SUBMITTED BY Jamey Biegener, APPSC

“How do we grow without expanding staff? How do we attract and retain the best talent? How do we empower people to do their best work?”

As a manager, those are probably questions you are asked, or that you ask yourself, quite frequently. Have you considered that your greatest growth potential might be lying dormant in your AP staff?

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Are You Wasting Talent?

AP has often been looked at as primarily a data entry role. Yet most of the AP professionals we work with have the ability to be far more than that. They’re knowledgeable about your business, your vendors, and your processes. If you evaluate the tasks and projects that would promote growth in your department and your company it’s likely that the workforce you need is currently being overlooked because they’re heads down at a keyboard somewhere.

AP processors are often trapped in the role of paper chasers. They’re charged with chasing down the problem, but they aren’t the person who can solve the problem. This is where outsourcing your data capture and automating your AP process comes in. In an automated world you always know where things are. You don’t need people to chase down the problem, we can find the problem and identify the person who can solve it. You then have the opportunity to train your people to solve problems instead of doing the detective work to trace the problem only to have to depend on someone else to solve it.

Are You Handicapping Your Best Performers?

As you start to shift your staff from repetitive tasks and crisis management to higher value tasks you’re creating a workforce that is multitalented and flexible. The transparency of an automated process also lets you identify your best performers so that you can put them in the roles that will be most rewarding and productive.

You might have someone already on staff who is relationship-driven and would be hugely successful at improving communication with vendors or negotiating discounts for volume buys or early payment. Or maybe you have someone with a sharp eye who wants to take on the challenge of reviewing financial controls for fraud prevention measures. With automation, your talent is no longer shackled by process – you’ve liberated them to work on what they’re good at.

Are You Offering Satisfying Work?

While your goal may be to avoid increasing your staff, sooner or later you will be faced with the need to replace staff due to retirement or turnover. Chances are you will be bringing on entry-level people in these roles, and most will probably be from the Millennial generation. This generation has a high value for automation and technology and they expect to be able to utilize it to increase their own value to any organization. If you want to attract the best talent in the future then moving to AP automation now is a step in the right direction.

Bottom line, giving your staff the opportunity to play a significant role in the financial health and management of your company leads to greater employee satisfaction, a workforce with higher value and self-esteem, and the growth potential you thought you could only achieve by hiring and training more people. Isn’t it time to take full advantage of the talent already on your payroll?

If you have any additional questions about how AP automation can free your AP processors to tackle higher-value tasks, contact us.

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