April 9, 2012 Electronic Invoicing- The Time has Arrived
I was speaking at a conference recently on electronic invoicing, and a question was posed to me, “Doesn’t this mean that we will lose head count in my department?” an AP Supervisor asked. This is a question that often arises, and it is truly a worthy consideration.
Electronic invoicing will necessarily reduce the effort in a typically AP department (assuming you are using a quality electronic invoicing provider). These efficiency gains are in the area of keying data into an ERP, communicating with vendors over when they will get paid, or what the check number for the remittance was, answering questions regarding Purchase Orders that do not match up with the invoice, etc.
These are good things to have removed from accounts payable, but that can often lead to not needing as many people in that department. Typically this is handled with moving the valuable individuals to other areas to work, but they are still no longer under the hierarchy of the AP Manager.
Most people would see this as a good thing, but there are a few that will avoid Electronic Invoicing initiatives solely because they do not want to lose staff. They view the number of people they have working for them as a status symbol or even a job security issue. In reality, these individuals are looked at with a target on their back due to a lack of forward thinking and resourcefulness that companies require in this economy.
By looking into finding and implementing a great Electronic Invoicing solution, they are actually growing their stature in their organization and well as receiving all of the benefits that are obtained through receipt of electronic invoices. This will give them the ability to rise in the organization, or at least ensure their value to the organization, which equates to job security.
Conversely, those who choose not to look into electronic invoicing may be significantly limiting their usefulness to their company. Executive are looking to make sure that they have the right individuals in the key positions in their company, and those who have initiated an electronic invoicing measure are typically recognized as having a solid impact on the organization. Not just in efficiency gains, but in cash opportunities that would never be realized otherwise, but more on that next time….