expensemanager delivers accounts payable automation software for the SME’s
Cutting the amount of time workers spend on administrative tasks can mean huge savings for a business, yet for SMEs, automating Accounts Payable processes like expense claims and paying supplier invoices have often taken a back seat to building the business.
But times are changing says Sharon Nouh, CEO and Founder of expensemanager. “Accounts Payable is finally coming out of the back office and is now seen as an important part of an organisation that can drive efficiencies and make a significant impact on a business’s bottom line.
So, combine this new mind-set with cloud offerings like expensemanager that have been designed specifically for the mid-market needs means accounts payable automation is in high growth.
And it’s no wonder A/P are keen to make changes as these processes still suffer from high paper volumes, manual keying and routing and fragmented systems and processes.
Let’s look at a typical journey of an expense claim. It involves staff having to write explanatory notes on credit card statements or worse still fill out a paper form, attach the paper receipts and then send all that paperwork on a convoluted journey around the business. Along the way someone must approve it, perhaps sending it back for clarification, and then it eventually lands on the desk of accounts payable – who invariably find more problems and send it back again and then eventually these details are manually keyed into the finance system.
And it’s a very similar process for paying supplier invoices. But what’s more surprising about invoice processing is that doing this manually is so unnecessary. Most suppliers today send their invoices via email as PDF attachments, but instead of the invoices staying digital business must print them out and send them on that approval journey around the business and finally back to accounts payable for manual entry.
And we’re not talking about a few pieces of paper here, for a mid-size company that can be as much as 35,000 pieces of paper every year, including receipts, credit card statements and forms, invoices and associated documents, Nouh says. Just thinking about the storing costs alone, it’s enough to say ‘there has to be a better way “.
Two is better than one!
The expense claim module in expensemanager automates each step of the expense claim process, from users being able to photo their receipts on our mobile app with OCR technology auto-filling data, to bringing in digital feeds from credit card companies and auto-coding expenses.
But what’s unique about expensemanager is that the other big pain point that accounts payable have with the supplier payment process is also automated.
“Most expense software vendors are only able to offer automation of the expense process”, says Sharon. “But when we had a good look at what was happening in businesses with the payment of supplier invoices we saw that this was often handled by the same people, followed the same workflow and the same business logic.
We realised that these could be easily automated in the one single platform and decided to tackle this problem too.”
This has been a very successful strategy for expensemanager, because there isn’t an easy to adopt invoice automation platform in the market that really addresses the SME needs or their capabilities. While large enterprises might insist that their suppliers send their data directly into their finance system, that’s not always practical in the mid-market.
So, for a solution to be successful it had to be built so that clients didn’t have to tell their suppliers to change their workflow. Suppliers can keep sending their PDFs to their clients as usual, but they are then routed to a company invoice vault in expensemanager. The invoice is then scanned with OCR technology, matched to a known supplier and a supplier payment request is automatically created. The process is fully automated with smart coding, duplicate invoice checking, approval limit workflow options and of course the entire process becomes paper free.
What’s also great about this approach is that whilst rarely do companies do a ‘big bang’ approach and implement multiple systems at once, with this single platform solution they get two pain points solved at once. And for staff they only must go through planning training and implementation once.
“When we first launched our invoice module we were having to upsell and educate the market on invoice automation, but now with new client enquiries it is often cited as a must have”, says Sharon.
“Or even if it’s just on their radar when we talk to them about expense automation which is their first call to action with us, their eyes light up to think they can solve their invoice problem too without having to look for another solution.”
The future is digital
Of course, replacing paper receipts with an image is a great step forward for companies looking for a paper free environment, but would you believe that even the ability to scan paper receipts with a smartphone is considered too much of a hassle by some users, which is why expensemanager has launched digital receipts.
“The ability for users to simply snap a photo of a receipt with their mobile app has certainly been a key driver for our service,” Nouh says, “but you wouldn’t believe how many managers in organisations don’t even want to do that. They’ll bring the receipts back to the office, hand them to their executive assistant and expect them to take the photo.”
“Our latest offering will allow users to get their receipts directly from the merchant (e.g. their travel provider (TMC) or taxi company) directly to their expense report. Getting that receipt direct from the merchant is not only the most seamless and touch free option, it also means that we get enriched data from that digital receipt than is often not included in the corporate card data feeds.”
As a solution provider aimed at small to middle market companies, expensemanager is seeing great growth because of their affordability, mobile functionalities, invoice automation and now digital receipts.
expensemanager is an Australian software company that helps businesses to automate each step of their expense, receipt and invoice management process with clever cloud software. expensemanager delivers immediate payback via their ‘Software-as-a-Service’ delivery model that requires no hardware, no software and full live support. Additional information about expensemanager, and its solutions may be obtained by phone +61-2-9672-6880 or by visiting the company website at www.expense-manager.com