Performance appraisals. They’re a necessary component of measuring your team’s work, both individually and collectively. And while setting goals and monitoring performance is often stressful for both managers and employees, focusing on a few key areas can help smooth the overall process. For accounts payable team members, it’s important to ensure that their goals are tied to three elements of a successful accounts payable department: accuracy, efficiency and adaptability. Here’s how to evaluate, encourage and reward the performance of your AP team in these three areas:
Making payments is the core of accounts payable, so the #1 goal of any team member should be accuracy in their work. Examples include error-free data entry, accurate payments that align with contract terms, prompt and correct filing procedures, and typo-free emails and other communications.
A key component of accuracy is attention to detail. Throughout the year, as a manager, be sure to promote guidelines and practices that reinforce attention to detail, such as surprise supervisory audits that reward team members for accuracy. Positive reinforcement goes a long way. For example, if you find that a team member has had error-free data entry for the time period audited, treat them to a free lunch or bring in a favorite dessert.
Improving your accounts payable team’s efficiency can help you reach other goals. Saving time equals saving money. Consider building in goals and rewarding team members who suggest ways to reduce manual tasks and automate processes.
Of course, creating goals for efficiency depends on your current system and procedures, but some goals might include adapting advancing technology within a specified time frame, such as optical character recognition technology for invoice entry or converting more check-based payments to virtual cards or other electronic payment methods. Consider the time-consuming tasks that can be automated or eliminated to help your department succeed and reduce costs. You can also harvest revenue from vendor payments with virtual cards.
In the business world, change comes often, and adaptability is key to success. An adaptable person can remain calm and composed under stressful situations and is more likely to accomplish tasks and meet deadlines when they’re not fazed by change.
Where your team’s performance is concerned, you can measure adaptability by how readily they adjust to changes in department policies and procedures. Also consider how receptive or resistant they are to new ideas for improving processes or efficiencies. And be mindful of how your team members appreciate and criticize the opinions of others on the team.
Measuring your team’s performance in accounts payable can be easier and less stressful, if you focus on these key areas — accuracy, efficiency and adaptability — throughout the year. And partnering with Central Avenue Advisors can enhance improvements in all of these areas, via our simple, powerful AP solutions.