Jamie Taylor
Business Development Manager
 

Aside from the thorough entertainment Henry provided with his engaging presentation, which threw us back to the likes of The Beatles and ‘The Wizard of Oz’, he provided some fantastic, thought provoking ideas on where the accounts payable industry is going. In six years time, we will see a completely different landscape to what we see today, and processes will be entirely different. This is what Henry delivered to the delegates, stating that trends are pushing us to change everyday. Not only business trends, but the trends that are coming from the consumer world and impacting our working lives too.

Henry outlined that you must firstly establish who it is that you serve – is it your CFO, CEO or employees? Or is it all of them? Every single person or department cannot be satisfied all of the time and you should therefore look at how you can simplify the purchasing process within your organisation as a starting block. Automation is key here and it’s something which many shy away from. There’s a fear factor attached to automation because many hear the word and think ‘my job will be on the line’ or just aren’t trusting of it. How many of you would be happy to sit in the back of a driverless taxi? This distrust can be applied to more simple technology too and the technologies that can automate processes within the accounts payable department.

This isn’t a new notion. Businesses have been looking at how they can do more with less people for years. Henry likened this to the ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’, claiming that there’s been a similar invasion in accounts payable departments over the past few years. This is why it is pivotal that processes are streamlined and managed efficiently in order to cope with the shrinking staff size, as well as technology advances. Goals should be:

  • Improve spend visibility
  • Control spend
  • Efficiency for finance operations
  • Increase revenues

These goals should then be tied to the overall organisation goals, and Henry described the effective marriage of these goals as ‘perfect purchase-to-pay’, in which friction is reduced between stakeholders. Perfect processing involves ‘touchless transactions’ and ‘high first pass processing’. Basware Pay enables this, unleashing businesses to turn the accounts payable department into a profitable business unit; something that has not been previously feasible.

This year has been an interesting one in terms of political and economical factors impacting accounts payable departments and this ever-changing landscape is not set to calm down anytime soon. Henry ended his presentation by urging the attendees to figure out the one thing that matters the most in their organisation and start a revolution within their businesses focusing on this. So what does matter to you most? Whether it’s the quick processing of transactions or the need to have high first pass processing, figure this out and decide how you will keep up with the evolution of purchase-to-pay.