Why Automate Your Accounts Payable Processes?

By automating your accounts payable processes, you will see several benefits:

    • Early payment discounts and avoid late payment penalties: By accelerating the invoice approval cycle time, vendor discounts for early payment, which were previously unattainable, can now be taken advantage of. Also, you can avoid having to pay unnecessary penalties for late payment.
    • Accuracy: By accelerating the invoice approval cycle time, vendor discounts for early payment, which were previously unattainable, can now be taken advantage of. Also, you can avoid having to pay unnecessary penalties for late payment.
    • Improved visibility and forecasting: Decision makers need the right information at their fingertips in order to make informed decisions. CoreIntegrator Workflow allows management to see the where your invoices are at any point in the process.

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Invoice Processing Cost Savings Analysis

If you read our last post about Working Smarter, Not Harder with A/P One, we mentioned how A/P One can save companies lots of time and money. We also did a brief analysis of how much it costs to process a single invoice and looked at the total spent over an entire year. I want to break this process down even more and showing more details in the costs to process invoices manually, and the savings realized when A/P One is implemented.

To keep it simple, we’re going to look at only one metric in our analysis, which is the ‘hard cost’ of an Accounts Payable (AP) clerk’s time. There are many other efficiencies gained by automating your accounts payable process, but they are more difficult to associate costs and calculate time saved.

Let’s take a look at the analysis of processing invoices manually…

This customer receives a mix of paper invoices and PDF files via email. The AP clerk has to coordinate getting the paper to the approver or managing approvals via the company email system.

Paper gets lost, emails are hard to manage, the status of invoices ‘in process’ is hard to track. The entire process of managing invoices and the approval process is very time consuming.

 Industry average values for a company processing 500 invoices/month manually:

  • The company would have one full time AP person that spends about 5 hours a day processing invoices
  • That person’s total cost to the company is about $27 per hour
  • This person can process about 5 invoices per hour – 1 every 12 minutes
  • The labor costs alone to process the invoices is about $135/day

 Now let’s take a look at efficiencies gained when the same invoices are processed using A/P One, a cloud-based invoice processing and automated approval process solution by CoreIntegrator…

The customer or vendor can now scan or email invoices directly into the A/P One solution. Within 24 hours, the invoice shows up in the AP clerk’s A/P One work queue with all important data entered into the digital form, ready to be processed.  The AP clerk simply confirms the data, selects the GL expense code and electronically sends the invoice to the approver. The AP clerk can track the entire approval process, which can have multiple levels. After approval, the AP clerk does a final check of everything and then submits the payables transaction to the accounting system.

Values after A/P One is implemented:

  • That same AP person can now process about 30 invoices per hour – 1 every 2 minutes
  • They now only spend about 50 minutes per day processing invoices
  • The labor cost to process invoices went from $135/day down to about $22/day
  • The net cost savings for the labor cost alone is about $113/day or over $29K/year
  • The net time saving for each invoice is 10 minutes or about 83 hours of extra time per year
  • The person processing invoices now has over 2 extra weeks of time available to work on other projects

Obviously, the A/P One solution costs money to use, so the company can’t realize the entire cost savings shown above. The good news is that A/P One costs way less to use than the money saved, so there is a positive Return on Investment (ROI) almost immediately.

ROI for the A/P One project:

  • Using A/P One to process an average of 25 invoices/day would cost about $37.50
  • The cost savings/day shown above is $113.00
  • The ROI/day would be about $75.50
  • The annual ROI would be almost $20K!

Summary:

We analyzed a company that processes 500 invoices/month, which is not a large amount. The calculated savings increases as the number of invoices increases, so you can imagine what the time and cost savings would be if the company processed thousands of invoices/month. Plus… the cost of the A/P One solution goes down when you process a higher volume of invoices, so the ROI is even more positive with higher invoice volumes.

We mentioned above that in addition to the AP clerk times savings, there are other efficiencies gained when automating your AP processes with a tool like A/P One.

Here are some examples:

  • The ability to approve invoices electronically, even while remote with a tablet or mobile phone
  • The ability to have visibility of all invoices that are either in process or completed
  • Companies can take advantage of early payment discounts and avoid late payment penalties
  • Audits are greatly simplified since all invoices and associated documents are available electronically

As you can see, after it’s broken down, companies waste a TON of time and money on employees processing invoices for the bulk of their work day. Now that you’ve seen the numbers in this cost-savings analysis, we hope that you consider using CoreIntegrator’s A/P One as the invoice processing and approval workflow solution for your company.

We have a detailed costs savings and ROI tool that you can run using your specific costs and metrics and would be happy to run a report specific for your organization.

Please contact us for more information, or to get your report today.

Work Smarter…Not Harder.

It’s no surprise that large companies of today are booming with production to support their consumers, which creates the need to process hundreds or thousands of invoices monthly. It’s also no surprise that those in charge of processing invoices are spending countless hours of their time keying in data from the invoices, when that time could be spent promoting the company itself, developing strategies with coworkers and other important tasks. In fact, processing a SINGLE invoice can cost anywhere from $14 to $20. A company that processes 25,000 invoices per year at $15 per invoice will end up spending $375,000 of their own money in this process. Think about it – that money could be used for so many other projects rather than spending it to process invoices! Why choose manual processing that wastes thoughts of dollars per year when you could use an automated invoice processing solution like CoreIntegrator’s A/P One at a fraction of the cost?

 

A/P One forces companies to work smarter, not harder because it literally does the work for you. The minutes of time it takes to manually enter data into each invoice can be totally eliminated with A/P One’s fully automated invoice receipt, data entry and data verification (verified by a human). With A/P One’s automated invoice approval process, your company’s approvers can save even more time. Just think of all the extra projects your company can work on with the employee time saved when processing invoices.

 

Work SMARTER with CoreIntegrator’s cloud-based invoice processing solution, A/P One, today and get out of work on time!

 

In our next blog, we’ll be breaking this process down even more and showing you a cost-savings analysis based on a company that process 500 invoices per month. We’ll compare the company’s current invoice processing cost, and show you what happens when A/P One comes into play.

Getting to Done With A/P One

Done means 100% complete-not 90% or “almost done”. Done is done. When it comes to processing invoices, companies spend time and money  manually entering data from the invoices and approving them, which is where human errors also come into play. Adding to the confusion, many companies have employees that work remotely or travel. When an invoice comes in, it could take weeks to approve due to these circumstances, and let’s be honest – no one has time to wait until the approver gets back in to the office because by that time, the invoice could be misplaced or even lost, or you could miss the payment due date.

With A/P One, process your invoices and get to DONE. A/P One can be implemented in just a few days, and you only pay for the invoices you process-no software or infrastructure fees are required. With CoreIntegrator’s new Smart AP tool, eliminate all of the time-consuming data entry and move your invoices quickly through the approval process so you can get your job DONE!

 

 

How to Evaluate a Potential AP Automation Solution Provider – Part 2

As you continue the path to determine what solution and provider is best for you, you have now narrowed it down to 2-3 solutions.  Now it is time to get deep into the evaluation process and choose a solution.

In Depth Demo:   It is time to have another demo with the remaining solutions.  For this demo, it is time to make a lists of items that you want to see the systems do, not what the vendor wants to show you.  Remember that demonstration systems are just that and cannot always customize everything you are hoping to see but you should be able to get a pretty good idea of what to expect, especially when it comes to the integration component. From this demo, you should have a very good idea of what each solution can do for you and evaluate the solution, estimate a price, and schedule to make a final decision.

Discovery Process:  Once you have selected a vendor/partner – it is time (before contracts are signed) to perform a discovery process and document exactly what is to be delivered based on your requirements.  This documentation process should result in a project scope document that will be used to determine:  final cost, deliverable items, schedule, and out-of-scope requirements (if there are any).  Do not short cut this process.  It should be thoroughly complete and detailed enough to avoid misunderstandings later.

Contracts and Proposals. There should be enough information that explains everything to be delivered, what the implementation process includes (and does not include), as well as ongoing support and maintenance fees/policies.

A successful implementation requires full commitment from both sides and having resources scheduled for critical items is mandatory for a smooth process.  You will need to be prepared to perform various user acceptance testing (UAT) tasks, review workflows, forms, and functionality throughout the process.

Congratulations and best of success with your new workflow solution.  Hopefully this will change the way you work and complete tasks in a much more efficient way than you are doing it today.

 

How to Evaluate a Potential AP Automation Solution Provider – Part 1

Let’s start from the beginning and review the sales process. We’ll walk through the evaluation process, then on to project scope creation to final decision making.

  • Sales Demonstrations – Beware!
    • Sales demonstrations are, of course, meant to show the sizzle of the product and to provide you with a very high-level understanding of what “is possible”. Good sales people can make anything look good and it is impossible to know how many days, weeks or even months it took to set up a demonstration.  Demonstrations can also be simulated to represent something completely different in real life so do not feel uncomfortable asking how things really work, especially in your environment.
  • Integration – How?
    • When it comes to integrations, it is important to understand what type of integration you are getting.
      • Real-time integration
      • Batch integration
    • It is extremely important to know if the vendor has done the integration before or if this is the first time for this specific application.  For example, if you are integrating payables transactions, what is the method used to create those transactions, what tool is used, and if they have done it before.  Even if the vendor has done the integration, is it just for basic payables, more complex transactions such as inter-company transactions, multi-currency or more unique integrations such as multi-dimensional analysis or Analytical Accounting (for Dynamics GP customers)?
  • How many Options to Evaluate?
    • It is OK to start out with a longer list of potential solutions but have a pre-determined list of criteria that will help you narrow the list down quickly to 3 or 4 at most. From there you should be able to reduce that to your top 2 and go from there.  Your criteria for determining who is right for you may be completely different than for someone else, but here are some common reasons to keep or cut someone from your list:
      • Integration to your business application (if it applies) – this should not be taken lightly as it will only create issues later if your workflows require integrations.
      • Experience in the workflows you desire. You will rely on the vendor to help guide you through the entire process and to share best practices with you.  This is too important for you to be a learning experience for the vendor.
      • Administration of the workflows once your project is live. Again, things might look easy during a demonstration, but understanding what you can do and what is considered a technical change is only done by the vendor.
      • Cost is absolutely important but consistent with everything else, you get what you pay for.  Understand what is included, not included, if it is an estimate or a fixed price for professional services.  Ongoing fees and upfront one-time purchases.  This is important if it is on the “cloud”, hosted, or on your network.
      • Features critical to your project. Keep this list of required features to a minimum of only those that make a real difference in your environment.  You can go crazy trying to compare solutions by going through every feature and function of every application.

In Part 2, we will look at the discovery process to ensure that the potential solution providers understand your business and your objectives.

SO, YOU’VE DECIDED YOU WANT TO AUTOMATE YOUR ACCOUNTS PAYABLE PROCESSES, NOW WHAT?

There’s a lot of ‘buzz’ in the payables industry, about saving time and money with AP Automation. You’ve decided that you want to understand more about AP Automation and how it may benefit YOUR organization. What should you do next?

Here are some tips to consider as you start to move your organization toward an AP Automation Solution.

Understand your Existing Processes:

·         Prior to talking to AP Automation vendors, one of the most important considerations is to understand your existing business processes.  Once you’ve determined which process it makes most sense to automate, it is important to document your current process including all the written and “unwritten” rules or policies.  Remember, the objective is to increase the efficiency of this process so investing in a workflow technology to “just do the same thing you’ve been doing for years” may not be the best investment in this technology.

·         Many business practices were put into place for good reason but over time they have lost their value and are only practiced because of habit, not because it still makes sense.  A good workflow partner will help you through this process evaluation and should be asking you “why” you perform certain tasks. Change is OK and in many cases, change can make a huge difference between a successful implementation (achieving your goals and objectives) or not.

 Integrations:

·         The next decision is to determine if and how the workflow will be integrated into any of your key business applications – such as your accounting system and supporting applications. There are many forms of integration, so it’s important to understand how “tight” of an integration you need or desire.  In some instances, it may only require the passing of basic data back and forth, but in other situations it should be more seamlessly integrated and in a real time environment.  When a tight integration is required, it is important to either partner with a workflow company that truly understands your applications (both technically and from a business standpoint) or have that skill set in-house.  When you engage a vendor, they will work with your technical team and consultants to help you understand the level of integration that is necessary.

 Engaging a vendor:

·         When you engage with an AP Automation vendor, they should review your process analysis and integration requirements during an in-depth discovery process. The discovery is where your team and the vendor covers every detail of each process and integration. Collaboration and discussion between your team and the vendor will be key in developing a scope of work document for the project.

·         When you get a proposal from vendors, they should be based on your specific requirements outlined in the scope of work document. If vendors provide pricing estimates without doing a discovery and creating the scope document, the project has little success of being completed on time, on budget and delivering your desired workflow results.

 

As with most projects, in order to have a successful implementation that meets your functionality and cost objectives, you must be willing to spend time and resources upfront to plan the project.  If you plan and prepare properly, your project will have a much higher degree of success and will be completed on time and on budget.  This means thoroughly understanding your requirements for the solution and evaluating your options with the vendors you are about to partner with for the project.

See our other articles on how to evaluate potential AP Automation vendors.

 

Business Process Automation: Is a Workflow solution right for you?

In this blog series, we explore various aspects of Workflow solutions, applications, and how to best determine if a Workflow solution can help your company.  We also discuss key factors to consider when reviewing various workflow packages as well as showing how workflow can be used for more than just AP Automation.


Is a Workflow solution right for you?

You’ve probably seen your share of white papers on AP Automation, but Workflow technology should be almost unlimited in its use and capabilities.  Its intended to automate virtually any business process where people are involved in sharing information and documents.  A few examples:

Human Resources: Onboarding new employees – Workflow can streamline the entire process by distributing the digital paperwork to all departments simultaneously and shorten a normally lengthy process to a fraction of the original time.

Procurement: Purchase Approvals – Because management wants to control spending, most manual purchase approval processes tend to involve more levels of management than are necessary, simply to ensure that everything is reviewed.  A Workflow system will control the approval process and make sure the right people are involved only when it is required saving both time for approval and unnecessary involvement.

Sales: Quotations – Your sales policy requires the sales manager to review all quotes to customers greater than $50,000.00. Workflow can monitor specific events from other systems and as soon as that quote is entered into your quoting or CRM system, a Workflow event is immediately launched and sent to the Sales manager with all the details of that quote.


Determining if Workflow is right for you requires you to look at several factors, some of which are listed below.  These factors can help drive the decision-making process and open the doors to improved efficiency, cost savings, and process control.  We will discuss these factors more in depth in Part 2 of the series.

  • Approval Levels & Conditions of Approval
  • Cost of business processes (efficiency).
  • Control, Visibility, & Accessibility
  • Risk (Audit Trails / Document Mgmt)
  • Integration between systems

 To get started evaluating whether a Workflow solution is potentially right for your organization, let’s start with a few questions.

  • Do you use email as a way of routing documents throughout the company for approvals or reviews?
  • Do you have to follow-up via email or phone to check on the status of approvals?
  • Is there a need for an audit trail of various documents?
  • Do you require fast and easy access to documents and where they are in the approval process?
  • Do you require version control of documents?
  • Can you perform a process faster if you were automated?
  • Can you provide a better service to your customers if you were more automated?

If you answered YES to one or more of these questions, then you may be a candidate for a Workflow solution.  Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series as it will explore the factors noted above and how each impact your organization along with potential areas that a Workflow solution can help you.


Contact Us today to discuss how CoreIntegrator Workflow can help your company!

Empire Education Group Utilizes CoreIntegrator Workflow for their Observation Forms Process

“CoreIntegrator helped Empire Education Group improve the process of moving requests and documents from our 80+ Cosmetology Schools that are located throughout the United States to our home office in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.  There have been a multitude of ideas from our users for additional applications of CoreIntegrator in our organization.  We are looking forward to continuing to expand the usage of CoreIntegrator Workflow in our Organization.”

Joseph R. Drasdis

Senior Vice President, Technology Services – Empire Education Group dba Empire Beauty Schools

 

Another great implementation and use of CoreIntegrator Workflow!  Thanks to Empire Education Group for allowing us to use this video to highlight the benefits and power of CoreIntegrator Workflow!

 

 

Microsoft.Net Security Update Fix – KB 4041083 / KB 4040973

The CoreIntegrator Team has prepared the following walk through to fix the document rendering issue that occurred with the Windows Updates KB 4041083 / KB 4040973 (September 12, 2017, .NET Security and Quality Roll-ups)

The workaround involves uninstalling the problem Quality / Security Rollup Update and manually installing the security updates from the roll-up.  We expect that Microsoft will eventually replace the problem roll-up with a new update which can be installed via the normal Windows Update channels.

Please proceed to the following page and download the .pdf that provides an in depth walk-through to fix the issue.

Document-Rendering-KB-4041083-KB-4040973-Workaround

Please Contact us with any questions.

CoreIntegrator Customer Care
Randy Persun
rpersun@coreintegrator.com
570.768.4471