Purchase to Pay: Results of Automating AP Processing

Tim Nissen | Purchase to Pay: Results of Automating AP Processing.

If you’ve attended a live sports or entertainment event, you’ve seen this company in action. They’re the stars for sound, staging, storage and transportation; the ones behind ‘the show must go on’.

The Challenge

The company was looking to streamline their Purchase to Pay process. Overall, the goal was to reduce the time, effort and cost of paying invoices. Within their Accounting workflow, all invoices were paper. Those arriving in an electronic format (frequently email attachments) were printed. This manual, paper intensive process made it difficult to find, route and organize each invoice associated with every order.

They used an internal mail service to send their paper invoices to Accounting, and the approval process was an extremely time intensive task. Their methods were not easy or efficient – those invoices without purchase orders were routed from Accounting to an approving manager via internal mail, reviewed/approved by the manager, then routed back to Accounting again by internal mail. Purchase order invoices were manually matched to the receiver’s invoice.

The Consensus

The company chose to implement IntelliChief as the enterprise content management (ECM) solution to automate their specific processes, creating an efficient Purchase to Pay environment. Since adding IntelliChief, the time for invoice approval and routing to the Accounting department for payment has been significantly reduced (quantified in the IntelliChief Automation Results section).

Now, all invoices are captured, electronically formatted, entered into IntelliChief and indexed by the Administrative Services department, replacing much of their ERP keying with touch-free, straight through processing. The company assigns each vendor a default approving manager. The invoices that are non-PO are automatically routed to the approving manager via IntelliChief’s automated workflow, eliminating (literal) steps from their previous manual routing process. PO invoices are placed in a To Be Matched inbox, with IntelliChief moving the PO invoices to be paid when a receiver matches the PO invoice. “A significant benefit of adding IntelliChief is the ability to handle existing workloads and avoid the need to hire or shift additional resources to AP, as our organization grows,” stated the company’s IT Director.

IntelliChief ECM’s integration with their ERP provided visibility, verification and validation (enhanced by IntelliChief’s item cross reference normalization) to assure payment accuracy, receipt of their contractual timely payment discounts, and avoidance of late payment penalties.

Paperless Prosperity

With IntelliChief ECM, all incoming invoices received by fax, email or mail are available electronically with-in the system, accessible via desktop or mobile device. With the company’s goal to be completely paperless, after the successful implementation in Accounts Payable, they see IntelliChief as the cornerstone of this endeavor. Next, their paperless expansion will encompass their Order-to-Cash process to decrease DSO’s and improve cash flow.

Complete Connection

A crucial component of their selection of IntelliChief is its ability to connect with any ERP or line of business system throughout the company. This will provide the company flexibility to utilize ECM in any department of their business they deem advantageous, to move them increasingly closer to paperless process management’s cost savings multiplier.

Seamless system integration was a significant differentiator of IntelliChief from other document management solutions. With IntelliChief, the company’s staff can capture, create, store, index, search, retrieve and distribute documents directly from any business system without leaving their desks, eliminating tedious, costly digging through filing cabinets or sourcing off-site storage for needed documentation.

Their IntelliChief AP Automation Results

Eliminate Expenses – They save $32 processing an invoice.

Reduce Processing Time – They save 23 days processing each invoice.

Capture Emailed Documentation Easily – Automated capture of emailed documents (both body contents and attachments) eliminates printing and keying.

Archive Simply – IntelliChief’s Print Capture function enables their users to electronically archive and prepare any document for workflow, simply by selecting the File-Print to IntelliChief feature.

Convenient 3-Way Matching – For Accounts Payables’ 3-way matching processing, the company’s staff utilizes a two-monitor desktop configuration, enabling them to simultaneously see both the original purchase order created in their ERP, with the invoice and receiver captured by IntelliChief.

Automate Invoice Routing Workflow – When processing invoices that required approval, the old method relied on internal mailing of the original invoice to the appropriate manager for approval, a process that took days. Using IntelliChief’s workflow to automate routing, the process is completed in minutes.