Don't Pay Anyone...with a Check
Don't Pay Anyone...With a Check
“Hi Gene, can we talk?” asked Sandy, the CFO over the telephone. She sounded very anxious.
“Sure,” said Gene, the Chief Information Officer. “What's on your mind?" Sandy was usually calm and level-headed.
"I'm buried under invoices," Sandy told him. "The situation is totally out of hand. We've been paying our vendors with paper checks all these years, and now we have no one in our office to print, sign, or mail them.”
“Systems,” Gene murmured.
Sandy ignored Gene’s aside and continued. “I need your help to move away from our mounds of paper to smarter digital management! We need to start paying all our vendors via ACH and get rid of all the checks – and I need to make this happen right away.”
“This is music to my ears,” said Gene. “I have wanted to see a project start where we would upgrade our ERP.”
“Well, before we start a huge project, I need an Accounts Payable automation solution right now,” said Sandy with a strain of panic in her voice. “Look, I’ve been sneaking into the office at night to run AP checks because we’ve sent everyone home,” she confided. "The situation is at the point where we need to have checks ready every day or we won’t get our deliveries. But this is unsustainable – our whole process has got to change now that we are ‘off-site.'"
“I get it,” said Gene. He knew of a few instances where deliveries hadn't made it to the warehouse because the check hadn't been ready.
Sandy felt encouraged. “Are there companies like us who have a successful process to pay all their vendors without paper? We need to take a page out of their playbook, and fast!”
“I totally understand.” Gene sounded calm, and this gave Sandy confidence that he could help her out. “There are several cloud-based Accounts Payable automation solutions that can smoothly interface with our current system," Gene told her. "Coincidentally, I happen to have a list that I was just going to show you!”
“Well,” Sandy cut in to get to the point. “Can you tell me which one to use today? I need it to be simple. It can’t involve a lot of setup. Shoot! I imagine we have to be sure that we can do ACH with our bank without paying an arm-and-a-leg for the service, and then we'll have to set up with the vendors’ banks. I hope we don’t have to re-key all the invoices and re-set up all the vendors, and...”
“Slow down,” exclaimed Gene. “It’s an interface, not a re-build. We can get this done.”
“What’s involved? asked Sandy.
“First, let’s take an afternoon this week for a few online demos, get a sense of features and pricing. After that, I know we can make a decision together."
“How long will this take?” poked Sandy.
“Look, it’s a function of focus.” Gene wanted to be sure that Sandy didn’t think he was going to ‘magically’ make it happen without her direct involvement. “If you take the time, then we can get this done fairly quickly. I’m sending over a short list of ‘show-stopper’ features – you can add a few more, and this will be our agenda when we evaluate the choices. I can get the vendors lined up for this week and then….”
“OK.” Sandy let out a sigh of relief. She felt that Gene knew what to do and that alone was the first step of the solution. “I am ready, I’ve got the time, so let’s get started now,” she stated.
Gene grinned. He’d wanted to help Sandy for a long time. The circumstances of the day with work-from-home was now giving him the opportunity.
Knowing Sandy's current dilemma was finally making her open to a change in her department, Gene cheerfully polished up his document with the list of solutions and show-stopper features and emailed it over to her. He was confident she would be pleased with the straight-forward process and the result.
Does this situation sound like a conversation in your company?
If you’d like a list of the Accounts Payable solutions and a starter set of show-stopper features, give us a call and we can get you started, right now, in the right direction. Ask us a question, say something nice, we want to hear from you! 310-445-5300
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