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Why Businesses Should Re-Evaluate Their Accounts Payable Process

No company wants to fall behind in its invoices or any payments process, as it will cost time and money. The right accounts payable (AP) system can help firms maintain daily operations and plan for the long-term. But is it really necessary to upgrade to an electronic option? What if a company is determined to stick to its paper filing process? PYMNTS.com explores how one company upgraded, and whether or not it’s the best option for every business.

Piles and piles of papers that need to be filed. If one number is copied wrong, or if an invoice is put in the wrong folder, a business could end up spending more time and money fixing the issue. A potentially good answer to this is upgrading the accounts payable (AP) system. That was the mindset for promotional products company Geiger when it decided to get a new and improved AP system.

Company executives knew that with Geiger’s numerous vendors, it would be a unique IT project for each vendor if the company considered electronic data interchange. Moreover, Geiger needed a reliable Web host, CEO Dale Denham said in an interview with OnWindows.

Eventually, Geiger opted for Metafile’s AP automation solution. According to the news source, prior to the switch, Geiger was manually processing hundreds of thousands of invoices annually. Geiger an AP process that wouldn’t impact its existing computing infrastructure, IT resources, as well as not compromise its data security.

“Prior to this project, the average payable cycle for our vendors was 15 days,” Denham said. “Now, a combination of MetaViewer and process improvements has us down to seven days. Vendors are happier because they are getting paid even faster. Believe it or not, clients are happier too because there were times a bill would be received after a financial period had closed.”

Not only did the new AP process save Geiger money, but it also improved the company’s productivity. The promotional products firm typically processes over 2000,000 AP invoices per year. After Geiger eliminated manual invoice entry, company executives told OnWindows that it was able to reassign essential staff within the organization.

Denham was adamant that companies should consider an automated solution, but he was quick to point out that it is important to work with the AP company. Without the two sides working together, the process could be more difficult.

“You need to be prepared. It is not a quick win for a complex environment like ours,” Denham told the news source. “It requires work for both organizations, but once it is up and running, it is extremely beneficial with a fast payback.”

For example, Geiger and Metafile worked together to pinpoint the integration specifics, according to the news source. Moreover, each company worked closely together in order to streamline workflow and the integration components, while also ensuring that proper changes were made to improve overall efficiency.

Geiger is not alone in wanting to automate and streamline its AP process. Earlier this month, PYMNTS.com reported on DataServ being selected by a material handling equipment company to upgrade its AP system. DataServ’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) AP tools provided the organization with optical character recognition and automated workflow for non-purchase order (PO) invoices, along with AutoVouch, which assists in touchless invoice processing for invoices generated through a PO.

DataServe also discussed the importance of the relationship working both ways.

“At DataServ we try to align ourselves with companies that have an extensive history of excellence, and our newest client certainly fits that description,” DataServ Founder and CEO Jeff Haller said in a statement. “We are happy to provide our expertise and solutions to such a highly regarded organization.”

Essentially, if an organization wants to make its AP process more efficient, it’s necessary to look at the business as a whole and find a firm that is willing to work together to find the best option.

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Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. In the December 2019 Mobile Card App Adoption Study, PYMNTS surveyed 2,000 U.S. consumers for a reveal of the four most compelling features apps must have to engage users and drive greater adoption.

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