Balancing CFO strategic objectives with AP tactical needs

Leveraging technology and automation for a more efficient payment process.

Key takeaways

  • As CFOs’ strategic objectives shift, Accounts Payable teams must leverage technology and automation to ensure day-to-day efficiency is aligned with broader strategies.
  • Technology partners that offer opportunities for improved working capital, consolidated systems, cutting-edge fraud risk management, and revenue streams can help to balance tactical and strategic goals
  • Cost-effective automation should be a priority to free up Accounts Payable team resources to focus on strategic initiatives, improve talent retention and upskill AP team members.

As the expectations of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) for optimized working capital grow, an effective payment process has never been more critical.


At the same time, payment fraud, delays and errors risk financial and reputational damage, supplier dissatisfaction and supply chain vulnerability. To address these challenges, Accounts Payable teams need more efficient and integrated payment processes and technology. They also need to balance tactical and strategic objectives to help CFOs deliver on their financial and strategic objectives.

Supporting CFO objectives through strategic planning

For modern Accounts Payable teams to succeed, a fresh perspective is required. While tactical precision is indispensable, it doesn’t have to come at the expense of broader strategic goals. With the right tools, AP teams can balance day-to-day operations with a CFO’s evolving strategic objectives.


Leveraging technology and automation to enhance efficiency and accuracy enables AP teams to redirect their focus to improving supplier relationships, reducing risk and ensuring business continuity.

Here are five ways Accounts Payable teams can support CFO strategic objectives

  1. Mitigate fraud risk. Minimize the use of checks and ensure your payment strategy is enforced through key systems. Commercial cards can also offer further insurance protections against internal and external fraud that clearing house payments and checks do not. Incentivizing the use of cards can reduce fraud exposure while providing improved visibility and control for senior leaders.
  2. Create scalability through effective automation. To move away from repetitive daily tasks and upskill staff, AP teams must implement programs to capture and operationalize institutional knowledge in the core AP systems. The right automation system should include capabilities beyond payments to supplier network management, with automation that can be realized from day one after implementation.
  3. Improve working capital. Automation of AP systems, along with the payment float on commercial cards, ensures suppliers have access to early payment while the buyers' working capital is also improved. With higher interest rates, working capital released from payments can be used to reduce borrowing costs or earn interest as surplus cash.
  4. Simplify by consolidating disparate systems. An early objective to simplify Accounts Payable processes should be a single, consolidated payment portal to reduce complexity for AP and costs for CFOs. An effective system should act as a bridge between spend management, payment processes and the enterprise resource planning system (ERP).
  5. Maximize revenue opportunities. Rebate offering is a quick win for AP teams to add value beyond cost management.

Prioritizing automation to enhance AP efficiency

With the right technology and a partner that leverages mature digital tools, AP teams can ensure that efforts and focus are shiſted from routine tasks to value-adding, strategic activities. Meeting the technology needs of Accounts Payable through a cost-effective approach to automation allows staff to adapt to the CFO’s strategy and financial objectives, strengthens fraud risk management and supply chains, and improves AP team job satisfaction, morale and skill retention.


With this balance of tactical and strategic goals, Bank of America has created a comprehensive payment platform to help Accounts Payable teams leverage our technology and relationships. Our platform combines a network of over 1.3 million suppliers, so AP teams can hit the ground running with supplier connection, security and automation.


Bank of America’s single-platform payment and single-portal sign-on ensure consistency and integration. Our capabilities include a continued investment in payment mechanisms, automation of supplier communication and onboarding, industry-leading fraud protection, and dedicated support teams to drive virtual card and ACH supplier enrollment campaigns to reduce reliance on checks.


At Bank of America, we understand the challenge of balancing CFO dreams with the day-to-day needs of Accounts Payable. Speak to your Bank of America relationship manager today to understand how our comprehensive payables solutions can help your team look beyond efficiency to the value-added services that hit the mark for CFOs.