It could be true to say that the start of the new year can bring the desire or pressure to make changes and become a ‘better version’ of yourself from the previous year. 

Perhaps you need this universal time stamp to trigger a reassessment of your everyday behaviour and focus? Or perhaps you are comfortable with your status quo, so no big changes are calling you.

Whichever side you choose, or maybe somewhere in between, the new year provides us all with a blank page for your new chapter to begin. The opportunity to look ahead and see what you want to achieve – professionally and personally. 

For businesses it is no different. Finance team members play a strong part in contributing to overall company goals as they are uniquely placed to drive organisational efficiency, reduce business costs and boost cash flow.

Setting goals may feel like the easy part, but actually it requires a lot of consideration to ensure they are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Relevant, Achievable and Time-bound). 

Here are some examples of accounts payable goals (for both individuals and teams) to help you get started, and some tips on how to achieve them.

Personal goals

Our recent LinkedIn poll revealed that 50% respondents will focus primarily on personal development in 2023, with training and certification coming out on top. 

Common objectives for personal development are:

  • Broaden your knowledge of accounts payable processes and practices to ensure you know how the function works from start to finish.
  • Gain your Accounts Payable Certification so you are globally-recognised as a certified expert in the team.
  • Develop your leadership and management skills so you can effectively manage your AP function and lead the team.
  • Expand your network of contacts so you benefit from peer-to-peer relationships where you can learn, connect, and share ideas and best practices. This can involve joining forums/communities, or attending conferences and networking events. 

Team goals

Organisational goals will typically hook into the team’s overall objectives. Some examples include.

  • Improve performance and efficiency within the AP function by removing timely manual processes to maximise output. 
  • Reduce processing costs by focusing the team on streamlining AP processes through the use of cost-effective digital management tools.
  • Reduce risk of AP fraud by adopting digital/automated controls for protection, and investing in fraud training for the team.

Achieving your goals

Once you have set your goals, how can you be sure you stick to them? Our best advice is to embed them into your everyday role so they become part of your focus and not left on the side-line as your day job takes over.

Here are some additional ways to help you achieve them.

  • Ensure that any budget is available and approved for you, if required.
  • Ensure you have the right support and buy-in from any stakeholders you depend on to achieve your goals.
  • Have a monthly review meeting with your manager to check in on each goal and discuss how you are performing. It’s also a chance to flag any concerns/barriers you may need to address.

>>> Speak to us about training or Certification if you have personal development goals for this year.

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