You’ve done your homework. You’ve seen what’s out there. You know a cloud- based AP/AR automation system will transform your productivity and efficiency, and you know which system you want. But before you can purchase it, you have to sell it internally. For that, you need to present your business case.  Here’s how.

 

  1. Present the problemswith your current system, andclearly identify how automation can solve them. Describe the problems inherent in your current system, such as inaccessibility of records, time inefficiency, potential for error, and lack of security.

 

  1. Evaluatethe benefitsof automation—liberation from outdated systems, hardware costs, elimination of errors, early payment discounts, application of talent to strategic problems etc.  Be sure to include soft savings, such as the time saved for approvals, and better price variance management.

 

  1. Weigh the benefits against the expenses,including subscription/license costs, upgrades, maintenance, and support from any third parties involved.

 

  1. Quantify unknown coststhat are pertinent to your organization, such as product limitations, premise upgrades and potential disruption. A potential vendor should be willing to help you calculate any costs like these for the purposes of your internal discussions.

 

  1. Consider the needs of all the decision-makers.Because AP/AR is central to so many parts of your organization, different stakeholders will have different concerns, and your business case should address them all.

     

    For C Level executives, you want to make a good financial case. Your presentation should support a credible ROI, with low risk. It should also point up advantages for finance, such as spend management, reporting accuracy, and operational efficiency.

     

    For IT, offer reassurance that you won’t be overburdening their resources with a long, complex project and time consuming ongoing maintenance. Show them that in fact, your project will free up their staff for core business projects, and eliminate the need for old, outdated systems that require their attention

     

    For AP/AR and Procurement, explain the advantages of your selected system, and get them on board. They’re the ultimate end users, so their support is vital to a successful adoption.

     

    1. Point to a solutionthat shows reasonable certainty of a positive net outcome.  Organize and demonstrate your ROI calculation clearly and logically. Outline costs, savings, and timelines. If you can get a hold of an existing ROI template from another AP/AR automation project that has proven successful, use it. You want numbers you can honestly believe in, so you can respond intelligently to questions about your math, and ultimately align all the stakeholders with your point of view.