Accounting, and specifically accounts payable, is a critical part of any business. It exists from the moment the business is founded, and can very quickly become an overwhelmingly large part of the business's daily activities.
After all, it's hard to run a business where the money doesn't flow properly.
In recent years, the processes that are the foundation of a company's accounting department have come under much scrutiny by leaders and executives in the business - there is a push for a leaner, more efficient way to accomplish tasks that have been crucial to business everywhere for hundreds of years.
Examples of these processes include accounts payable, payroll, accounts receivable - these all have played a major role in the success of the most powerful businesses in the world - so why the seemingly sudden shift in focus towards these aspects of a company?
The attention can be attributed, mostly, to two simple things - technology and competition.
Technology Enables Process Improvement
The surge in technology and connectivity has caused a restructuring and change of perspective on how work is done.
Business across the globe can become instantly connected through the internet and stay that way, meaning that accounting departments can also leverage that connectivity.
This network strength combined with strong software and advances in automation platforms means that snail mail and paper documents can be replaced by electronic forms, digital documents and automated routing.
The best part? When the technology is properly implemented it actually helps to grow revenue, cut cost, and improve accuracy of work, without any worry of replacing jobs and human workers.
Competitive Markets Reward Agility
With the boon of technology, of course, the marketplace has evolved. Now, the benefits of doing business locally or in a particular market are vanishing, and fast.
The world is connected, which means that business have to compete on a larger scale than ever before - enter agility.
As a software and design concept, agility has been around for a long time - design a framework that is fast, responsive, and adaptive to the way the market change, and people will be far more likely to buy the software.
Business have adapted the principal as a way to stay current with technology and consumer trending - by having agility built into their business processes, they can make the changes that their customers demand faster than their competition can adapt, and thus maintain and expand their market share.
These concepts have made process improvement a critical adoption for future success.