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AP Automation, Business Case, Industry Trends, Payment Automation

What You Should Know Before You Invest in AP and Payment Automation

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What You Should Know Before You Invest in AP and Payment Automation with Nicholas MoussabNicholas Moussab is a sales professional who has spent more than ten years helping organizations optimize their accounts payable and payment processes. As Director of Corporate Sales at AvidXchange™, Nick’s area of expertise is working with large organizations, defining requirements based on the unique idiosyncrasies of each organization, and delivering a solution that can revolutionize the way the organization manages and pays their bills.

Nick focuses on customer success and support and finds passion in saving his clients’ money, helping scale for growth, and eliminating fraud. We sat down with Nick to discuss the major motivators, as well as the decision-making process involved, for purchasing an AP and payment automation solution – you can read the interview below!

From your perspective, what are some of the key indicators that it’s time for a company to seek out automation?

Nick: One indicator that I’ve unfortunately seen a lot more of lately, is that a company has experienced fraud or realizes it is susceptible to fraud. Other indicators are that the company has been experiencing late fees, or is having challenges accruing for expenses because they are unaware of outstanding expenses. I’ve also seen companies decide to automate because they are dealing with compliance issues or having challenges providing invoices for an audit. However, in my opinion, I would say that the biggest indicator that it’s time to automate is that your company is going through a period of rapid growth.

What are some of the major motivators that you’ve experienced with past customers?

Nick: Scaling for growth is the single biggest motivator of my clients. Also, folks are becoming tired of all the challenges associated with a paper-based process is also a huge motivator. Another motivator is that their competitors have automated and are now being selected over the paper-based company, and they want to even the playing field.

In your opinion, why should AP automation always be a business decision made by finance rather than IT?

Nick: The truth is, these types of systems are built for financial processes. They solve problems for the finance team, and the finance team needs to configure the system based on their business rules. The best AP and payment automation systems will be Software-as-a-Service, meaning there is no need for the client to host the system. Therefore, IT should be involved to ensure it meets their security and integration requirements, but the decision-making process should fall on the finance team. Also, AvidXchange provides a lot of services to our clients, and the finance team will be impacted much more than someone in IT who does not deal with the day-to-day challenges of a paper-based AP and payment process.

What have been some of the biggest objections that prospective customers have had that were later overcome during the education and sales process?

Nick: At times folks may think they are going to lose control of their process and the ability to run their business. Often they need to see the software to truly understand how it works. At AvidXchange, our system is designed to keep your current processes and controls in place. We are simply removing the paper and the cumbersome manual aspects of the process, so your team can focus on the business. In fact, the system provides more control for the business.

What questions should companies ask a provider before making a decision about an AP Automation solution?

Nick: The biggest question you need to ask is, “Do you provide any value-added services?” The reason that is important is because software by itself is fairly useless. You will have manual processes in place to help fill that void. What is the point of automating if you are still going to manually scan invoices, still do data entry, and manually enroll vendors in a payment program? In this circumstance, a company might as well just stay paper-based, because they won’t reap the full benefits.

It also doesn’t hurt to ask if there are variable costs. Often organizations will give you a “price,” but once you start implementing and using the software all the costs go up due to unforeseen variables. It makes it difficult to truly gauge the cost of the software year-over-year or even month-over-month.

I also recommend you ask questions around whether the software can be configured to your requirements. The last thing you want to do is move forward with a software provider that requires you to change the way you run your business so that you can use the software. Good solutions are flexible and configurable. “Customizable” is something that should scare you. That usually means it’s too much work to implement and you will likely sacrifice how you truly need it to work, just so you can implement it quickly.

One last question to ask: “Do you provide any other software solutions, or are in any other lines of business?” This is important because if an organization does not solely focus on automation, you are likely not getting a best-in-class system. You want a company whose bread and butter is AP and payment automation, as they tend to invest in the product and continue to build the best product and value-added services on the market.

About Nick:

Nicholas Moussab is a sales professional who has spent more than ten years helping organizations optimize their accounts payable and payment processes. After graduating from Northeastern University, Nicholas started his sales career with Carter McKenzie Select in 2007 as an Account Manager. In 2009, he joined Concur Technologies where he served in a variety of executive sales roles and became revered as an expert in the AP space. He joined AvidXchange in 2011 as Manager of Corporate Sales where his career continues to flourish, and where he now serves as the Director of Corporate Sales. Nicholas received his BA in Marketing with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, and currently resides in North Caldwell, New Jersey.

2017 ePayments Report from PayStream Advisors

Want to learn more about how midsize companies are taking advantage of automation to improve their accounts payable processes? Check out the 2017 ePayments Report from PayStream Advisors! This report details the benefits of ePayments software, the features and functionalities of leading ePayment tools, current market trends in payment management, and provides a guide to gaining ROI with commercial cards.

To download your free copy of the report, visit our Resources Center by clicking the image below!

2017 ePayments Report from PayStream Advisors

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