High Cost of Low Invoice Visibility

If you are like me – or most CFOs, Controllers, AP Managers, or anyone in a position of financial accountability – total visibility is probably something you dream about. Seeing where the money gets stalled or lost, where the bottlenecks are, and where the time drains happen often feels like a pipe dream. We do not just want to know where problems happened after the fact; we want to know where they are about to happen — without resorting to x-ray vision or a crystal ball.

No Psychic Abilities Needed: Poor Invoice Processes Will Result in Problems for Your Business

If there is one thing we know costs us the most money, time, and sleep, it is the backlog of invoices that are not being paid on time for one reason or another. It is hard on our reputation, costs us late fees and discount agreements, and often entails unnecessary detective work on someone’s part to resolve the issue. If you ask an AP team what they wish they had, most will answer increased visibility into stalled invoices. Automated invoice processing with a single stream of invoices will help to solve all these issues.

The Importance of Using a Single-Stream Approach to Automated Invoice Processing

I feel so strongly about the single-stream approach to automated invoice processing because it digitizes all invoices in one place. Invoices are not held up on manager’s desks or in email inboxes. Whether they come to you in an electronic format or were sent as PDFs or paper documents, when they have been through a single-stream process, they come back to you as digital, sortable, and, most importantly, searchable records.

Improving Invoice Visibility with DataServ: Proof of What’s Possible

I’m sure it’s easy for you to imagine the advantages: You and your staff can avoid the time-consuming detective work of finding when an invoice is due or where it is being processed. Reports tell you exactly which invoices are in danger of being past due before you’re hit with additional costs or lose discounts. An exception queue lets you set a tolerance for what discrepancies you will spend time reconciling. 

With DataServ, you won’t have to imagine these advantages anymore. Much like we did for the following client, improving your invoice visibility is possible, making your processes more efficient and transparent. 

American Senior Communities: From Mismanagement to Invoice Efficiency

Visibility is crucial when managing finances. American Senior Communities (ASC) discovered this the hard way. Based in Indianapolis, ASC specializes in providing integrated services and amenities for seniors across 91 locations. However, their accounts payable team faced significant challenges with processing approximately 130,000 paper and 25,000 electronic invoices annually. The lack of visibility into their financial processes led to delayed or lost invoices, incorrect coding, and a general inefficiency that threatened their financial management. 

ASC’s AP team was bogged down by the inefficiencies of manual invoice processing. With invoices touching too many hands before being archived, the risk of errors and delays was high. Invoices were often not submitted on time or lost entirely, and incorrect coding was a common problem. 

With the help of DataServ, here’s how ASC was able to tackle these issues head-on:

  • Invoice Processing Machine: Invoices were routed to DataServ via mail, email, or fax, scanned, imported, and hosted online. This exceptional AI-powered tool captured essential data fields, providing early visibility and tracking invoices and liabilities. 
  • Automated Workflow: Invoices were coded and routed to designated approvers automatically. Once approved, the documents were sent to ASC’s accounting system for payment. 
  • Enhanced Capabilities: The solution included default invoice coding, analytics reporting, and document retention and storage management.

We made the transition process seamless for ASC. Starting with six pilot facilities, we quickly expanded to half of its locations within three weeks, completing the rollout to all 91 locations in just three months. The benefits of improved visibility and automation were immediately evident: 

  • Reduced Errors: Automation significantly decreased coding errors and processing mistakes. 
  • Faster Approvals: Invoices were processed and approved much more quickly, enhancing cash flow management. 
  • Increased Visibility: Enhanced tracking and early invoice visibility allowed better financial control and decision-making. 
  • Improved Efficiency: The AP team could manage the process more effectively with less manual intervention, freeing time for more strategic tasks. 

ASC’s journey illustrates how critical visibility is to financial operations. By partnering with DataServ, ASC streamlined its invoice process and gained the real-time insights needed to make better financial decisions. 

Make Your Dreams a Reality: Improve Invoice Visibility with DataServ

Companies like American Senior Communities have shown how addressing this challenge with the right solutions can improve efficiency, accuracy, and overall financial management. This case study illustrates a common theme: transitioning from manual, paper-based processes to automated, digital solutions streamlining operations and providing critical real-time insights. 

With the enhanced visibility created by single-stream invoicing, not only can you see the lifecycle of every invoice, but you can also simplify accruals and cash management as well as establish best practices and review protocols to save your company both time and money and save you both stress and lost sleep.

Partnering with a trusted provider like DataServ can make this transformation seamless and impactful. Our client’s experiences show that our tailored solutions offer comprehensive support and ongoing partnership, ensuring companies can continuously refine and improve their processes. 

If your organization is facing similar invoice visibility challenges, it’s time to consider the benefits of improved visibility and automation in your AP processes. Contact DataServ today to discuss how we can help you achieve greater efficiency and control in your financial operations.

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