People talk a lot about brand building. Long ago, brand was little more than a great name with a logo and some ads. Today, brand is everything. From “employer brand” to “sustainable brand” to being branded as an innovator, an agile organization, or a leader, your brand affects not only perception, but relationships as well.
However, just as is the case with “personal brand,” you don’t want to have a term like flaky, unreliable, or wasteful bestowed upon your organization. Often, however, spend management is painfully reactive, manual, and paper based, and you begin to gain these labels—whether you know it or not.
Processes are unreliable, policies are unenforced, and vendors are left unpaid. Sadly, all of this could be hurting your reputation—not only with prospective vendors, but with your employees and current vendors as well.
Your Good Name is at Stake
It’s said that you are only as good as your word. In personal situations as well as business ones, your reputation travels with you.
Reputation with Potential Vendors
This said, if you are relying on manual, inaccurate, or laborious payment processes, you start gaining a reputation as “that client who pays on the last day,” “that client who has to call us every time they get an invoice to fix something,” or worse, “that client who doesn’t pay on time.”
Word travels fast. Employees at your vendors switch companies, and employees talk. This turns into your company getting red flagged as unreliable. Even worse, this bad reputation can go even further, winding up on a Dun & Bradstreet Report or Google Reviews.
Reputation with Current and Prospective Employees
Employees like to feel like they are valued, like to feel like they are making an impact, and often like raises or bonuses. Unfortunately, if they have to spend nearly half of their day making sure the bills are paid, they are unlikely to see any of these three. Manual, paper-based invoice processes mean that employees have to spend up to four times longer processing and paying vendors. This means:
- They’re starting to feel undervalued: No one wants to feel like they are just the person who signs the checks.
- They’re not able to inform business decisions: As the person who primarily pays the bills, many feel like they are wasting their education and experience, when they really want to be the person who makes things happen.
- They’re not getting more money: Paper-based processes mean slower operations. Slower operations mean fewer discounts and higher expenses. Higher expenses mean smaller margins. Smaller margins mean smaller raises and minimal bonuses.
Just as your reputation as a flaky client can end up online, your accounting and AP employees could end up airing their grievances on Glassdoor, branding you as a terrible place to work for. In today’s highly competitive market for finance talent, this is something you want to avoid at all costs.
Good “Payables Karma”
Sometimes, carrying a positive reputation goes a lot further than just maintaining a positive external face. A major benefit of automating with Concur is greater visibility into cash flow, so you always have a clear picture of your outstanding invoices and other liabilities. But should you ever hit a cash flow speed bump and need your vendors to give you some breathing room, they’ll be far more likely to lend a flexible hand if a late payment is the exception rather than rule.
According to PayStream Advisors, 52% of procurement and finance professionals said an overreliance on people and paper-based processes was “[…] the biggest barrier to success in improving AP Operations.” While paper already stands between your company and the time and money savings it needs to embrace, it could also be holding your organization back from becoming more environmentally sustainable.
In 2018, Reputation is the Name of the Game
As the flow of information becomes faster than ever, maintaining a good reputation with your vendors, employees, and others is key to business success. If you want to build up your reputation as a company that treats its employees and vendors well, consider automating your processes. Companies that do automate their invoice processes are able to save time and money, reduce risk, and improve their relationships. Learn more about automating your processes with Concur Invoice here, learn about taking the advantages further with InvoiceConnect here, and read other resources below.