As mentioned in our last post on building a business case for AP automation, AP managers and CFOs share some similar objectives, but have very different roles. If you are the AP Manager, then in order to sell CFOs on the value of AP automation you need to find areas in which you both share similar concerns.
Finding your common ground might mean identifying areas in the process in which you both would benefit from automation. One common area shared by both AP manager and CFO – as well as others throughout the company – is metrics. Metrics and data are key in painting the picture of how your department is vital to the company, and can be used to create baselines for current operations, and provide valuable input into what your department will do in the future to optimize operations and create more value for the company.
You and your CFO both have needs for your own unique metrics. Maybe you each have your own respective spreadsheets for this task, wherein you plug formulas and info on a weekly basis.
This process will be made all the more efficient through automation. For you as an AP manager, it means you will be able to go into your dashboard and immediately see how many outstanding payments you have.
For the CFO, it means they will be able to now compare real-time metrics such as days payable outstanding (DPO) and days sales outstanding (DSO). They will have a bird’s eye view of virtually any metric they need, and they won’t have to plug a single cell into a spreadsheet.
Just as you will be a stronger resource to your CFO through automation, so too will the CFO be a stronger resource to the CEO and board of directors when they are armed with the right metrics.