At Yooz, we talk a lot about the benefits of our multi-award-winning cloud invoice payment processing (AP) automation solution. And we try to feature our clients, telling you in their own voices about their journeys from a tedious manual AP workflow to an efficient, streamlined one and all of the benefits that come along with it.
What is interesting about the Yooz platform is that small- to mid-market companies in a wide range of industries
start their AP automation journey with some similar pain points and experience some of the same great benefits. In this blog series we’ll take a look at three:
UNITE HERE HEALTH—a Chicago-based national health fund that works with employees, local unions, and the employer to provide health benefits (insurance) and resources that improve health and healthcare.
Ritter Communications—a communications company based in Arkansas with primary interests in technology and agriculture and with a goal of bringing technology to rural areas.
KEG 1, LLC—a beverage wholesaler (primarily beer and ale) serving 31 counties in central Texas.
A healthcare company, a communications and agriculture company, and a beverage wholesale distribution company—you can’t get more different than that, right? And all three experienced these common pain points with their manual process:
- All invoices from headquarters and other locations were managed manually, which allowed high potential for data entry errors. It also required labor and resources that could have been utilized for more strategic and value-added work.
- Documents had to be routed for approval via courier, e-mail, or even actually being packed and shipped. Consequently, a lot of time was spent tracking down invoices and there were frequent instances of lost invoices or invoices that were found that had not been paid.
- Staff was so bogged down with manual data-entry, chasing paper, and other menial tasks that they were not able to be analytical and forward-thinking.
- As each of these respective companies grew, they were faced with adding headcount rather than streamlining processes with existing staff.
Two of the things we recommend prior to starting your AP automation journey is to understand your business needs and workflow and what your goals are for improvement
and to get executive buy-in and budget dollars to implement.
While the finance leaders that headed up each of their respective AP automation projects—Bryan Schmidt, controller at UHH, Audrey Boggs, accountant at Ritter, and Victoria Green, controller at KEG 1—each approached their transition process a little differently, the common thread was that they each had the immediate and unwavering support of executive management, who all realized the benefits that AP automation would bring to their finance departments and their companies overall. They also each had a clear understanding of what business challenges they needed to solve for and what goals they expected to achieve.
One other commonality is that they each found Yooz through the Sage Intacct Marketplace where Yooz is a Marketplace Partner and seamlessly integrates with the Intacct ERP.
After automating the payables workflow with Yooz, UHH, Ritter, and KEG 1 each continue to realize these benefits:
- Users experienced a faster and smoother rollout than expected and quickly became familiar with Yooz thanks to the intuitive user interface (UI).
- The mobile app has proven to be particularly beneficial, letting finance leaders and other managers view and approve invoices from anywhere at any time, rather than being tied to their desks.
- Reliability expectations were exceeded, with an average reliability rate of 99.9%.
- Documents are all safely stored and easily accessible in the Cloud; paper invoices have been boxed up for the last time.
- Process cycle times dramatically reduced from weeks to a few days.
- Eliminating manual entry and routing for approval has saved time, saved money, and the solution has paid for itself.
- Most important, staff at UNITE HERE HEALTH, Ritter Communications, and KEG 1 are freed up to focus on creative thinking and strategic, value-added tasks.
What advice would Bryan from UHH, Audrey from Ritter, and Victoria from KEG 1 offer you as you go through your journey towards AP automation?
- Understand your business needs and workflow—including how are bills distributed and approved—and what your goals are for improvement.
- Get executive buy-in and budget dollars to implement.
- Talk to your key stakeholders —don’t forget your suppliers—and explain the net benefits.
- Create a project team and meet consistently.
- Engage IT early on and keep them informed.
- Don’t rush the project implementation.
- Identify your internal controls and segregation of duties. Use internal/external auditors to assist.
- Define expectationsclearly with the Yooz team.
For a more comprehensive checklist to help you prepare for those important conversations with AP automation solution providers you may be considering, download How NOT to Mess Up Your AP Project
, based on our tongue-in-cheek style whitepaper, How to Mess Up Your AP Project , which helps you identify pitfalls as you explore automating your AP workflow.