Accounts Payable Automation and the case for buying local. Or not?
There’s a lot of encouragement in the market to buy locally produced goods and services. After all, keeping your dollars here will help us all get through the tough economic aftermath of Covid-19. Right?
But, what if the solution just doesn’t stack up? Does a short-term view of supporting local businesses (however well-meant) offer the long-term surety that should come with a significant level of investment? Remember, this is the future of your business we are talking about, so to be hardnosed, no amount of warm fuzzies should get in the way of making the right decision.
So, if just buying local isn’t enough, what are the other purchasing considerations you should take into account?
When you buy software, where does your money go? Well, it usually goes in several directions.
The software industry usually relies on a network of resellers to sell their product, and the reseller receives a commission on the sale. If they are your technology partner as well, they will also carry out and invoice you directly for implementation and ongoing support. Assuming the software company is locally owned and operated, the money paid for the software license stays onshore and will likely be spent here too. And that’s cool.
If the software is internationally developed and sold through local resellers, then the majority of the license money goes overseas, but the annual commission the reseller or partner receives, as with the fee for the implementation and support, stays local.
So, what difference does it make to you, besides where the money goes?
The quality of a business application directly reflects the level of R&D commitment and the vision of the developer. A local product from a small business is a higher risk than one provided by a larger, more established company able to back their solution with years of development, support, and a technology roadmap investment.
But the issue isn’t just whether the solution is local or not. It’s also about the long-term robustness of the company you partner with. Their product strategy and the support model. Their unrelenting commitment to keeping it updated and continuously improving. And it’s about the solution’s ability to work in tandem with your financial system without a costly integration exercise. (And if it’s not cloud-based, then don’t even think about it!).
International vendors own the majority of the AP (Accounts Payable) Automation solutions sold into the Australasian market. So, part of your license spend goes offshore.
Fusion5, on the other hand, develops, implements, and supports a system called ApprovalPlus. As we’re privately owned, and our nine offices are across New Zealand and Australia, all your spend stays local. To note: We have 450+ staff and recently released Version 4 of ApprovalPlus, and continue with ongoing enhancements rolled out to our customers each month! But more importantly for your business, ApprovalPlus is a fully-fledged solution with a dedicated level of investment, and a development roadmap – so there’s no risk. You’ll never be left with an unsupported, niche, legacy solution with a limited lifespan. And as importantly, ApprovalPlus currently integrates with 26 different ERP or finance systems. Integration is kept simple to allow connection to any system. And it’s no lightweight - we have customers using JD Edwards, NetSuite, SAP, Microsoft Solutions, Pronto, BPCS, and many others. Our customers aren’t lightweight either – they include Toyota, Dunedin City Council, Ravensdown and Homecare Medical.
All of which makes a pretty strong case for investing in THIS local product!
ApprovalPlus helps your organisation save money on the administrative functions of buying and paying for goods and services to run your business. It makes the process easier for users and gives you more robust financial controls so you can protect your organisation from the potential of fraud, and prevent uncontrolled spending at a time where many businesses are being cash-cautious.
ApprovalPlus manages the process of procuring goods and services, paying your supplier invoices, handling credit card spend and processing staff expense claims.
It’s more than likely that ApprovalPlus works with your existing ERP system and will support the way you manage your business. As a cloud offering, there’s a low barrier to joining, and a reasonable charge for the use of the system to manage your processes and store your financial records. In most cases, the amount of time/cost saved will provide a positive return on investment within the first year. The following years are even better.
In this instance, implementing ApprovalPlus isn’t just a sound, strategic decision, but it 100% supports an Australasian business. So, it ticks all the (emotional and practical) boxes!
Find out more about ApprovalPlus procure-to-pay solution.