Many organisations have multiple branches/locations due to the disparate geographic demand for products and services. While this enables businesses to explore and open up new markets it also presents operational problems of its own. Processes that were previously completed within the one office now require paper to be posted and shuffled between locations causing delays and additional costs. Many of these businesses are now turning inwards to investigate cost savings that can be derived from streamlining or consolidating the current operational methods. The Accounts Payable (AP) department is an excellent opportunity to reduce unnecessary costs. For the purpose of this whitepaper these costs will be examined as well as the benefits derived from scanning invoices at the location at which they are received.
Consider firstly the expenses incurred with transporting invoices between offices. Despite the fact that each stamp costs a seemingly trivial amount these costs soon add up. Not only should the physical cost of postage be considered but the cost of labour must also be included. The mail must be packaged and delivered to the post office on the out-going end and this takes time. The benefits of scanning invoices at the source are immediately apparent. Scanning and electronically delivering
invoices between operational locations within an organisation completely eliminates the current postage costs associated with invoices. Invoices are simply placed in the feed tray of the scanning device, imaged and digitally sent for central processing.
Multiple Touch Points
How many sets of hands do your invoices currently pass through from the moment they are received to the point at which they are posted for payment and filed? Receiving the invoice, comparing to PO, receiving approval, coding to the finance system, filing, it is all one big study of inefficiency. Every move increasing the chance the invoice will be misplaced or held up.
Lost and delayed invoices are a real problem for organisations everywhere. In many cases these delays cost the business in late fees and forfeited early payment discounts. Delays in the payment of invoices can stem from many different factors such as being lost in the post, delays in receiving the post from the remote office or delays
in getting management to approve the invoice. These are all unacceptable liabilities for a business trying to consolidate its financial position. Further they can be easily overcome by implementing an AP workflow. An AP workflow completely removes the need for invoices to be posted between business locations. Based on the information contained on the invoice it will be forwarded to the appropriate manager for approval and then to AP for updating of the finance system.
A constant concern of any finance manager is the lack of visibility within the AP department, never truly understanding the total outstanding amount of the current payables. In the manual AP department no one understands the outstanding vendor invoices until they are coded to the finance system. The delays discussed in this document mean that costs incurred today are not in the system for up to a month later. Automated AP workflow means that these costs are visible within days of receiving the invoice which significantly improves visibility. Having examined some of the existing challenges for businesses and how simply these can be addressed the
benefits become quite obvious. Workflows are made more efficient and approvals processes are sped up. This all leads to an accurate and transparent flow of information throughout the business. The business can now take advantage of early payment discounts and eliminate late payment fees. These cost benefits all add up to significantly lower operating costs.
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Benefits of Scanning at the Source
Document Management – Scanning – Storage
Archiving – Destruction – Document Imaging