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NAI Earle Furman Shaves 4+ Days Off AP Processing Each Week 

March 4, 2024

NAI Earle Furman

“Everything we need is right there at our fingertips. In addition to cost benefits, AvidXchange eliminates the paper chase, which is beneficial to our organization.”

Real Estate broker speaking with a young couple.

NAI Earle Furman

NAI Earle Furman is a commercial real estate brokerage and property management firm based in Greenville, South Carolina. With 30+ years in business and multiple regional offices in Upstate South Carolina and North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad, the company’s mission is to deliver high-quality support, collaboration and innovation to clients. As a member of the NAI Global Network, the company partners with other top brokerages to serve customers around the world. 

Robbie Smith is the property management controller at NAI Earle Furman. She oversees the accounting department for property management, supervising a team of seven property accountants.

• Industry: Real Estate
• Accounting System: MRI
• Customer Since: 2020


Manual Processes Result in Wasted Time When Locating Files and Circulating Invoice Approvals

As NAI Earle Furman grew, acquiring more property management clients, the number of invoices and payments Smith and her team handled also expanded. Smith started to notice inefficiencies within the department, especially surrounding the amount of time it took to locate and research specific invoices.  

“You’re spinning your wheels when you have to find something that wasn’t filed in the right folder. Or maybe you have to go through boxes in storage and you still don’t find the backup,” she said. “Time management was the biggest challenge and frustration.”  

When it came to the invoice approval workflow, Smith and her team would print out invoices and create books for each property manager to review, assign to the proper account code and approve with a signature. That book would then go back to the AP team, who would manually code the invoices into their MRI accounting software, cut the checks and complete the PO matching process.  

With staff working across multiple locations, the invoice approval process was inefficient and confusing. Smith said it was difficult to make sure the right approvers authorized invoices promptly to ensure suppliers were paid on time, especially on large projects like major property renovations. 

Automated Invoice Processing and Payments Deliver Efficiency

As the business continued to grow its portfolio, Smith knew it was time to update her team’s AP process with modern technology. NAI Earle Furman chose to automate its invoice and payment processes with AvidXchange and MRI Vendor Pay.

For payment processing, the company chose MRI Vendor Pay powered by AvidXchange over other payment solutions because of the embedded integration that AvidXchange provides within the MRI accounting system. In addition, NAI Earle Furman found that many other members of the NAI Global Network had experienced success with this joint solution.   

Now, invoices are uploaded to the system automatically. Invoices circulate through the approval workflow digitally. PO matching is automated. And NAI Earle Furman’s accounting system – including the general ledger, check register and vendor modules – are automatically updated with invoice and payment information since AvidXchange’s AP automation solution exists within the MRI platform.  

Automation Eases a Growing Workload and Simplifies Collaboration Across Locations

Since automating its invoice and payment processes with AvidXchange and MRI Vendor Pay, Smith’s team has been more productive. Despite the company’s growth, the team has not had to hire more accountants to handle the increased workload. AP automation frees up time so they can focus more on strategic work and less on hunting down files.  

Smith can spend more time on her job responsibilities outside of AP, including more strategic projects, now that the company’s invoice and payment processes are streamlined. “The headaches are gone,” she said. “I don’t have to worry about payables as much because the new process is seamless.”  

The team at NAI Earle Furman has also experienced better collaboration across regional locations. Property managers can scan invoices into the system instead of having to mail them via USPS to the company’s headquarters. The days of approving invoices by signing a book are also over, saving the team the trouble of printing and tracking documents and approvals across locations.   

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