Resolving Resolutions - Financial Operations Network
Statistics may be against us seeing New Year resolutions through, but make them anyway. We all need a Reset, a fresh start. Make at least a modest change and gain will result, even if you aren’t doing in November what you plan this January.
Improvement, Change, Vendor Relations, P2P, Accounts Payable
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Resolving Resolutions

Resolving Resolutions

Have you made resolutions for the New Year? Good for you!

Though statistics may be against the majority of us seeing them through, make them anyway. We all need a reset from time to time. Take the New Year as a fresh start. Make at least a modest change and gain will result (even if you aren’t still doing next November what you start this January).

In our personal lives, there are a host of possible resolutions — Lifehack.com lists 50 resolutions for the New Year! No doubt they don’t intend for every reader to adopt the entire list, but there’s no better way to guarantee failure than having too many resolutions. Resolutions require change and who finds that easy?

Scaling that back to just a few — hey, even one — seems a better route to success. One pundit proposes resolving in three areas: health, happiness and character. Do something for your health. Do something that makes you happy. Do something to grow your character. Don’t do 50 things; but do something.

In our work lives the New Year offers a new start as well. At the end of the year, we stand back to look at how things went. Hopefully the year included successes, but indubitably some areas are still on the “Needs Improvement” list.

Again, there may be some broad categories, and there may even be a long list. Including the entire list in this year’s resolutions isn’t the path to success. Prioritizing that list then picking off the top one or three is a better strategy. And if the categories are broad, drill down.

“Pay on time” is a noble goal, but you’re going to have to break that down a bit to find the particulars that can move you in the right direction. Same with “eliminate paper” – which paper, invoices, checks, vendor information forms? “Improve Vendor Relations” … okay, so what’s something you can start doing now that will move you in that direction? Resolve to do that.

Under our broad resolution, what’s a good starting point? Look to see if there’s a “quick win” and resolve to do it. If you already got the most accessible wins last year, then tighten the straps and go after the next, harder thing.

The key to achieving your resolution, whether personal or professional, is specificity.

A common reason our resolutions fail is that they are too general. Or at least, we fail to take them from the general to the specific. “Get healthy” or “Improve Vendor Relationships” may be fine resolutions but exactly how do you go about them? A Forbes piece on the topic suggests instead of making resolutions, we should set goals. That’s another way to say essentially the same thing. Goals, to be achieved, must be specific.

Putting specifics behind a resolution gives us actual steps to take, with a particular outcome in mind. Break it down. We may want to make the initial outcome modest while exactly in line with the larger goal or resolution. Then determine to achieve that first step. Once done, we take the next step. If at some point “life happens” and we don’t get to the final step by the end of the year, we nevertheless have taken some steps and are in a better position than we were (hence, the counsel to make resolutions even if we fail to achieve them). That’s progress.

So, here’s to the New Year and your resolutions for it, be they personal or professional — may we all see success!

To learn how Financial Operations Networks’ vendor inquiry, onboarding, and compliance solutions can benefit your operations and your company, click here to request more information or call (678) 335-5735.



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Improve Productivity with a Self-Service Solution

For most organizations, deploying a technology solution is a significant investment, and like most investments, the decision point ultimately comes down to the expected return on that investment.

According to a recent benchmark study by The Accounts Payable Network, 60% of AP customer service calls are from vendors while 40% are from internal customers. Vendor issues actually make up even more of the AP call volume than the 60% identified. Many times when a vendor has an issue, the vendor contacts their buyer or purchasing representative, who in turn contacts AP. Even though the call comes from an internal customer, the question originated with the vendor.

Vendor calls affect productivity in your organization exponentially. When vendors call the requisitioner, they are affecting that person’s productivity. Your internal customer’s productivity shrinks when fielding the vendor’s call and again when making the follow up call to AP and getting back to the vendor. Finally, AP’s productivity suffers as a result of the internal customer’s call, the payment status research and the follow-up communication.

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Enhance AP’s Role As a Strategic Partner

Learn how InvoiceInfo can help AP do more with less while continuously improving productivity and bottom-line results.

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Enhance Vendor Relationships

InvoiceInfo helps suppliers’ AR departments with simple and convenient access to invoice payment status online at a cost savings for all involved.

It may seem that the organization paying the vendor should hold all the cards in the relationship. But sometimes the opposite is true. Past-due payments and customer service perceptions can harm supplier relationships and disrupt the supply chain.

Your vendors and vendor relationship managers are living in a dynamic, fast-paced environment, so when invoice information is required, it is needed quickly and expected to be of high quality. With InvoiceInfo, your suppliers get answers to invoice inquiries real time, 24/7 with no need to leave messages and wait for responses. Studies show that confidence in data increases when suppliers access invoice and payment information themselves.

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Give Procurement and Buyers the Tool They
Need to Respond to Vendors Quickly

Not only can InvoiceInfo be used by suppliers to learn the status of invoice payments, it can also be used internally within your organization.

In addition to reducing calls from vendors regarding invoice status, you can also reduce internal emails and calls from co-workers wanting to learn the status of invoice payment, and save time and effort and boost efficiency and productivity across the organization. Studies show that 40% of AP customer service calls are from internal customers. Many of these are from requisitioners who have received calls or emails from the supplier checking on payment status. These calls are often more expensive for the company because the internal staff member has taken the call or received an email from the supplier, contacted AP for the payment status and had to return the call or email the supplier.

By providing the vendor with a convenient and credible online option to get the answers it needs regarding payment status, you can eliminate multiple calls/emails between the vendor and the requisitioner saving time and money.

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Eliminate Difficult Vendor Calls and See
Productivity and Staff Morale Soar

Reduce invoice payment inquiries and “promote” your vendor service team to more satisfying and profit-producing tasks.

By sharply reducing inbound calls and emails regarding receipt and payment status that your AP staff must handle individually, your staff can focus their efforts on more productive, cost-saving activities, learn new tasks, feel more confident and boost their careers.

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Simplify and Streamline Vendor Onboarding

According to Price Waterhouse Coopers, the average organization spends about $20 in labor to file each paper document, approximately $120 in labor searching for each misfiled document and $220 in re-creation of a document.

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Verify the Accuracy of Vendor Information and Stay in Compliance with IRS and Treasury Department Regulations

Government regulators are increasing the complexity of regulations and penalties associated with vendor-related non-compliance.

Penalties for incorrect 1099’s have more than doubled in recent years. Over the last several years, OFAC has levied more than $1 billion in fines against American companies or subsidiaries that did business with restricted businesses, organizations and individuals on its SDN list. In addition to fining these companies, the Treasury Department posts the names of infringing organizations along with fines paid.

VendorInfo Onboarding Module verifies the accuracy of vendor information and helps protect your organization by avoiding embarrassing penalties and fines.

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