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How Intacct Users Can Regain Cash, Controls & Compliance with AP Automation

Webinar Transcription

Britney: I’m on the marketing team here at AvidXchange. Today’s webinar, we will cover how Intacct users can regain the three Cs with automation. Those three Cs include cash management, control over your payables, and compliance.

Mike: So Britney would you like me to introduce myself?

Britney: Yeah, please do.

Mike: Well, before we begin…

Britney: Very good.

Mike: That’s right, sorry. Britney and I have been working together for quite a while here. So I just was waiting giving her a moment of catch up. So before we begin, if you have any question during the webinar, I would love to hear from you. You notice on the right hand side or your left hand side depending where you put it, there’s a Got To Webinar panel. So there’s a chat box. So please at any point enter your questions. You know, we’d love to address them. We’ve got time at the end of this presentation. We scheduled about 45 minutes for Q&A session. So just type in your questions. We’ll ask at the end. We’ve got, actually, a quick survey that we’re going to run at the end of the process too to get some feedback and perhaps look at next steps for you.

But we also wanna note that after the presentation, this is being recorded, and so you can get my lovely voice. It’ll be sent out to you just for registering. So in case some of your colleagues or associates were unable to make it, they will receive a recording along with the content that’s being provided today. So we appreciate your time. My name is Mike Johnson, and I’ve been working with Avid for four years. When I say working with Avid, I started as a re-seller three years ago and had an opportunity to come on board. I’m a player coach here at AvidXchange. I manage a team. We primarily focus on Intacct as an accounting system that we engage.

I just returned via train from New York City from Intacct meet up. I would encourage any of you Intacct users who are on the phone or evaluating Intacct that these meet ups are fantastic events, get to meet some key Intacct people but more importantly, you get to meet other users you get to see a peek into what’s coming up as far as the releases. They have four releases every year. They give you a kind of a sneak preview of what’s coming up next. Also, as I mentioned, is a great networking opportunity. So in the room where people from financial tech, from non-profits, for-profit, manufacturing, lots of different walks of life. So it’s a great opportunity to meet people, to talk about some of their challenges in their business, and I strongly recommend it.

So why this says I’m an AP Automation Expert, because I had an opportunity a few years ago to run a business for five years for a brave gentleman and I say brave because I’m not a C.P.A. or an accountant. But he gave me the responsibly for Rec to check. So like you, I sat on your side of the desk and I had to work with my staff to get invoices in,d get them coded, proofed, put it in our accounting system, respond to vendor inquiries, manage audit’s, do all the reporting. So a great learning experience for me. I loved it. It was fantastic. It gives me a different perspective. When I speak with folks like you that I’ve been on your side and understand some of the challenges.

So I’m looking forward to our time today. As you know with every meeting, we need a good agenda. So we’ve done a quick round of introductions. We’re gonna talk about the future of AP. I wanna say the future of AP, I was just speaking with a friend of mine and said the future…when we think of future, we think of somewhere down the road. But the future is today because with technology that’s available to you in a financial realm, as far as you know accounting systems and solutions like these, these third party solutions that you can add on to your accounting system, it is today. It’s no longer a question of if you automate your AP process, it’s when you’ll automate your AP process. So I was just speaking with somebody just before I got on the webinar today, same thing. It’s a journey. You know, these things are great from an educational standpoint, for you as attendees to collect data, do your research, because without a doubt 90% of people I speak to don’t feel that their AP. process is broken.

Could be better? Yes. But it’s not broken. They get by month to month, quarter to quarter, year to year, so they’re thinking down the road, what’s gonna trigger that change that’s gonna happen in our organization. And it is it is a change. And we have to really look for a trigger. Something’s going on in your business or in your world that says now is a better time than any, but you have to have your research in advance of that so you know what’s out there, what’s available, what will fit your unique business requirements and accounting requirements for an AP solution. So we appreciate your time today.

So we’re gonna talk about the future. And we’re gonna talk about how to regain the 3 Cs. We’re gonna talk about AP automation for Intacct. We’re going to do a demo. So I’m actually gonna show you our portal, our technology, how we do what we do for our customers and the problems that we solve. We’re gonna run that audience poll at the end and then we’re gonna have just a Q&A. So as I mentioned, as we go forward, if you have any questions, type them in the chat box. Britney is gonna be monitoring that, and we’ll be sure to address them note when we end. So let’s start.

So let’s take a look at the current state. Many of you…where many of you are today, you know, it’s not so much of a time waste but it takes a lot of time in the manual process. You know, routing, you know, finding invoices, tracking them, limited control and visibility. It’s not inherent in paper because once it goes out you’ve got duplicates floating around. You’ve got to make sure that they come back in from the different department heads, the different business leaders who are approving the invoices. There’s difficulty in relocating and the inability to find documents that challenge you with audits. I know that when I would cause calls for my vendors periodically, you know, asking, “Hey, thanks for the check. What invoices did you pay?” Finding that information was kind of a crapshoot. You know, I would have to go to the staff then go to the filing cabinets and help people put it in the right place. So it was very helpful in that. Also impacted our audits.

So when the auditor comes in, well, everybody has been on the phone listening, probably has had this experience where they occupy your conference room and they’re asking you for stuff and everybody’s a little bit nervous. You know, what’s that guy doing or a woman doing behind those closed doors?

It’s all about paper and being able to control that. So there’s obviously the risk of errors when it gets to the fact that people are doing data entry and accounting into your Intacct system and keying it in. None of us are perfect. And we’ve got so many things and so many balls we’re juggling in a day to day basis and sometimes we make mistakes. So once it’s in your accounting system, we all know by experience that it’s not easy to fix. So there’s lots of challenges prior to automation. So let’s take a look at the future state, which is really today. And what I mean by today, our company is based out of Charlotte, North Carolina. We’ve been around since 2,000. We have over 6,000 customers. We’ve been automating the AP process for going on 17 years.

So the future is today. Technology, the cost of this kind of technology has come down rapidly over the last several years. There’s a higher degree of confidence in the workplace to go with the SaaS solution. You guys went with Intacct. We like Intacct or software as a service. So there’s no hardware, software you need to buy. It’s a simple subscription model. You pay for what you process through our system, and we’ll talk about exactly what that could be. But it’s really streamlining your process and the approvals. Once it’s in electronic format, you can see it. You know where it is. It’s date and time stamps. There’s no more hiding. You have insight in the critical AP Data because you can run ad hoc reports.

You can see where you are from invoices, approvals, who’s approved them, what’s pending, what’s being disputed. You could run reports on, you know, seeing how long it took through to get through your process, you know, up to date reporting. We have over 100 canned reports that come out of our system, but we also have ad hoc reporting that gives you very powerful reporting tool, a functionality that lets you to drill down into your AP process so you can manage your cash better, and lots of fraud protection.

Because I have a buddy who’s down in Connecticut, runs a distributorship. Many years ago, he called me in because he’d found through an audit, because his book keepers, trusted bookkeeper, had taken a vacation and somebody who came in to help as a temp said there’s something weird here. And found out that he was being frauded [SP] by his trusted bookkeeper in excess of $150,000 over a period of several years. So fraud protection, once it’s electronic, once it’s digital, it’s in a system, you can see it. There’s no more hiding. So it gives you that increased visibility and control into the process.

So let’s take a look at what is AP Automation? Let’s illustrate. So when we talk about current state versus desire state, this is like the before snapshot of what it looks like. And most people’s, most businesses I speak to when we talk about what do you? How do you do it? You know, how often? What’s the challenges that you have? How does an invoice come in? Who’s opening the mail? Is it e-mail? Is it mail? Is it just somebody opening an e-mail, downloading an e-mail, printing an e-mail? Are there P.O.’s involved in your process? How do you route those out? Do you send an e-mail? Do you use a sneakernet process or do you, you know, have to go in an office so you mail it out?

Some of my customers have actually confessed to they using costly overnight Fedex or U.P.S. to get invoices out to regional offices for approval. Who’s doing the coding? You know, how is the approval done? Is it a stamp? Is it a mark? Is it an email as an attachment? Lots of variables here that can slow the process down because you need to check and balance. So when it comes back you know who’s getting it into your Intacct accounting system? How are they doing that? And do you have staff that are sitting there physically taking an invoice, doing the data entry, keying it into intact?

And then once it’s in your accounting system, how do you go about the process of paying your vendors? “Hey we’ve got a fully coded approved invoices, I don’t know, let’s pay some vendors.” You know, what’s that look like to you in your world? Is it on a weekly basis, bi-weekly? What processes are you using to pay your vendors? Are you using check? And as recent studies, as of last year, indicate that still a predominant abundance of B2B payments here in the U.S. are at least done by physical paper.

And that’s not only because you’re doing it but because many of you vendors have that requirement. They still need a check. Are you using a corporate credit card, using the bank a ACH. So there’s lots of different ways to kind of skin the proverbial cat here when it comes to payment processing. And then once that’s all done, how are you filing that data? You know, is it in a vendor file, in a filing cabinet? Is that filing cabinet in the same floors? Is it in the basement, in the attic, is it off site? How do you access that information now once it’s been stored for you? So research is really a mobile phenomenon…a manual phenomenon and it takes up enormous amounts of time.

So after automation, and it’s typically what our clients have experience over the last 15 years, everything you see here with our logo above it is replaced by software and services because we’re a SaaS model. So, you know, simply put no more receiving of the invoices. We can collaborate with your vendors two weeks before you go live to capture that invoice the way they want to send it, whether it’s via the post office, or e-mail. I know probably most of you on the phone are confessing, thinking about it. Now your vendors are filing…or had the epiphany and said, “Why don’t I just email it? I don’t have to put it in an envelope put a stamp on it and send it out, wait a few days. I can email it and ask you where my money is the next day?” So, you know, who somebody is opening the mail or downloading an e-mail, so that’s all removed, no more attaching or connecting P.O’s to invoices, no more routing, you know, routing of mail. It’s all automated workflows.

You’re in charge of coding and approving. It is your system. You’re gonna know better than any. We do bring some intelligence to the coding process. That helps save time. And from a data entry into the Intacct system, no more keying, no more entering the invoices in. They’re in there. We integrate it with your Intacct system. So once it’s in your accounting system, you make a decision to pay your vendors. And we’ve been helping our clients over the last six years to facilitate payments to their vendors the way they wanna be paid.

And that’s a key word. They’re key sentence and positioning of how we help solve this problem is that your vendors have different requirements for payments as I mentioned earlier. Some will want a check, some can receive electronic forms of payment, and we offer options to your vendors. And because it’s started electronically, it’s stored electronically. So we support the mobile phenomenon.

So research becomes a 24/7 activity. Anytime you have questions, you can log in and see what you need to see in regards to your AP process. One of my customers are saying that this is saving him enormous amounts of time, somewhere in excess of 60% of their time now is reallocated to other more meaningful or strategic tasks within finance such as reporting, capturing early pay, discounts. And that’s where we talk about how to regain the three Cs, you know, cash management, control over your payables, and compliance are three things that we often hear when finance folks are looking at the solutions because this is maybe where they’re at risk or where they’ve had an impact on their business.

Cash management, what’s the cost of doing business? In a paper world, it’s high, because physically there is a cost for managing an invoice and also processing payments. So you can reduce that by automating, and in estimates and according to research, about 60% or more as far as the savings to you.

Now let’s take a look at some of the statistics we see out there often in the world. We’re looking at PayStream Advisors, Aberdeen Research. These are credible research groups that publish and talk to your colleagues and people in the finance world. What they found is that the average cost on a manual process for handling an invoice is up to $9. It can be higher by the way, depending on where you are, geographically speaking, because your rent could be higher. Because we’re factoring, time, labor, materials cost. And then producing a paper check payment could be as high as $17 and 15 cents or even higher than that.

So you’re looking at a cost from an invoice all the way through payments about $16 per document to manage that process. When you’re looking at automating that, you can see significant ROI because we’re talking about the automated invoices can be as low as $1.50 per invoice and the automation of the check payment or payment could be around 68 cents. So $2 and 18 cents versus $16 and 15 cents, somewhat of a compelling ROI here for folks that are into the numbers and figuring out what their savings are going to be.

The trick here is that more often than not, particularly in our business, we’re speaking small to mid-size companies, it’s not about a reduction of headcount, it’s more about repurposing of staff, taking advantage of their talents in finance and accounting as opposed to keeping them involved in some of these manual more paper based processes. So that’s really the ROIs. What are you gonna do with that extra time? So, you know, when we’re looking at manual labor, there’s a cost associated to that. I got some great stories about people and data errors. Also and, you know, chipping and receiving documents and invoices, just getting them through your process, getting them out. So typical labor costs are somewhere excess of 62% of the total AP cost based on the study that’s published below in June of 2015. So there is a cost to it.

So you can really save some money when you’re looking at you know improving your AP process. As I mentioned, the 60% reduction in processing costs when you automate, you can, you can work on things like, you know, late payment fees can also be avoided thanks to reduced routing and approval times. When I ran my business, we would negotiate contracts with vendors for better discounts. Everybody’s got those. You know, hey, net 10%, 1%, one and a half percent, half a percent. Why vendors do that sometimes and say, no, it’s kind of like going to Vegas. They know that they can roll the dice and often because our manual process takes so long that we’re never going to be able to capture that early pay discounted if we’re not really disciplined about it.

So when you look at the average industry, time for routing and approval is somewhere around 28 days. In an automated process, you’re shortening that cycle to two to three days. That’s incredible when you think in terms of, “hey, I’ve got eyes on it quicker. I know where it is. I know who has it. I can automate the system to rank people that are laggards in my company to approve invoices by having the system poke them and remind them. So I can save on enormous amounts of time.”

So let’s talk about control. So you wanna gain control of your process. And we’re all about this. We’ve been about it for the last 20 years. Who hasn’t heard this? We’re doing more with less business, that means less people are doing more things. So we can add additional staff to AP, I mean, for growing our business because here in the U.S. if we’re not growing, we’re in trouble, right?

So we’re looking to grow our business. We’re looking to scale. And it’s hard to go back to the CEO, the executives in the company, say, “hey, I need, you know, a couple more AP. people.” And they’re going to say, “What are those people doing?” “Well they’re handling paper,” there’s gotta be a better way. And so there’s lots of things that are going on in the the business world that are really helping when you look at technology gain better control. So automation is really built for that kind of scalability. “Hey, I want to grow my business but I don’t wanna add people and positions and roles that aren’t really going to help, strategically, enable me to reach my goals.”

So when you’re looking at, you know, cloud-based technologies, so you don’t need any IT experts. There’s nothing being hosted and there’s nothing being stored on premise, there’s no scanners, no software, things of that nature, you know, that’s going to be part of your server. So your IT people aren’t gonna have to become that involved. And as I mentioned earlier, there’s no expensive hardware that’s needed. So it’s a cloud based solutions subscription model. You don’t have to have equipment and hardware. And we support that mobile invoice and payment approvals. So we’re built for mobile. And don’t need a specific mobile app that you need to download for your from the iTunes or Android store, so you can you can get access to critical AP data via your phone and connect anywhere as long as you have Internet access.

Hey, I was on the train coming back from New York and as I mentioned, I’m in the portal. So I’ve got a lot of colleagues who, you know, are setting up invoices for demos and I get the, “Hey you got invoices waiting for approval,” coming through all the time. And it’s scalable. You know, kind of the rule of thumb is that you can do three times as many invoices without adding people to the process. We’ve done some studies over the last 15 years, 16 years which indicate one full time person on a monthly basis can process, in a 40-hour work week, 1,500 invoices. Now if you apply technology to that, it’s three times as much. So it’s 4500 invoices or higher that could be going through your company without adding additional people to that process. So very scalable. Helps you grow your business.

So here’s a real life example. The Humphrey Management company has been a client of ours for many, many years. And what they did was there’s some annual savings here around $70,000 in labor costs when you look at that $16 versus the $2.18. It’s dramatic cost savings for them. So they could… You know, one of things I would also suggest is on our website at www.Avidxchange.com. We have a little ROI calculator, which kind of simply says, “Hey, how many people? How many invoices? How many checks?” We’ll give you a quick rough estimate on ROI back on what your labor costs and time savings could be in a monthly basis based on your volumes. So before automation, they really could process, manually process, over 4500 paper invoices a month for 70 locations in 6 different companies. So they were really able to scale their business by applying technology as opposed to hiring the additional people.

So comply. Increase tax compliance and fraud protection. It’s a biggie here in the U.S. Just Google “fraud.” There are some great stories out there, some very creative people when it comes to fraud, creating dummy invoices, putting into the system. One of my favorites is a company out of Texas, a gentleman at Texas that figured out he could just send the letter to a busy AP team just saying hey we updated or changed our banking relationship. Here’s the new bank account. And somebody who was very busy because they were dealing with paper said, “Oh, we just updated it.” And they started depositing money in his own personal bank account. I think it was excess of $3 million that he had socked away until the vendor finally calls and says, “Hey, you’re not paying your bills.” And they did some research and they found out, what was really happening.

So, you know, the increased fraud protection is a huge opportunity here when you’re looking at technology, because electronic invoice and image make documents easier to access and search in one location. So you know where it is, you know how it is. It’s not lost in a file somewhere sitting on someone’s desk or in a box after an audit. You could set permissions. So, you know, giving people access to your to your AP information is based on your preferences. You grant visibility. You grant access. You give them permission to do certain things within your portal, so that gives you better control. And, you know, you’re sending payments while ensuring you have full approval process or approval controls in your AP world.

And provide multiple payment options. So that’s a critical one to meet the needs of vendors who are out there saying, “Hey, if you only could or can you pay me this way to help meet my needs?” So there’s lots of different options out there. And, you know, one of the things that we’re seeing is, you know, paper checks. You know, some of you probably are hearing this from your bank regarding positive pay. You know, “Hey can we set up positive pay with our bank?” Anybody who’s done that knows that it takes some time to build a file format and if you’re dealing with multiple banks, multiple banks have different types of formats. So somebody’s creating that report for the bank.

So lots of different you know controlling issues of taking place in business, you know, reconciliation, payment status, missing payments, all very important part of running the AP team and the finance department. You know, fraud happens. You know, how does it happen? You know 48% of payment fraud can be tracked back to paper checks. And as I mentioned, we facilitate payments on behalf of our customers for their vendors and we often find, no we don’t often find, but we did find a couple years ago where people were trying to watch signature lines of paper check.

So it’s a paper document. It can be, you know, look at color copiers these days. People get very creative with checks. So when I send paper, it’s not secure. You know, if somebody has got it, somebody can fix it up, can fraud the documents itself. So it’s a manual process that requires a lot of a lot of checks and balances. You know, so you’ve got…by the time you find out that you’ve got a problem, it’s already too late. You know, anybody that’s in fraud they can, you know, volunteer here and say, “Hey, it’s great I caught it, but it would have been better if it didn’t ever happen.”

So how do we look at that? Some real life examples of, you know, fraudulent activity, counter checks are being drawn complete from clients support signatures. Companies realize the counterfeiters have successfully cashed nine checks totaling $15,000. So this is a real life example. There’s a company up here in New Hampshire that had a bookkeeper that was doing this by creating dummy invoices and then paying herself and depositing checks in different bank accounts.

So again, you know, it can happen to anyone and so that’s why there’s a huge move, I think, within the finance world that what we’re seeing is a real call out from folks that are engaging us in conversation, exploring options is that, “Hey, electronic payments offer me a better controls, tighter controls around this process than processing checks on a weekly or monthly basis.” So what this quote is, the signatures are forged on the checks. In some cases, it looked exactly like his signature, and they’d obviously see my signature. In other cases, it didn’t look anything like mine. So how many times do busy bank tellers made that error on a check?

So how automation prevents fraud? You know, really enforce strict adherence to your business rules and process. So the opportunities to commit B2B fraud are really minimized or eliminated completely because you can see the entire life-cycle of the invoice all the way through the approval process and all the way through payments. Now, every invoice is scrutinized before it’s entered into Intacct, that’s that control point. In our customer’s world when they’re automating their AP process through us, what happens is that the invoice comes back to AP for one final review. That gives them the additional assurance and comfort that before it goes into their Intacct system, that they’ve done their check and balance. Because as I mentioned earlier, it’s nothing worse than getting something and you need to fix it in your accounting system.

And so, every payment that we process on behalf of our customers to the vendors has positive pay 100% fraud control. So we can make sure that no fraud can happen. So we’ve set up a system here that’s bulletproof, that helps our customers achieve their goals of saving time, saving money, controlling, increasing controls, and visibility in the process. So the way we add to Intacct, we have the ability to receive about 100% of your…to receive all of your invoices electronically. And we’ll talk a little bit about how it gets into our system and how the workflows work and are applied.

So we can facilitate 100% data capture with 99% accuracy guaranteed. Anybody who’s been in the scanning world or documents world knows that paper invoices are slightly different than insurance documents. They trip some errors. So we give you 90% accuracy, 99% accuracy on presenting your invoices back to you for your workflow and approval. Enhanced controls over passing AP data and detect but no manual data entry. This is a time saving. And then facilitation of 100% of your payments regardless of the vendor or their preferred payment method, which we talk about in terms of, you know, being able to comply with them and help them with paper checks because they still will need that, along with offering them forms of electronic payment which will help solve the problem for them and that’s their cash flow, getting their funds earlier and sooner.

So where does it all begin? It really begins in capturing that invoice. So, in our world, we typically, two weeks before we go to live, we collaborate with your vendors saying, “Hey, we’ve automated our AP process. If you’re gonna email our invoices, it’s gonna be to our unique company e-mail address at Avid. If you’re going to mail them, we have a new P.O. Box. We have data processing centers here up on the East and West coast. So we cover the country.” And perhaps if you’re going to work with the use scan phenomenon, which is simply put somebody walks in the door today and says, “Hey, Mike, I bought something. Here’s the invoice. How do I get it into my, my automated system?” Simply on any flatbed scanner, on a copier, or a printer, just put it on, create a PDF and drop it in. But we can also help support vendor portals, electronic data interchange, and also APIs that are being built out there to connect vendors with you, to get your invoices.

We receive that invoice, and if it’s the mail, we open it up, we scan it. We extract the header line detail, do a quick check and balance on an analyze because we can very familiar with your vendors, some of their uniqueness about them. And then we launch this to you. So this is really an opportunity to see what happens. So typically, what we set up with our clients is the people in the know that are in the approval process receive an e-mail saying they’ve got invoices waiting for them. They could simply log into their Portal. And we’ll build your portal in 45 days or less. And we brand it for you.

So, I’m gonna log in Maria Cannon, in this role, is the AP person in my company. She’s the one that receives the invoices, opens the mail, checks them off make sure that we’ve got the invoices. And so she’s logging in based on her role and her permission. She’s gonna see what I want her to see and be able to do what I want her to do. So we can lock down that and tighten that control and visibility for Maria’s, her role within the organization. So she’s saying this is her work queue. It’s saying she’s got 12 invoices waiting for her. She can scroll through them. She can reconfigure this layout to her heart’s content. Maybe she wants the cost of the invoice next to the invoice number. And then she can simply scroll through here, click on an invoice. This is her first view of the electronic paper. So whether it’s 1 or 100 pages, you can simply scroll through the invoice. It is a PDF. So if she really does need a piece of paper, she can download it or print it.

During the capture process, we’re looking to verify the header line detail which is really this information, the invoice number, the amount, the due dates etc. that are posted. Building the portal, we load in all our clients vendor information. We make the associations between them and entities. So the entities could be the other locations, other departments. If there was a purchase order, you could see it here via a hyperlink referencing the P.O. that maybe you’re creating in Intacct, so you could reference it during the approval process and say, “Hey, here’s our purchase order versus our P.O.”

And then we have the ability to help them with the distributions. So, at this level, what we’re looking at is building our mirroring to your current process, so things that you’re looking to track are pulled from the invoice. You can see up here we’ve got entity codes, accounting codes. Some of you on the phone say, “Well, that doesn’t apply to me.” Well during implementation, we’re gonna ask you what we’re looking for. So we build that. You know, many of you and the Intacct world are looking at dimensions when you’re looking at your bills. So we have the ability to put that here at this level, so you can do distributions which is simply saying, “Hey this invoice is gonna be shared across many dimensions, many entities, many locations, many departments.”

We have four ways to code, or help code. One is obviously the manual process you can code. But we do like, with vendors, we load in all your chart of accounts so I can start typing in. An also a description for the code and follow up all the different codes associated to it. I can do a distribution by dollar or percentage amount. So I’m going to do a 50/50 here just to show you. You can see the remaining balance, how it accrued up. Other forms or ways that will help code, we have auto-coding or smart coding. These are functions that you can turn on or off. One of my Intacct customers who is speaking next month, do you know Joy of Legendary Entertainment is raving about this functionality because it’s saving the staff about 30% of their time. Because invoices show up, they’re already coded. Why do we have to code them? But here’s the chance, you always have the option of overriding it.

The other is smart coding. And smart coding is if you haven’t turned on season. You know, hey, I’ve coded it three ways. It must be a recurring invoice that has recurring coding, so why not code it for you. And the fourth way is if you’ve got really some complex coding where you’ve got distributions going out 25 times or more. You can build that distribution within your accounting system, Intacct, enforce those codes and the invoice will be distributed for you.

At this level, you can attach things to the invoice. This could be anything. It could be a document, could be a PDF, could be a picture, or it could be a price sheet. One of my clients use a controller. And I asked her. I said, “Amanda, what do you do here?” And she said she really saves the email string, the conversation that she’s had with a vendor, so when she’s at the approval level, she knows exactly what they talked about, the pricing, the commitments, all that conversation is right in front of her.

You can comment. You have the ability to collaborate internally and externally. We don’t restrict the access. Again it’s your portal. You’re controlling who has access. So often our customers will use this function to communicate back to a vendor. “Hey, I need a credit.” Or internally, “I don’t wanna approve this invoice,” or, “Give me a call.” All this becomes part of the audit trail, which is really this history tab.

At the history level, you can see everything that’s happened with this invoice from the day it came in to who touched it, to any kind of comments that were created here. So you can see all this. This becomes part of the rich audit trail, which I can simply, at any point, I can run an ad hoc report. Let me just run an ad hoc report to show you. So it’s month-end, quarter-end. I’m looking to see what’s out there from invoices to I can do a search on invoice number. I can do a status search on approved disputed pending. So I’m getting ready to close the month and I wanna know where my invoices are. I can search by Vendor. I can search by entity. These could be other departments or locations that I set up. Or I can do just a simple date range. So I’m gonna search on, you know, February to today, see what’s in our portal. These are our sales demo portal, so not a lot. And there’s seven invoices.

Let me generate a quick report. You can export it to a CSV or have us do it. So I wanna include the image. I wanna include the summary, the header detail, the payment detail, the history. All that becomes part of the audit trail. So in less than 15 seconds, we’ll go out and pull up this report. So it’s 43 pages of listing all the invoices in this date range. The header just…header line detail, you know, the all-important coding section here, how it was coded, and then that rich history audit trail which is when did this come in, how long did it take to run through my system, who touched it, what they did with it, what kind of comments?

So you can see our system does a date and time stamp. That’s important because it lets you know how long it’s been out there and who’s holding on to it. So at any moment, you have that visibility that I reference all the time to be able go back and say, “Hey, Bob Smith has been holding this invoice. I can actually set up the system to give him a reminder so I don’t have to. I don’t have to call him, or email him, or remind him. I can put him on a timer that after 24 hours, if he hasn’t approved this invoice, he’s going to get an alert saying, “Hey, Bob, you’ve still got invoices to approve.” So that’ll take care of it.

And then if there was any payment information here, this invoice is still pending, hasn’t been approved, you would see the payment detail here. How it was paid, when it was paid. We even supply check images if we’re processing paper checks out to your vendors. And then we have the image of the invoice. So this is 43 pages of financial data that was pulled off the system in very quick order. One of the things I wanna show you is the workflow. This is very important according to our customers because this helps automate this process. This isn’t me having to call out or remind somebody or send an email out saying, “Hey, can you approve this invoice?” The system can be set up. It’s sequential, so step one, step two, step three, step four. This is a four-step workflow process. You can have many more steps involved in this or many less depending on your organization. So this can scale or meet any complexity you have round workflows and approval processes.

So you can see step one the invoice comes in. Somebody’s reviewing coding and approving. That’s the rule that governs that person, Bob Smith. Because he completed it when Bob hit the approved button up here. It was automatically routed out to the next person or people. In this case you see multiple Marie Cannons. These are other my sales colleagues who have assumed roles in the demo. So they’re getting notices as I referenced before. Just coming back on the train, I was getting these alerts. I’ve got invoices waiting for me. I can review and code them, or review and approve them at the next step once we approved this level because if it’s pending, it would be routed out to Jim Smith.

But there’s a criteria here, a qualification. Jim Smith want’s the invoices under $5,000. This is $1,004 and 50 cents. So he’s not gonna receive an email alert. And then once it’s off, complete it’s process, it’s routed back to AP for final review. So what you’re seeing here is Gary and Page are at their last stages. They’re doing that review and ready for Intacct. So then we integrate. We pass the fully coded and approved invoice information into invoice, or Bill information invoice, into Intacct along with the image of the invoice. So happy to show you that’s at some point. If you’re interested, just let us know.

So lots of functionality here. I can sign ad hoc approver. This is somebody that there’s a change here, or somebody needed on vacation, somebody’s left the organization or something about this invoice. I want to get another approved review so I can simply assign an ad hoc approver, pull down my directory, type in a name, included in a note and they’ll receive an email alert. I could assign workflow so there could be something specific to this workflow that or invoice that I note that I could set up all sorts of workflows based on the uniqueness of my process. So it could be a Treasury work flow. It could be missing P.O. workflow, lots of capabilities here to meet any types of uniqueness about your AP process and how you want us to flow through.

So that was a quick view of our portal. One of the things I would do, I wanna point out is that we do a lot of…we’ve done a lot with the WalkMe functionality that’s built in that helps our customers really accelerate their learning curve on this process. So you can ask the system a question, how do I approve an invoice, it will actually walk your end users step by step through that process. So the goal here, obviously, is to get them in and out. You want them to do what you need them to do and get back out so that you get the invoice back to you.

So at this point, I think we’re going to wrap it up. Let’s go back to the presentation and we’ve got an audience poll. So I would welcome the opportunity at any point to provide you more of a detailed excuse me demonstration of our capability. But I wanna bring Britney back on. I know that she’s got a question to ask and then we’re gonna do a Q&A.

Britney: Awesome. Thank you, Mike. So the poll I just put up is gonna ask you what your next steps are. And this just allows us to know the best way to reach out to you following the webinar. So if everyone can just take a quick moment to answer the poll and while we wait for those question to come in, we will start to answer any questions that you do have. So if you have any questions, just remember you can place those into the question box, in your control panel, and we’ll try to answer as many as possible. And Mike, we do have a question from Jim. And Jim said that if there is there a threshold in terms of invoices per month that typically make sense to [inaudible 00:37:58] of automation?

Mike: Sure. Thanks, Jim. That’s a great question. I was on the phone with somebody just before this. And they had the same type of question was when does it make sense for me is what I’m hearing. Typically, we start to hear rumblings around 300 invoices a month. And then it really gets up to a little bit of a dull roar around 500. So the average range is around 300 to 500. Though I do have customers that have less than 100 invoices. The key there is they really, you know, from a resource standpoint, they don’t want their people involved in this. They want them involved in other things. So they’re looking to, you know, realign those folks.

And so a lot about what’s happening in the workforce, and as I mentioned earlier, the triggers that we’re seeing often, you know, somebody is retiring, somebody new coming. There’s a lot of millennial that are entering the workforce now and they’re, you know, deep in their phones and automated much of their life. So when they come to work and they’re looking at paper invoices and paper checks, they’re apt to go to the boss and say, “Hey, can we automate this process or isn’t there a better way?” So, typically around 300 invoices on a monthly basi but I can’t hold that as a rule because I’ve seen companies that I’ve automated with less than 100 and it was just based on their priorities. So a great question, Jim. Thank you.

Britney: Thanks, Mike. And we’re about 85% that have put in their bid right now through the poll. So if everyone can just make sure to answer that before we close out. The next question we have is from Pam. And she’s asking how is an invoice handled if no current vendor is set up?

Mike: Sure. That’s a great question. Thank you, Pam. Those are what we call…we call those exceptions. Exceptions are things that we catch during the capture process that we alert you to. Instead of just throwing them over the wall for regular approval, we typically collaborate or send an email to a person you designate or people you designate in your AP team to say, “Hey, we’ve got an invoice here that’s…vendor that’s not new, that’s not set up in your portal. Or we’ve got a duplicate invoice. Or we have an invoice that’s, you know, pretty much destroyed. So we wanna alert you to it. We want you to control that process.”

So we become an extension of your team in regards to that. The more we do that, the less you have to fix things. So that’s a great question. We call that an exception too. Usually that starts out at the beginning. It can be a little bit, you know, there can be multiple invoices in there as we learn and then that exception cube becomes smaller and smaller as you ramp up.

Britney: Okay, great. And we have another question from Tommy. And he’s asking, in disputing an invoice, how’s that handled?

Mike: Sure. Disputing invoice typically means, “Hey I’m challenging it. You know, I don’t wanna pay it or there’s something wrong with the invoice.” So a dispute follows its own unique workflow which we can map out. So typically during the implementation process, there’s a couple bits of homework. We do a lot of the heavy lifting here at AvidXchange. As I mentioned, we get you up and running pretty quickly. In less than 45 days, we have a guarantee around that. We want you to take advantage of the technology. But things like distributing an invoice, we simply set up a unique workflow for that so people are alerted pretty early on the process.

Again that ability to chat and comment helps in the dispute process, because you’re giving people informed information. Also, you know, a dispute could be to a vendor. I’ve had customers who’ve said, “Hey, I used that comment section, send it out to my vendor and I’m disputing the invoice. Maybe I need a credit. Maybe you didn’t send me the right quantity, etc.” But I’m using that, and actually they’re gonna get an e-mail alert. And then at that point, they’re gonna be able to, if I let them, they’re gonna be actually able to see the invoice information. So we’re having intelligent conversation regarding the dispute when they call back, not a “Hey, what did you want? How do you want it,” but we’re supplying the data behind it.

Britney: Right, thank you. And we have one more question that we can answer before we close out. And that is, can we implement your solution without using your payment process for certain vendors?

Mike: Yes. Oh, yeah. Great question. We believe in the principle that your Intacct accounting system is the system of record. So everything we do regarding invoice coming in is really to comply with that and collaborate with it. We don’t wanna compete or contradict it. So we wanna pass that information. And just as you do in your business today, as I mentioned or alluded to you is the fact you probably have different ways you’re paying your vendors. If you have a favorite process that’s working for you, you do not have to send it through the Avid paid portal. What many of our customers do is trying to wean themselves off at the last hang ons of paper checks or other vendors that are maybe a challenge for them as far as the payment process.

But if you’re using an Amex process, if you’re on Intacct, or you’re using a bank ACH and that’s working well for you, then we’ll look not to disrupt that. So we take the direction from your accounting system. So in Intacct today, you will create your payment file, the payments that you wanna send to, your Avid pay solution, you would just send those. The others you would process as you normally would. So a great question. Thank you.

Britney: Great. And that looks like all the question that we have for today. So, Mike, before we close out, do have anything else that you would like to add?

Mike: No. I do appreciate the time. As I referenced in the beginning, I spent a couple hours with a group in New York City yesterday at the Intacct meetup. If you have an option to attend one of those as an Intacct user, I would highly recommend it. We are a sponsor. We’re on their marketplace. So we have lots of resources and lots of material for you available on our website and we hold these webinars pretty frequently as a form of education. Because, as I mentioned in the beginning of this presentation, it’s not if you’ll automate, it’s really when. And the future is today because the price points of technology have become more affordable and more acceptable in the financial realm. If it was 10 years ago and we were holding this webinar, we’d probably get five people. But I understand we have close to 75 different companies that have signed up for this today. So you’ll get this recording just for registering. But if you have any questions, feel free to reach out, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you. Enjoy the rest of your day and thank you.

Britney: Thanks, Mike. Thank you everybody. Goodbye.

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Hosted By:
Michael Johnson
Channel Sales Manager at AvidXchange