As companies progressively automate their AP processes, they begin to see notable benefits in terms of the time and money they save. This is because not only does automation antiquate the process of auditing invoices manually. It also improves data quality and accuracy through the reduction of human error, which is especially impactful for organizations that rely on spend data for strategic decision making.
In a recent webinar, Samantha Moran, Head of Customer Success at OpenEnvoy and Matt Cohen, VP of Finance at Bliss Point Media joined to explore the four necessary phases for a successful AP automation journey.
How has AP automation supported your company’s growth?
Matt Cohen: When I joined about four and a half years ago, we were looking at two to three hundred bills a month. As of last month, we had over three thousand, so as we’ve watched the growth of the company and the number of bills grow, it has been a natural progression to start looking for ways to not only decrease our time spent on processing bills, but also to increase the accuracy and turnaround time on these processes. We need to make sure that we have the resources to support the rest of our organization as it grows and ensure that vendors get paid on time.
Samantha Moran: Yes, I remember at the time when you first came to us, it aligned quite well with what we focus on with customers in terms of operational efficiency. Actually saving time for the team so they can focus on valuable, additive tasks rather than combing through all these builds and doing a lot of the grunt work.
Matt Cohen: Upon considering available options, there were definitely other payable solutions in the mix but none of them quite addressed the issues that we run into. All of our vendors are different, each doing things in their own unique way, and we needed a solution that was flexible. What we ended up coming to was a pretty unique mix of the technical side of things where there are human auditors involved in many steps of the process, as well as AI.
What was your strategic approach to choosing an AP automation solution?
Matt Cohen: This alludes to the growth of Bliss Point in general where if we’re not thinking 6 to 12 months ahead, we’re way behind. If you’re addressing problems as they come up, it causes immense amounts of friction with customers, vendors and employees. Every time there’s an ad hoc, one-off situation it creates friction and when there’s friction, there is opportunity for a mistake, especially in the accounting and finance space. Instead, let’s think about the problem, let’s investigate ways to solve it, decide on a path and move forward. It’s all about just having a cohesive process for everything, doing it consistently every single time.
What problems has AP automation technology addressed for Bliss Point Media and your AP team?
Matt Cohen: This was a really important part of selling the implementation. Human capital, and capital itself I suppose because we’re in the business of money. We did the math and if we let automation take over today, at a steady state we’re looking at saving seven to eight hundred employee hours a month saved. That is a lot of resources and a lot of capacity that is freed up to focus on our next problem at hand. I would say the ability to scale our operations while avoiding additional opportunities for error is what this comes down to and what matters most.
Samantha Moran: I think that really speaks to the organizational need for visibility, the need for audit, you know anytime you have variable costs or invoicing. It sounds so basic, but make sure that you’re paying for what you expected to pay. Small errors on a billion dollars of company spending become really big errors really fast.
What’s been the key to success in this process?
Matt Cohen: You are a good vendor if you are trying to solve somebody’s pain points, so a vendor who asks questions is already ahead of the curve. I would say a key to success is to choose a vendor who listens and works to solve your problem. This fosters the organizational commitment that we need to properly onboard a solution and be successful with it.
Connect with a vendor who listens and is committed to solving your biggest business problem by scheduling a demo with an OpenEnvoy expert today, visit https://openenvoy.com/contact-us/.