Our conversations with top finance leaders about their predictions for 2023 reveal that efficiency will be a central focus in the year ahead. That means taking a close look at your finance tech stack. Airbase Controller, Kelly Hicks, summed it up well: “This year it’s going to be more important than ever to make sure you’re investing efficiently in the right tools to combat challenges around headcount and still scale the business.”
Efficient accounts payable software may seem like an oxymoron since it has to encompass multiple functions, essential compliance requirements, and cross-department workflows. It’s an inherently complex process and, as a result, many AP solutions are hard to use and time-consuming for the finance team and employees alike.
But here’s a New Year’s resolution for 2023 that will make a difference: To make this complicated undertaking more efficient, focus on user experience.
Why does so much accounts payable software have a poor user experience?
As a company grows, the gnarly task of managing non-payroll spend becomes even more convoluted, often resulting in a thrown-together jumble of technologies that manage each function separately.
Despite the importance of the work they do, the back office tends to be the last priority when it comes to tech upgrades. We’ve talked to many companies who develop cutting-edge SaaS products but are still manually matching invoices and using systems that haven’t seen a design upgrade in years. And the people making tech purchasing decisions are often not the same ones actually using the software, so their evaluation of user experience can fall short.
But enterprise solutions built to handle these complexities with a single platform don’t offer a better experience. These highly engineered systems are too complicated for employees who want to buy the things they need to do their job. As a result, they often find workarounds in order to avoid time-consuming or confusing processes. A G2 review reflects this frustration before Airbase:
“Time is the biggest problem for me, personally. I work with customers directly and have very little time for backend operations and tasks.”
When employees find workarounds or avoid following the correct accounts payable process altogether, gaps in visibility start to surface, which create even more work for finance. And data may not accurately reflect real-time financials.
Why your finance team deserves a better user experience in 2023.
Of course, the finance team are the unsung superheroes of your company, but, ultimately, giving your accounts payable processes a better UX helps the entire company become more efficient in many ways.
Time saved. A smoother experience for both finance teams, and employees spending money, frees up time to focus on the bigger issues, whether that’s making sales or doing more strategic finance work.
Money saved. A more intuitive platform is more efficient, and time is money. As one G2 review notes:
“Airbase saves us a headcount or two. In our market, that’s almost $200K per year. Where it saves us the headcount is the easy flow of vendor bill review, coding, and approvals.”
Stronger control. In addition to the money saved by not having to bring in more finance team members, a well-designed user experience strengthens cost control. For example, Airbase makes it easy for users to eliminate duplicate purchases, enforce budget compliance, and identify opportunities for cash back. These controls are built into automated workflows, taking the burden off of finance teams to police purchasing and the stress off of employees wondering if they’re following the correct procedures.
Improved accuracy. Workflows that leverage automation and artificial intelligence to reduce manual tasks like data entry result in more accurate financial data at any given time.
Happier employees. Who doesn’t love greater efficiency? But the implications for employee morale go even deeper. With the best accounts payable software, workflows create compliance, and the conversations about spending can shift to become collaborative.
For employees, an intuitive design changes the whole experience of submitting expenses. Here’s how one Airbase reviewer described it on G2:
“As a product designer, I am obsessed with the overall look and feel of the product. Every feature seems to be oriented in the perfect spot and the user flow from start to finish is a dream. Specifically, I use Airbase most often to submit expenses like company travel and Airbase makes it super simple. The categories can be customized for our team and uploading a receipt in multiple file types has made it really easy.”
Resolve to make a difference for your company.
Studies show that New Year’s resolutions have a success rate of only around 9%. Having a clear-cut, realistic plan ups the odds of success. This year, resolve to provide a better user experience for accounts payable software. Your AP team will be more efficient, your company will save money, and spending company money will be an easier process for employees across the organization.
Take the first step to making your resolution a reality. Book a demo with us!