Accounts payable is a key department in businesses of all sizes but, unless it functions efficiently, an entire business’s operation could grind to a halt. Successful accounts payable departments need decisive, knowledgeable leaders and highly organised, cohesive teams; without either, the department will not operate properly, and the business will quickly feel the shockwaves as productivity stutters and growth suffers.
If improving your effectiveness as a team leader is one of your professional goals, consider the following tips for accounts payable best practice and take some time to evaluate your own performance and how it could be improved.
1) Be Decisive!
Leaders in all spheres of business need to make firm decisions as part of their role. However, positive decision making is not just about establishing the path that your department should follow but instilling in your colleagues the confidence in your abilities as their mentor. On occasions, you may be unsure which course of action is the best choice, even when you’ve evaluated the options closely. Dithering, delaying and delegating the decision to someone else risks draining the respect of your team. Without this, your colleagues won’t work cohesively, mistakes may be made and the smooth processes that should steer the department through calm waters may cease to function.
2) Understand Your Team’s Strengths & Empower Them
Effective leaders know their colleagues’ strengths and work diligently to harness their skills for the good of the business. Not only does this boost their self-esteem and encourage productive, cohesive teamwork that helps the department to operate smoothly, it also enables individuals to play a key role in promoting and shaping accounts payable best practices. Working at the cutting edge of the department, your team is well-positioned to influence day-to-day policies and procedures, so empower them by involving them in your decision-making processes.
3) Recognise Your Strengths & Implement Them
Effective accounts payable team leaders recognise their strengths as well as those of their colleagues and harness these to improve the department. As a leader, you should identify your strongest abilities and delegate the elements of your role that you find more challenging to colleagues, enabling you to focus on what you do well and providing them with rewarding professional development opportunities. Take on responsibility for aspects of the role that you are particularly skilled at, to help free up your colleagues so they can enjoy streamlined positions in which they can excel.
4) Celebrate Automation
As the world races towards automation in every aspect of our lives, now is a great opportunity to adopt a streamlined, automated approach to your accounts payable department. With powerful automation software such as Statement Matching, your AP department can enjoy more timely, more accurate and more visible accounts payable processes, reducing delays and errors and enabling the entire operation to function with flawless efficiency.
To find out how our software could overhaul your business’s accounts payable department, get in touch to request a free demo of our ground-breaking software.