A number of small and medium-sized companies use manual processes as a cost effective alternative to purchasing an expensive ERP.As companies grow, we often see constrained resources becoming overwhelmed because these manual processes are simply not built for scale.
Even during periods of rapid growth, these companies remain reluctant to commit to a fully integrated ERP system – due to either fear of change, the age old problem of resource constraints, or their desire to pursue a “best of breed” strategy (i.e., selecting different platforms for specific areas). Despite their best intentions, these companies are left lacking the benefits that come with automation.Automated invoice processing has proven to be a great solution and an easy win for this dilemma. These tools save time and make managing payments of invoices traceable, less expensive and more accurate than trying to sustain a manual process.
A common scenario we encounter involves cumbersome invoice approval processes where email chains and attached documents are emailed to internal approvers.As one can imagine, emails get lost, people are out of the office, and not everyone is great at managing their inbox.Operating efficiency can really suffer.Which step did the process break down?Whose inbox is the invoice in? Has the vendor been paid?
Client challenges are solved with integrated workflow processes, approval requests, full tracking capabilities, duration monitoring, system notifications/reminders and escalation reporting.Systems that also focus on supporting an “on-the-go” workforce with a mobile application enable remote approvals and the ability to temporarily delegate approval to another manager.Rapidly growing companies tend to be the most “on-the-go”, so this feature has proven to be critical in fast-paced companies.
Left to their own devices with designing a new process, companies can find themselves in a state of paralysis, lost as to where to begin.Concur Invoice offers all of the benefits of an automated invoice processing system, with an off-the-shelf foundational infrastructure, enabling a best-practice approach, to assure that critical controls are present, approvals are obtained, vendor terms are followed, and cash flow is optimally managed.
Product features of Concur Invoice that we have found most beneficial to growing companies include:
Purchase Requisition enables the easy creation of a purchase request (PR) which can be automatically routed for approval to ensure spending is approved before it’s spent and helps accurately forecast budgets.
Flexible Invoice Capture Options allow invoice data to be added automatically with optical character recognition (OCR) technology, so your staff simply has to verify the results.Growing companies looking to optimize their resources can even choose to outsource this work to Concur and they’ll handle the sorting, scanning and verification of invoice data and add the payment request to your normal workflow.
PO Matching automatically matches purchase orders (PO) to the appropriate invoice and then routes them for approval so you can reduce payment errors and make sure you’re getting exactly what you pay for.
Invoice Pay allows you to set and make automated vendor payments by ACH, check or credit card so you can pay your vendors on your schedule, take advantage of early payment discounts and maximize your cash flow. Concur’s Payment Request Accounting Extract (PRAE) produces an AP voucher file that can also be fed to a company’s existing AP program or to Invoice Pay.
Reporting tools provide availability to a wide variety of reports and metrics so you gain complete visibility into how your company is planning to spend and where they've already spent, so you can take informed action and better manage your supplier spend.
At the end of the day, knowing exactly where your money is being spent leverages your buying power with better terms and volume discounts.Efficient invoice approvals and reporting also help control spending and maintain overall control and processes, with a growing workforce.Addressing these issues now establishes fiscally responsible and reassuring habits as your business advances to the next level.