This week, we’re looking at how some very successful companies have achieved a competitive advantage by using AP automation. The first case we looked at was that of The Wilton Companies, which saved more than $72,000 a year. Then we looked at a case from Humphrey Management, which also saved more than $70,000 annually.
Now, we’ll look at a case from Community Trust Bank. Like the aforementioned companies, Community Trust Bank was going through a period of rapid growth, having expanded to 30 banking centers across the south. And as they grew, the inefficiencies inherent in their manual AP process became all the more glaring.
Their manual AP process looked like this: they would fill out a check request, scan in the invoice, send the check request and the invoice to the AP department, and then enter the data for a second time into their FISERV Prologue™ AP system. As if that wasn’t cumbersome and time-consuming enough, anyone who wanted to research copies of these invoices had to contact the AP team, since most approvers lacked access to their own invoices.
This demanded not only a considerable amount of time, but also money. The cost of all that paper, postage and the payroll was adding up. Stacey Watson, the bank’s controller, began to investigate AP automation solutions. And the more she researched, the more she realized how imperative it was to keep their existing accounting system.
“We didn’t want to go through the headache of changing our accounts payable system, we just wanted to get rid of the paper,” Watson said.
She decided AvidXchange offered the perfect solution, and her management team agreed. AvidXchange integrated with their FISERV Prologue accounting system, eliminated the need for paper invoices and could scale to accommodate the company’s growth as they expanded. Fewer than 45 days later, the company implemented AvidInvoice and completely eliminated their paper invoices.
In addition to getting rid of the paper, automating enabled Community Trust Bank to have complete visibility into the status and location of their invoices at any time.
No longer must their AP team spend hours entering data from invoices painstakingly into FISERV Prologue.
“Our carpel tunnel syndrome is gone!” said Watson, laughing. “Thanks to AvidXchange our AP team no longer functions as keypunch operators, but rather as a team that is able to perform more analytical functions, which is a much better use of their time and talents!”
So what did the AP team do with all of this new time? They didn’t sit around twiddling the thumbs that once punched keys. Instead, they reallocated their time to more valuable responsibilities within the bank, such as researching new financial regulations and account reconciliation.
Through AP automation, Community Trust Bank not only saved time and money – they actually transformed their AP staff into a team that was able to pursue higher-level, more financially lucrative tasks.