Okay, I admit it. I was one of the guilty ones, the employee that finance rolls their eyes at....putting things that should go on an invoice onto my expenses....letting invoices get lost in the paperwork pile on my desk and only passing them onto finance when they are overdue ....sending duplicate copies of invoices to finance in the hopes one gets paid quickly....
For example, in a previous job I needed to order an internet connection for an upcoming conference. I’d only just received information about the supplier and costs, and it was a couple of weeks before the show. I just didn’t have confidence in the invoicing process, or that my payment would reach the supplier in time, and I couldn’t run the risk of turning up at the event and having no internet connection, so I contacted the vendor and got them to charge my corporate credit card and then added that charge to my next expenses claim.
People like me are one of the so-called “gremlins” in a manual supplier invoice management process for just that reason. But there are other limiting factors, too – processes are frustrating for everyone involved. Suppliers are frustrated that they can’t find out when they will be paid, approvers are frustrated at the pile of paper on their desks and the finance team bear the brunt of the majority of this pain – they get the calls being chased by everyone, they run the risk of duplicate payments and don’t know enough to be able to predict cash flow clearly for the company.
And then there’s the “gremlin” of paper – every time you have a piece of paper somewhere floating around in a process, no one else in that process knows exactly where it is, causing confusion, additional work and time wastage. Paper also means the grip you have on cash flow is compromised – if you don’t know which invoices are out there because suppliers send them directly to the person who ordered, how do you know what to accrue for or what your outstanding liabilities might be?
The good news is that automating your supplier invoice process can make all of this a thing of the past. Yes – I’m reformed! Now I can clearly see where an invoice is in the process. It doesn’t get held up on my manager’s desk for approval as he has a mobile app to review and approve invoices, and I can easily ensure invoices go through the right process and are paid when I need them to be – even when it’s outside of normal payment terms. And because of the way Concur’s invoice solution is integrated with expenses, I see everything on one dashboard – my expenses and invoice details all in one view – so I can easily track where everything is in the process. Additionally now I am a manager, I can also review and approve for my team quickly and easily.
Take a look at our 2-minute cartoon video to find out what automation is all about or read this whitepaper to see if you can spot your supplier invoicing “gremlins” Supplier Invoice Inefficiency: The truth behind the AP process and how automation can fix it.