This article first appeared in the Winter issue of The Record.
Running a company in today’s marketplace is difficult, particularly because many operate in multiple locations across a state, country or even worldwide. When it comes to managing the invoicing processes of a multi-location organisation, companies need an efficient team and effective technology to help them eliminate paper, cut costs, increase effectiveness and improve visibility.
One restaurant franchisee was using tedious, paper-ridden procedures that required managers at each individual restaurant to compile and ship invoices to the corporate office every Monday morning. However, shipping invoices weekly was expensive and the accounts payable (AP) staff were forced to rush to complete their duties when the UPS packages came in. In addition, the company had limited storage space and many locations, so it was time consuming for the staff to retrieve previously filed documents.
The company decided to implement a document management/AP automation solution that was customisable and flexible, and could also integrate seamlessly with its current Microsoft Dynamics GP enterprise resource planning platform. The system gives restaurant and district managers visibility into their invoices, but prevents them from seeing invoices that do not directly relate to their specific restaurants or groups of restaurants to ensure security.
So, what were the results? The new document management/AP automation solution has streamlined the restaurant franchisee’s accounting process, meaning that managers no longer have to make copies or ship invoices, saving them time and money. It has also made restaurant managers more accountable for processing invoices. Rather than sending out piles of unreviewed invoices, managers now have to be more responsible for what they are purchasing.
Plus, the paperless solution has been a natural addition to the company’s team. The corporate office does not need to wait for packages of paper invoices to arrive and can jump right into processing invoices as soon as they are submitted. It is now easier for the staff to catch errors, like miscoded invoices. Restaurants can also use the search feature within the document management system to look up vendor invoices and provide quicker answers to vendors who call with questions. The visibility, time and cost savings, increased manager accountability and the integration with Microsoft Dynamics positively affects all aspects of the enterprise, from corporate to the vendor and beyond.
Certainly, it’s a daunting task to automate the invoicing processes of a company with multiple locations. However, a document management/AP automation solution can help streamline previously paper-based AP tasks because it integrates with Microsoft Dynamics GP and offers the flexibility to handle unique business processes.
Alyssa Putzer is the marketing communications specialist at Metafile Information Systems
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