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Lightening a Heavy Load

University and college accounts payable departments face burdensome workloads, made even more challenging without the right tools; Laserfiche ECM automates AP processes, helping the department get out from under.
University Business, April 2013

Every department on campus is shouldering a heavy workload, but few would argue that Accounts Payable (AP) staff are especially burdened. After all, AP is one of those critical business tasks that spans all departments—every purchase and every invoice is funneled through AP. And when invoices, POs, and expense reports are processed manually, the demands on AP personnel are even more intense. The time spent in compiling and documenting, verifying and reconciling, is considerable, requiring multiple processes and involving multiple personnel. And this is if everything goes smoothly, which probably doesn’t happen often enough, since manual processing greatly increases the odds of data-entry errors.

When mistakes and discrepancies do occur, reconciling paperwork can require a lot of detective work. Without having the right information at hand, time is spent going back and forth from desk to file cabinet, slowing down processes, compromising accuracy, and potentially antagonizing staff and vendors in the process. Nobody needs this kind of aggravation. An efficient AP system can help the department—and the institution as a whole—achieve efficiencies, reduce costs, and conserve resources.

Laserfiche Enterprise Content Management (ECM) enables AP departments to effortlessly manage information by automating resource- and time-intensive capture and routing tasks, streamlining the entire accounts payable process.  Some of the advantages Laserfiche offers include:

  • Comprehensive capture. Document scanning, identification and classification is automated through Laserfiche Quick Fields, eliminating the need for manual data entry.
  • Automatic routing. Invoices can be sent to assigned AP staff members, who are alerted by email that invoices are ready for review.
  • Review/Approval. Using a drop-down menu, AP employees can approve or deny payments in Laserfiche, then route them via workflow to the appropriate personnel for action.
  • Audit trails. Administrators can track all activity within the Laserfiche repository, affording greater visibility and control over the way tasks are performed, which users can access, print or email records, as well as who has done what and when.
  • Storage. Invoices and related documents are stored in Laserfiche for easy retrieval. Integration makes documents immediately available through other applications; no toggling back and forth required.
  • Archival. Documents are automatically classified and filed. Calculating and assigning cutoff and eligibility dates also happens automatically, with DoD 5015.2-certified transparent records management functionality. 

The International Accounts Payable Professionals (IAAP) organization calculates that the average cost in time and resources to pay an invoice is more than $10 per invoice. This doesn’t factor in the costs of missed early payment discounts, late fees, lost invoices, phone calls, emails and faxes. Laserfiche ECM can help AP departments function more cost-effectively and efficiently, restoring calm and sanity in the bargain.

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