Streamlining The Accounts Payable Conversation

In B2B, cross-border is the lingua franca of the supply chain. But far-flung operations mean far-flung ways of presenting data and getting paid — which needs to be standardized, according to Tim Nissen, marketing manager of IntelliChief.

Ours is an increasingly globalized world, with companies creating and widening supply chains and customer reach into far-flung territories. Along the way, complexity arises, with the very lifeblood of organizations — that would be information — ensnared by the lack of smooth data flow, interpretation and processes.

To that end, IntelliChief, which provides document management and workflow management software solutions, said it has now added configurable index panels into its ECM platform, which means that the company has extended its accounts payable features to embrace non-purchase order invoices, building on top of previous automation efforts tied to purchase orders.

The ultimate result, the firm has said, is one where the data keying, manually, is eliminated, as data capture and dissemination is automated, with attendant details of vendors and transactions.

In an interview, Tim Nissen, marketing manager for IntelliChief, said that the impetus for expanding the offering beyond purchase orders came as IntelliChief found with clients that non-purchase orders “came in a lot of different formats, handed off to different departments, and that it was hard to get the full picture” of the information being conveyed. Data points and invoices could be presented differently in graphical form or across different languages. The extension of the purchase order functionality, he said, to embrace non-purchase orders (where as much as 30–40 percent of transactions reside, for example, for manufacturers) made sense, with the same user interface that had been useful to, and gotten used to by, existing users across review and approval functions as activity is conducted between vendors and customers.

“The driver here is the international enterprise,” he said, with offices that function “like a local business” and with non-purchase orders that exist in a myriad of ways locally. The information that is fed back to the larger corporate entity must be timely, he said, with audits growing in incidence. Fishing around in drawers for files, especially for operations that are quite some ways away, can be painful for both companies and auditors alike, said Nissen. Conversely, through a standardized platform, such as IntelliChief, a single individual can access documents that can extend to any part of that organization.