Solutions produce data and insight that can be used to improve process performance.
Traditionally, AP activities are the last steps in the purchase-to-pay process flow. It is the buyer in the buyer/supplier relationship who is responsible for making payment to the supplier. However, it is useful to look at the information produced during the process and consider the array of potential “customers” of that information, both inside and outside of the buying organisation:
• Procurement officers
• Finance leaders and personnel
• The treasury function
• Employees (e.g., those incurring reimbursable business or travel expenses)
To maximise the benefits of automation, AP organisations need to think broadly about these individuals, whose work is affected by the processes owned by AP. Approaching automation and process improvement from the perspective of optimising service and experience for internal and external customers can facilitate success and ultimately help deliver better overall performance.