January 21, 2013 E-invoicing is Like Finding Money in the Cushions
Have you ever been moving around furniture or trying to find the remote between the cushions and found other, unexpected things?
Sometimes it is a pleasant surprise like a cell phone vibrating where no one could hear it, a missing wallet or enough change to buy a sundae. Other times the surprise is less inviting like an empty Doritos bag of your son’s, a school of fish (the crackers) or sandwich from the playground. Whether pleasant or not, I would say it is a good thing. You’ve ‘cleaned house’ and things are better.
Electronic invoicing has some of the same ‘cleaning house’ benefits which are good to help your department and company. I have had the benefit of being in the front row and participating with some of these benefits as customers have both prepared and gone live with their electronic invoicing initiatives. To highlight just a couple areas:
‘Actual’ workflow processing:
- Companies discover how invoices are ‘really’ processed and approved in their companies.
- Workflows that still show users approving invoices that no longer work at the company or have changed positions, or paper-based flows that don’t properly reflect company’s actual controls.
Vendor and/or Purchase Order information not as clean as you expected:
- 14 ACME Vendors with all the same information with invoices applied to multiple accounts
- Vendors who have not submitted invoices since Clinton was President
- Purchase Orders created after invoices are received
- Purchase Orders missing descriptions or assigned to old or incorrect vendors
Electronic invoicing helps companies identify areas that may be holding them back, causing delays, frustration or productivity issues, and provides tools to either eliminate, resolve or minimize these surprise discoveries.
Companies can now have better controls and simplification of what otherwise could be out of control or overly complex processes. Better, cleaner data means fewer calls from vendors regarding purchase order discrepancies or duplicate payments to the same vendor with multiple vendor numbers.
One of the things I enjoy most about working with various companies is helping them solve problems and discover better ways of doing things.
You too can find those hidden items in your cushions and with e-invoicing realize the extra benefits of a ‘cleaner’ and better running house.
Robert Ripley is Chief Operations Officer at iPayables with experience in management and IT consulting, IT Integration, business process design and AP Automation with Fortune 500 companies.