When You Come To A Fork In The Road, Take It!
Yogi Berra was one of the most prolific Yankees of the 20thcentury, not only for his outstanding play, but also for his hilarious antics and unforgettable quotes. To whit, he said this “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.” Ironically, though it makes no logical sense, it still conveys the point that some things retain value and ofter things depreciate. One of the things that I’ve seen depreciate in value is the idea of charging for specialized information. If the internet has done anything, it’s made copious amounts of information on virtually any subject available to them masses, and more frequently – gratis. I recently came across a major trade association that peddles a benchmarking service to it’s would be consumers for a significant amount of money. While that might get you a benchmarking study that’s printed on some fancy kind of 8.5 x 11 stock, more likely, you’re overpaying for data that you can mine out yourself with some guidance and good will.
Here’s 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Pay for An Accounts Payable Benchmark study:
1. It’s not rocket science
Seriously…identifying the major areas to focus on and Key Performance Indicator’s that are relevant for your business, is not so much a function of figuring the expansion rate of the universe or how Han Solo made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs. In fact, measuring the most common areas of interest for most Accounts Payable managers (that we’ve spoken to, and that’s quite a few) is quite easy to compile. Most AP managers are interested in understanding their employee productivity, their cost and time to process an invoice, their exception and error rates, and other baseline metrics. That’s not to say that you can’t quickly rabbit trail and establish dozens of other views into your departmental data, but the biggies will always resolve around productivity, cost, time, and risk. We provide a primer to understanding the costs associated with invoice processing, that by default, require you to assess other performance and risk parameters to arrive at the basis by which cost benchmarking is established.
2. Free is better than cheap
Who says you can’t get anything for free these days? There’s whole websites dedicated to free deals and couponing these days. So if there were free deals on getting your Accounts Payable benchmarking, it stands to reason that it could be a better option to see if you could actually improve your understanding of your Accounts Payable process and operations efficiency. With respect to that, we offer a complementary rapid AP benchmarking assessment whereby, we’ll analyze a customer’s payables scenario in depth and then provide context for their metrics in the light of agnostic, third party data from benchmarking and survey organizations.
3. Allocate that $500 towards more productive ends
Like Michael Scott, in an earlier season of The Office, it’s always a wise thing to take the $500 budget surplus and re-invest back into your team through a high end espresso machine. If we’re talking in terms of real productivity booster, nothing is better than providing a legalized drug to your AP staff. If you want to start to see your performance improve, it’s a short (and tasty) investment. However, mastering the skills required to hand craft sublime artisan beverages may take a little doing. However, the upside is your folks will be empowered to work well past the boundaries and constraints of traditional nine to five working hours.
Where to go from here?
With the understanding that you get from most Accounts Payable benchmarking efforts, it often comes to light that there are opportunities to improve efficiencies and eliminate risks in the process. Namely, many people will arrive at the conclusion that Accounts Payable automation is the order of the day…the question then becomes how do you do that? Well, more on that here…