We’ve already talked about ways you can “speak a common language” with your CFO, but there’s one phrase we left out: return on investment, or ROI. We didn’t include it earlier because the phrase – and the concept itself – merits its own blog post.
The return on investment from automating should be one of your biggest selling points. To put it simply, your CFO wants to know what the company is going to get by automating. What’s the return?
You’ve hopefully already done some of the calculations mentioned in the previous chapter, so you should have a good idea of the money your company will save and how it will affect the bottom line that your CFO cares so much about.
You’ve made your argument thus far by referring to the concrete, hard numbers, which is exactly what a CFO will need to hear prior to deciding whether to automate the accounts payable department. In addition to the costs saved, though, there are a number of other ROI that are often overlooked. These might include:
The ROI of Control: Though many in the AP industry feel they are giving up control by automating, that just isn’t true. When you introduce things like electronic invoicing and electronic payment into your AP process, you’re not eliminating your role in the process. Rather, you are automating aspects of that process that unnecessarily consume large amounts of your time. With AP automation, you are still in control of coding invoices, approving invoices and promoting them to the general ledger. Because AvidXchange digitizes everything for you throughout the entire process – from scanning the invoice to chronicling the entire conversation around it – you have greater visibility and insight into the process. And greater visibility means greater control.
The ROI of New Time: Once the immediate savings are realized and the process is automated, you might wonder, “What’s next?” After all, you just saved your AP department a lot of work. What will they do with their new time? With their new time, Duke Realty’s AP department was able to pursue higher-level tasks, such as: early vendor payments, electronic payment incentive programs, and rebate programs.
The ROI of Scalability: As captivating as the aforementioned immediate savings are, one of the greatest returns found through automation occurs years down the road. As your company grows, you will be able to retain the same AP staff. Can you imagine tripling your invoice volume without adding any AP staff? It’s possible with automation.