AP Automation Cost Savings

You know that AP automation can lead to major cost savings – but do you know just how major?

Let’s talk numbers.

Companies with a manual, paper-based AP environment need 14.6 days to process a supplier’s invoice. It takes, on average, $16.91 to do so.

In contrast:

Companies that use AP automation can process an invoice in just 2.9 days, for $3.47.

The Hard Dollar & Soft Dollar Savings of Accounts Payable Automation

Here are the quantifying elements.

AP Automation Cost Savings

When you eliminate manual invoice processing, there’s several things that directly reduce your expenses. It’s often a combination of:

  • Better business processes
  • High-ROI technologies
  • Simplified internal policies

Though hard dollar savings are easier to calculate, don’t ignore the soft dollars. Soft dollar savings help you reduce costs through:

  • More strategically allocated labor resources
  • Greater efficiency
  • Productivity gains
  • More actionable strategic information
  • Proactive compliance
  • A more rewarding work environment/decreased staff turnover

These savings (and competitive advantages) extend to many different activities throughout your organization. Here’s a breakdown:

Staff Resources, Time, and Cost Involved with Manual Invoice Processing

Here are calculations that can help you quantify the true cost of AP processing:

Task                                           # of People      % of Time        Salary              Total Cost
Opening & Sorting Invoices         1 Person             20%                 $45,000             $9000

If it takes 1 person 20% of their time to open and sort incoming invoices mailed, emailed (then printed) and faxed, and they are being paid $45,000 annually, the cost to open and sort is $9000.

Task                                         # of People      % of Time        Salary              Total Cost
Manually Keying Invoices       2 People              60%                 $45,000             $54,000

If it takes 2 people 60% of their time to key invoices into ERP and accounting systems, with an annual salary of $45,000 each, the cost to manually enter invoice information is $54,000.

Task                                          # of People      % of Time        Salary              Total Cost
Filing Paper Invoices                 1 Person             40%                  $35,000             $14,000

If it takes 1 person 40% of their time to file paid invoices into the paper filing storage onsite, and their compensation’s $35,000 annually, the cost to manual invoice filing is $14,000.

The Total Bill: $77,000

Add these costs together, and this small Accounts Payable department costs a company $77,000 in a year. And these costs increase rapidly as more transactions are processed (and more resources are utilized)

More AP Cost Statistics

Other things you should know:

  • Companies that process invoices manually report an error rate of 4 percent.
  • 62 percent of invoice processing costs represent staff labor.
  • Only 30 percent of companies use automatic capture to help with AP invoice processing.
  • 50 percent of early payment discounts go unobtained, as companies struggle to execute payment in time.
  • Only 32 percent of companies monitor and analyze the performance of their AP department.

One final takeaway – and perhaps the most important: Accounts Payable automation has the potential to reduce processing costs by as much as 80 percent.

If you’re ready to realize the benefits of AP automation cost savings, IntelliChief is here to help. Contact us today for a personalized plan.

Automated Sales Order Processing in JD Edwards

Manual sales order processing in JD Edwards is costly and time-consuming. Automation makes it easier.

See how: this 30-minute video shares everything you need to know about automated sales order processing within JD Edwards World & EnterpriseOne. 

It covers:

  • Peer testimonials and problem-solving advice
  • Benchmarked sales order processing improvements (in terms of time, accuracy, and cost)
  • Electronically capturing and organizing all documents related to each transaction
  • Company-specific business process workflow mapping
  • Relationship-strengthening strategies for Sales, Customer Service, and clients
  • Modern approaches to fulfillment via both Desktop and Mobile
  • Order status reporting, including Open Orders and Days Sales Outstanding

At IntelliChief, we’ve helped countless JD Edwards users automate their order entry process. Our software facilities increased fulfillment visibility, interdepartmental input & exception handling, and quicker approvals. Find out how our ERP-integrated solutions can help you move away from manual processing – or contact us today for more information.

How to Organize Your Accounts Payable Files

If you’re like most companies, staying on top of your paperwork can be easier said than done. Unfortunately for Accounts Payable, that can mean missed deadlines, missed early payment discounts, and unnecessary stress. But, with a bit of time and effort, you can figure out how to organize your accounts payable files in a way that works for you.

On-Site, Off-Site, and Electronic File Storage

In most cases, you have three main options for storing your files:

On-site file storage – This is the most straight-forward approach. You can designate a single storage area for all your accounts payable files, or you can have each employee maintain the files that they’re responsible for at their own workstation. Of course, you have to take security into account, making sure that unauthorized employees can’t access your company’s financial information. You also need to keep track of who is viewing your files and when.

The up side is that you can organize your files in any way that makes sense for you. Some companies match each invoice with the corresponding purchase order, receipt and payment. (This is typically the best approach when it comes to two- and three-watching matching.) Other companies organize their documents by vendor, date of payment, or date of receipt. But, whichever option you choose, know that it may still take quite a while to locate specific documents when you need to process them.

How to Organize Your Accounts Payable Files

 

Off-site file storage: With off-site storage, you don’t have to find the space in your office for file after file – and you don’t have to create an organizational structure from scratch. But, you do have to budget for the (often significant) expense of storage.

You also have to trust that your vendor can quickly find the documents you need, right when you need them. It’s not uncommon for documents to get lost in the shuffle – and few things are more frustrating than having to hit pause on your workflows while you request a replacement.

Digital file storage: Electronic file management allows you to access your documents at a moment’s notice, without having to deal with the physical clutter. It does represent a significant up-front investment, but it lets you keep your documents organized without any effort. In fact, you can search by almost any criteria (for instance, if you don’t remember the account number or customer name, you can perform a lookup by date) – and you don’t even have to leave your desk. And when you need to collaborate, you can instantly send a document to another member of your team – even if they’re in a different office or working remotely.

Another important thing to keep in mind: no matter which option you choose, you’ll need to put a process in place for getting rid of files once they’re no longer needed. (This is especially important in public companies needing to maintain compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley and other regulations.) With on- and off-site storage, you can create a calendar and have an employee actively monitor it, although this method can be error-prone. Electronic archives, on the other hand, can be configures to permanently delete sensitive data once it’s no longer needed, making lifecycle management a snap.

Discover IntelliChief’s Digital Document Management System

Still not sure how to organize your accounts payable files? IntelliChief can help. Our accounts payable software has helped countless companies say goodbye to paperwork once and for all. You can set custom user permissions, create audit logs, and collaborate across multiple departments with the click of a button. For more information, contact us today.

IntelliChief ECM Named Most Promising Workflow Automation Solution

CIO Review has named IntelliChief the “Most Promising Workflow Automation Solution” on the market.

Instead of providing single-process solutions, we help companies automate complex workflows across their entire organization, spanning:

Our automated document management software also includes comprehensive business planning analytics. Integrating directly with a company’s ERP (and providing remote mobile access to all workflow-necessitated documentation), it’s a robust, flexible solutions for enterprise-level ECM.

To learn more about our industry-awarded capture, validation, and workflow automation solutions, contact us today.

Accounts Payable Automation Visibility Builds Company Growth

When you think about corporate growth, you may not think about accounts payable playing a role. But the reality? AP can have more of an impact than you realize.

The larger a company becomes, the more products it needs to create. And the more products it needs to create, the more supplies it needs to purchase.

As more and more transactions occur, Accounts Payable needs to grow in order to keep up the pace.

A larger AP department does come at a higher cost – but there’s another option: streamlining operations with automation.

Here’s what one company did when faced with that exact issue:

They Moved From Manual Processes to Automated Processes

As they ramped up their staff (to the tun of 34 percent personnel base growth within five years), they also moved from manual to automated document management and accounting workflows. This reduced the cost (and time commitment) of their AP burden – which rang in at around 500 transactions processed per day.

Because they had to manage manufacturing and distribution facilities in both the US and Europe (as well as regional offices across the globe), they needed a solution that could give everyone access to all of their financial records. That’s where IntelliChief came in to help.

They Selected Software that Integrated With Their ERP

After surveying the enterprise content management marketplace, the company selected IntelliChief for ECM. The main reason? Our software integrated directly with their ERP.

Another reason? Our team has extensive experience automating AP workflows – and we were able to improve their Accounts Payable department right away.

Here’s what their Director of Accounting had to say:

“IntelliChief has saved us considerable resource time and cost over our previous manual processes way of running our business, both in the AP department and in all others throughout the company utilizing the ECM system.”

The takeaway? They were able to continue their trend of consistent annual revenue growth & personnel expansion, while meeting their business plan’s commitment to strategically increase their market share. By making sound investments in employees, facilities, and technologies, they were able to achieve meaningful success.

“Automating our workflow with IntelliChief has provided us the ability to map our goals and targets, with visibility to processing status of daily tasks,” they stated. “This has provided us a phenomenal advantage with reviews and approvals, and with our cash flow management.”

They Stopped Worrying About the Physical Challenges of Paper Records

Once the mandatory storage window has closed, the files are off to recycling. Meanwhile, a digital copy is kept in IntelliChief’s archive.

We have paper storage both in-office and off-site in our warehouses,” they mentioned. “Freeing the space is allowing valuable square footage to be utilized more profitably.”

There was also the matter of audits. Working within a highly regulated industry, the company had to plan for regular audits – both internal and external.

They saw this as an opportunity to reduce the time and cost of these activities by establishing an auditing workstation on-site, where auditors have searchable access to any documentation they require via IntelliChief’s archive. This added organization to audits, eliminating the need to physically source documents from a file cabinet or warehouse in some corner of the world.

“Single-point access had been an immense help with both Financial and Regulatory Affairs audits; the added convenience and time savings – both with auditors and our staff – is greatly reduced”.

In addition to audits, their Regulatory Affairs department added IntelliChief for a safe, updating repository for all product and procedure information related to their governing Food and Drug Administration regulations.

They Automated Production, Quality Assurance, and Distribution As Well

Witnessing the benefits of IntelliChief with Accounts Payable, interdepartmental expansion was the company’s next move.

Next up: continued automation in Production, where IntelliChief helped employees collectively assemble all project documentation in a single system. This allowed real-time visibility and cross-departmental workflows. It also made it easy to review each project’s details, if the information is ever helpful for future jobs.

This expansion also gave Quality Control a better way to manage work order documents electronically. They too had on-demand access for all project records.

The Production and Quality Control groups together have benefitted from tandem use of IntelliChief; it continually helped with project organization and oversight,” commented the Accounting Director. “Maintaining all project records together in a single repository, with automated workflow among those involved with each project, has simplified communications and enhanced delivery times notably.”

And in Distribution? The company started capturing shipping & receiving documentation at each logistics point. From there, that same documentation is automatically routed to AP for matching and payment, or Customer Service for collection and archival.

The Production and Quality Control groups together have benefitted from tandem use of IntelliChief; it continually helped with project organization and oversight,” commented the Accounting Director. “Maintaining all project records together in a single repository, with automated workflow among those involved with each project, has simplified communications and enhanced delivery times notably.”

See how you can do the same.

 

Five ECM Benefits You Can Achieve Within a Year

If you’re considering an enterprise content management system, you probably have an idea of what it can do for your business. But have you wondered just how quickly you’ll start to see a change? Companies usually see the benefits of ECM starting on day one – and continue to enjoy them well into the future. Keep reading to discover five advantages that you can expect to achieve within a year of implementing an enterprise content management system.

(Note: for the examples below, we’re assuming implementation across Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and Order Processing. The more processes you automate, the more benefits you’ll see.)

Benefit One: Lower Processing Costs

ECM BenefitsProcessing an invoice takes quite a bit of time – and therefore, quite a bit of money. For most organizations, a salaried AP employee has to collect, sort, and distribute paper invoices, bring them to the appropriate individuals for processing or approval, and key them into an ERP. These are all routine, low-value tasks, but they must be completed.

ECM software can handle most – if not all – of this process without an employee’s input. This makes the process much more affordable.

A study from the Aberdeen Group found that the most advanced companies – presumably including those that used software to automate the process – spent just $3.09 to process an invoice. In contrast, companies that had no solutions in place were spending an average of $38.77. Saving around $35 per invoice processed is no small sum – especially when you consider the impact of thousands of invoices per month.

Benefit Two: Increased Accuracy

Here too, we see how manual invoice processing can hold a company back. When AP clerks have to type out all the information on an invoice, it’s easy to key the wrong number (or address, or vendor name…you get the idea.) That invoice will eventually get identified as incorrect, and someone has to take the time to find (and resolve) the error. That’s not just inconvenient; it can prevent you from paying your invoice on time, which can in turn prevent you from capitalizing on early payment discounts.

Benefit Three: More Early Payment Discounts

For companies that aren’t quite sold on ECM, this is one of the benefits that stands out the most.

Many vendors offer discounts to customers who pay their invoices within a specific period of time (such as 10 or 15 days). But, companies that don’t have a streamlined process in place often struggle to meet these deadlines. Unfortunately, doing so is leaving money – and lots of it – on the table. At IntelliChief, one company that we worked with saved $5.4 million in early payment discounts in their first year using our ECM software.

Enterprise content management systems make it easy to capture these discounts. They can get invoices to the appropriate processors as soon as they’re received, so that they’re not just sitting around waiting to be distributed. IntelliChief’s system can also speed up the process by:

  • Automatically performing the two- or three-way match
  • Sending a manager a notification (as well as a follow-up reminder, if necessary) if the invoice needs approval or GL coding
  • Scheduling prompt payment with your ERP

Learn more about how ECM benefits your bottom line through early payment discounts.

Benefit Four: Lower Employee Turnover

There’s a common misconception that automation will take the place of actual employees. ECM software, though, isn’t designed to replace humans – it’s designed to help them have an easier time with what they already do.

When highly trained employees (like accountants) aren’t burdened with repetitive, low-value tasks (like distributing invoices), they have more time to focus on work that actually reflects their education and experience. In turn, they tend to be more satisfied with their jobs, and less likely to leave for more rewarding opportunities.

Benefit Five: Higher Customer Satisfaction Rates

Your customers expect quick turnaround times, shipment notifications, accurate invoices, and fast responses when they contact you for support. If you’re not able to meet these expectations, you may be missing out on repeat business.

ECM benefits your customer service team by helping them better manage each of these important touchpoints. It helps you start processing orders as soon as they’re received, proactively communicate with customers when their items are on their way, and confirm that your invoices are accurate before you send them out. And, if a customer calls to ask about their order status, you’ll have all the information you need right at your fingertips. This gives your customers a much better experience.

Learn More About the Advantages of IntelliChief’s Enterprise Content Management System

More satisfied customers, more satisfied employees, and an improved bottom line – what’s not to love? At IntelliChief, we can help you discover the benefits of ECM for yourself. Contact us today, and we can introduce you to our time- and cost-saving enterprise content management system whenever it’s convenient for you.

 

National Accounts Payable Appreciation Day

Tim Nissen | National Accounts Payable Appreciation Day.

IntelliChief ECM announces the creation and sponsorship of National Accounts Payable Appreciation Day, celebrated the third Tuesday of June (June 19, 2018), to acknowledge the contributions Accounts Payable (AP) professionals make toward their company’s growth by optimizing cash flow, and their utilization of enterprise content management (ECM)-driven AP automation to achieve it.

HISTORY

IntelliChief ECM will set aside this day every year to celebrate AP’s dedication, drive and accomplishments as financial operations professionals. National Accounts Payable Appreciation Day highlights their impact on cash flow management; their utilization of ECM-powered AP automation enabling internal cost reduction and vendor discount capital achievement.

AP professionals provide peer-driven guidance, assisting one other with strategy to decrease their invoice processing time and cost, increase visibility to payables progress and corresponding cash flow, while bolstering early pay discounts received from agreements with vendors, all through ECM utilization. Transactional documentation is digitally captured and archived in a secure centralized repository. Key data is indexed and integrated into the user’s core ERP/financial applications, verifying each purchase with contracted terms. Completing the cycle, it enables automated workflow for review, notations and payment approvals, achieving their organization’s cash flow-favorable payables schedule.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Use #NationalAccountsPayableAppreciationDay to post on social media.

For a look at how an AP peer is utilizing ECM throughout their organization, see //bit.ly/24X1XkO

Accounts Payable Automation: Leverage the Poser of Technology to Streamline your AP workflows

What to Expect When You Transition to a Paperless Accounts Payable Process

If you’re thinking about adopting a paperless accounts payable process, you probably have questions. How much is it going to cost you? What’s is it going to mean for your day-to-day workflows? When will you see a return on your investment?

At IntelliChief, we’ve helped hundreds of companies automate their Accounts Payable workflows. If you’re considering a paperless transition, we can help – and in the meantime, we can tell you exactly what to expect from the process.

What Does the Paperless Accounts Payable Process Look Like?

Your accounts payable department has a number of responsibilities – but let’s use invoice processing as an example.

When you process an invoice the traditional way, your employees have to manually:

Traditional Accounts Payable Process

With so many different touch-points – and so many places where documents change hands –this approach is delay-prone and inefficient.

With automation, however, you can significantly speed up the process. IntelliChief’s automated invoice handling process is simple and intuitive. Scan your invoice in, or let IntelliChief automatically import it from your email or fax system. From there, our program:

Paperless Accounts Payable Process

By handling the most time-consuming aspects of the process, our paperless invoice software frees up your team to deal with other responsibilities, like exception handling and analyzing expense reports.

How Long Does Paperless Invoice Processing Take?

Automated invoice processing is much faster than traditional invoice processing. (It’s significantly less costly as well).

Even for companies at the top of their industry, it takes upwards of four days to manage a paper invoice. (It can take significantly longer for companies with less efficient processes in place.)

With invoice automation software, however, this number can be instantly reduced. In some cases, invoices can even be processed automatically, without any input from an employee. This is sometimes referred to as “straight-through processing” – and it’s the gold standard for AP efficiency.

In situations where an employee needs to manually check an invoice (e.g., our software detects a duplicate change), IntelliChief puts all the information they need right at their fingertips. They can access purchase orders and receipts with a single click, and IntelliChief clearly highlights the fields that require attention. This makes exception handling a breeze.

What Other Accounts Payable Functions Can Be Automated?

Invoice processing is just one of the Accounts Payable workflows that IntelliChief can help with. Our paperless accounting software can also be used for:

  • Remote GL coding
  • Submitting purchase requisitions
  • AP audit preparation

Before you go paperless, you’ll want to look at your current Accounts Payable process and figure out where your trouble points are. Is it getting approvals for non-PO invoices? Is it keeping the approvals process moving smoothly when your managers are out of the office? Evaluating your workflows before you make any major changes can help you figure out where to focus your efforts.

Another thing to keep in mind: many companies use automation software in Accounts Receivable, Order Processing, Customer Service, and other departments. If you’re looking to automate more than just Accounts Payable, you’ll need to find an enterprise-level solution that you can easily scale.

How Long Does it Take to Implement an Accounts Payable Automation Solution?

In most cases, you can expect it to take about a year to transition to a paperless accounts payable process – but that includes time spent researching vendors, getting quotes, and working the cost into your budget. If you need more time to get everything in order, that’s normal too – it’s crucial to think everything through before making a commitment. But, once you’ve chosen a solution and signed a contract, you’re in the home stretch. It’ll take just a few months to have your software set up, and a few weeks of training to get your employees up to speed.

At IntelliChief, we’ve designed our paperless accounts payable solutions to be as simple as possible. Because they look just like your enterprise resource planning screens, your employees won’t have to get used to an entirely new program. And, our team can schedule on-site training to show you how to make the most of all your new features.

Take the First Step Toward a Paperless Accounts Payable Process

We get it: change is never easy. But when time- and cost-saving measures are eventually implemented, most companies wonder why they waited so long. That’s something we hear from our customers all the time.

If you’re ready to learn more about AP automation, just reach out and let us know. IntelliChief’s document management experts can help you implement a paperless Accounts Payable process that’s customized for your specific business.

How Logistics Uses ECM

Tim Nissen | How Logistics Uses ECM.

Accounting for logistics processes and procedures is complex, and it’s common to still see physical shipping documentation sent by express service to points of receipt, including your Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable and Customer Service departments – domestically and internationally. The manual handling of these printed documents is admittedly fraught with expense (time and money) and risks.

Having a clear picture of your distribution operations with all involved departments is crucial for your business. Though a challenge to this is managing logistics operations that are driven by paper, restricting the movement of every inbound and outbound shipment. Paper-based processes are slow and create bottlenecks in productivity, making important data contained in physical shipping documents—bills of lading, manifests, delivery receipts—difficult to process and track.

Capabilities have expanded to include automated documentation capture and company-specific processes workflow. This streamlines tasks related to shipping and receiving goods, enhancing the functionality of your existing platforms – ERP, SCM, WMS, Accounting systems and related business applications you use. Distribution is an industry benefiting from enterprise content management (ECM). Discover IntelliChief’s approach here.

How Logistics uses ECM: to automate capture of all formats of shipping documentation in both paper and electronic formats, assembling complete document collections from every source per transaction. Accuracy is validated with vendor and customer information stored in your ERP or SCM, and workflow automated with all departments involved in each transaction. Detailed visibility is provided throughout your distribution channel.

This document management capacity makes information easy to retrieve with automated organization for faster and more efficient content management. You’ll have instant access, with improved colleague and vendor-partner collaboration, and responsiveness to your customers, directly through your ECM-integrated desktop and mobile screens.

Collectively, ECM facilitates a solution to assure accuracy and security throughout distribution, as the foundation for building transactional transparency and trust, while streamlining business processes across your company’s fluid area of operations. Global trade logistics relies on a web of disparate systems across freight forwarders, custom brokers and port authorities, involving ocean, rail and trucking carriers. With ECM, you’re able to digitize the process to collaborate across companies and authorities, reduce the paperwork, streamline cross boarder movements, and limit fraud and errors.

Advantages encompassing how Logistics uses ECM:

  • Quicker outbound turnaround – leading to improved delivery efficiency, and stronger customer (and vendor) relationships
  • Documentation security – nothing is lost with ECM, with the people you need accessing your distribution documentation having it on-demand
  • Assured accuracy – with ECM syncing with your business system’s databases, all documentation is digitally captured with content data indexed and verified, alerting users of any discrepancies. Little or no system data keying is required; it’s simply straight-through processing into automated workflow
  • Lower document distribution costs – automation negates physical document shipping, and all associated costs
  • Faster notifications and approvals – with ECM’s automated workflow, everyone in your supply chain on the need-to-know does so quickly through automated notice, hastening processes and fulfillments
  • Document append abilities – as amendments, updates and approvals need to be added to original documents, they’re able to be, while maintaining the document’s integrity. Users can enter notes either in a pre-set field, or in a digital post-it note placement adjacent to the information being addresses. The document’s original data doesn’t change, though helpful information may be added and tracked by ECM and line of business system users throughout your logistics workflow.

These are particularly useful with Distribution’s transactional interaction among colleagues in Accounts Payable, Orders Processing and Customer Service departments; all areas of shipping document’s origination, destination and notification.

To see how, contact us.

IntelliChief ECM and SCUG Examine JD Edwards AP Automation and Orders Automation

IntelliChief will be at the Southern California User Group meeting on June 14th in City of Industry, CA. A meeting of 55,000+ Quest International Users of JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and Cloud Applications, SCUG promotes education, networking, and advocacy in a peer-to-peer environment.

Our experts will be sharing strategies for JD Edwards AP & Order Processing Automation. We’ll be discussing technology-driven document capture and management, JDE data integrations, and process-specific workflow optimization.

As an Oracle Gold Partner, our ECM solutions for JD Edwards are designed for seamless integration. Unlike process-specific automation solutions, our enterprise products can be used across multiple departments. AP automation allows users to process invoices faster and at a lower cost, while automated sales order processing helps reduce DSO by eliminating several steps from the manual fulfillment process. All solutions help increase accuracy, visibility, and efficiency.

Unable to attend the User Group? Contact us today for an on-demand recap. Or, come find us at our next quarterly small-group SCUG meetup.