Cities and municipalities face unrelenting pressure to do more with less.
Automating accounts payable is one way that cities and municipalities can do just that.
Automation provides a single platform for digitizing paper invoices, importing electronic invoices in their native format (e-mail, fax, EDI and PDFs) from other applications, extracting key invoice data (such as invoice number, invoice amount and header detail), electronically routing invoices that require approval and exceptions handling to pre-determined individuals, digitally archiving invoice images and data for safekeeping and instant retrieval by authorized users, and seamlessly uploading information on approved invoices to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) application.
On-the-go purchasers and managers can use a mobile device to approve invoices.
Automating accounts payable benefits cities and municipalities in five ways:
- Reduced operational costs: Cities and municipalities are under unrelenting pressure to control costs. Automation extracts invoice data without the need for manual data entry. Routing invoices electronically eliminates the costs of printing, shipping and storing paper, and accelerates cycle times so cities and municipalities can avoid late-payment penalties and take advantage of more early-payment discount opportunities. With automation, cities and municipalities no longer need to store invoices in file cabinets or with off-site records management firms. And data on approved invoices is uploaded to an ERP without keying.
- Better visibility and reporting: Automation makes it easier for cities and municipalities to access the information they need on their operations and their cash flow. Users can retrieve invoices and related data. Automation also provides visibility and insight into every stage of the invoice approval process, from receipt through validation, approval and posting. Managers have real-time visibility into the status of invoice approval and exceptions resolution, enabling them to monitor progress, identify bottlenecks, quickly reassign tasks, approve completed tasks, and determine areas for improvement. The technology also provides audit reporting on the individual who performed each review, edit or approval function. And authorized users can view archived invoices and accounts payable data.
- Greater flexibility: Automation provides cities and municipalities with greater flexibility in processing invoices. Workflows can be easily created to satisfy the most complex needs and to quickly adjust processes as requirements change, such as additional volume, new suppliers, the integration of agencies or departments, and export changes. Cities and municipalities also can extend approval capabilities to remote offices and on-the-go staff.
- Faster cycle times: Automation significantly reduces the time required to approve invoices, in turn, reducing late-payment penalties, opening the door to more early-payment discount opportunities, and reducing calls and e-mails from suppliers regarding the status of invoices. Automation captures and aggregates invoices and data in a central workflow and repository and electronically routes invoices that require approval to managers and purchasers, no matter their location. Managers and purchasers can approve invoices at any time, via any PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet. And pre-defined workflow rules ensure that invoices always reach the appropriate staff, while enforcing control policies and separation of duties.
- Lower cost of goods: Paying suppliers electronically enables cities and municipalities to eliminate the cost of paper checks and potentially earn rewards for spending on cards. This reduces a city or municipality’s cost of goods and delivers value to the enterprise.
Reducing costs and delivering more value to the enterprise may seem like a daunting challenge to cities and municipalities. But automating accounts payable helps make these goals a reality.
Let us show you how our e-Payables solutions can help your city or municipality reduce costs, improve visibility and reporting, increase flexibility, speed cycle times and lower its cost of goods.
Contact us today!