Get Rid of Data Entry for Good! Alternatives for AP

    Jul 9

    If you are frustrated your valuable, skilled employees spend too much time on data entry but don’t know who else has the knowledge to do the job right, please read on!

    An article written on accountantnextdoor.com listed 23 functions accounting professionals are responsible for on a daily basis. They include everything from Treasury Management and cost control to fraud prevention. In this full list of responsibilities, data entry did not appear once! How could it? There were 23 other valuable things that needed to get done! We hear all the time that accountants wish they had more time to their day to do the things they were trained to do. Data entry is one of those necessary tasks that are a part of the workload.

    via GIPHY

    When clients call us to help them automate AP and related processes their goal is to GAIN time and control of their day. A huge opportunity to find that extra time is in invoice collection and data entry.

    Here’s how two of our clients tackled the problem.

    Outsourcing

    A large furniture manufacturer was outsourcing invoice collection and data entry to their office equipment dealer. The error rate, exception processing, and slow turn around were getting out of control. Vendors were stopping service, cancelling order for non payment, and the AP was spending too much time answering vendor calls to make the payments. Too often they would break protocol and issue a manual check just to keep the lights on.

    They called us for help. We worked with them to refine their business processes and invoice processing guidelines. With clear consistent communication, vendors started submitting invoices electronically. We manage a PO Box to collect the smaller number of paper invoices. At our office, we automatically download the electronic invoices and scan the paper ones. Our team does the data entry and coding and we are able to deliver over 1,000 invoices daily for them.

    Software

    A large hotel chain with global operations needed a solution for processing invoices at each of their hotels and the corporate office. For their business, they chose to purchase software and control the process internally. We found the right product and now they scan invoices from around the globe. We are extracting data in seven different languages. With high accuracy and well defined exception process, they are able to keep the accountants focus on high value tasks.

    These two approaches have their set of benefits.

    Outsourcing

    1. Low monthly cost

    2. Fast to deploy, but it does require lead time and coordination with vendors

    3. We can work with any systems/processes

    Software

    1. Larger upfront costs but keeps processing “in house”

    2. Ongoing costs only for software maintenance

    3. Implementation projects can last for several months and require some IT resources

    Which option is right for you? Schedule some time with us to review.

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    Accounts Payable

    Posted by Ryan White
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