content management (ECM) software solution, leads to on-time vendor payments, improved cashflow, a positive impact to the bottom line, improved accruals, and ultimately improved decision-making. Yet, there is still reluctance among some. In the 2011 AP Automation Study conducted by the Institute of Financial Operations, 24.3% of the respondents stated that there was a lack of business case to support automation or the solutions were simply not compelling enough to warrant the expenditure, while 20% cited a lack of capital.

These statistics, though disappointing, are not surprising. If I were to approach my supervisor — whether an AP manager, controller, director of finance, VP of finance or CFO, and explain to them that through automating our AP process we will improve our bottom line, improve cashflow, and improve our financial reporting, I'm betting they would say, "I'm not interested," or "there is not a good business case to support the cost of automating?" While my assertions are accurate, they're just too general to make my business case compelling, but don't get discrouaged! I am here to tell you that making the business case is easy.