Automating Low-value Manual Processing of AP Information
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For any organization, strategic management of Accounts Payable (AP) is absolutely essential. It’s vital that payment of invoices is executed in a controlled and cost-effective manner. However, many organizations have AP departments that are bloated and labor intensive. On average, upwards of 50 percent of administrative costs within the AP department are attributable to low-value manual activities such as paper distribution, copying, routing, duplicate data entry, logging, filing and discovery. Manual processing opens the door for costly human error and compliance issues which is further exacerbated by organizational growth.
As volumes increase, inefficiencies trigger the need for more full time equivalents (FTEs), thwart efforts to capitalize on vendor discounts and meet service level agreements (SLA) as well as present compliance risks and higher legal discovery costs. Lack of overall process visibility undermines the ability to handle work load spikes, meet critical deadlines and manage vendor prioritization.
Technology solutions that improve AP productivity, facilitate collaboration and enforce compliance are essential to remain a financially healthy organization in today’s business environment. But to meet the needs of midsized insurers, these solutions must also be cost effective, flexible, and scalable to meet emerging needs..
To position for growth, midsized insurers need to embrace technology to streamline AP operations. A solution must be easy to deploy, use and maintain by both internal users and external parties. In short, they need a version of the same powerful and scalable tools available to the larger insurers, but packaged to be affordable for the mid-market.
Ideal to address the needs of midsized insurers, Enterprise Links for AP enables automated invoice distribution, information exchange with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and expedites processing that spans multiple locations with remote users and approvers.
The solution leverages sophisticated business process management (BPM) capabilities to speed processing of invoices, proof of delivery/receipts, non-purchase order approvals and transaction exceptions — virtually eliminating manual processing. Remote users receive work items for approval processing via email and respond using their normal processes.
Rapidly deployable, Enterprise Links for AP integrates people, processes and information to promote greater efficiencies and improved service. Managing a multitude of information sources (e.g. paper, digital, EDI, forms), Enterprise Links for AP enables straight-through processing (STP), automating the process from receipt of invoice to approval for payment, while providing a single user interface to manage transaction exceptions and manual approvals.
enChoice’s Enterprise Links for AP features a work item initiator (EDI or general ledger transactions), rules based routing and approvals, parallel routing, ad-hoc approvals (email or BPM), a diary function that captures knowledge workers’ notes facilitating collaboration, and an audit trail feature. The audit trail feature encapsulates route locations, decision points and chat logs, enforcing Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) regulations. The solution leverages a unique user defined interface that is fully configurable and presents the specific information and functionality that is required for each department, role or individual.
IBM and enChoice bring this optimum mix of expertise and technology to deliver a workflow solution, specific to the AP needs of midsized insurers. Enterprise Links for AP offers advanced functionality, including workflows which are based on best practices of the world’s leading insurers, at a price point that is affordable for midsized insurers.
The solution’s ease of deployment, scalability and flexibility can support a phased roll out, where the solution can be deployed on a department or workgroup level and then expanded to other business areas as needed.
Enterprise Links for AP can improve business processes, dramatically reduce administrative costs by upwards of 50 percent—and improve cycle times so SLAs can be consistently met. Increased process visibility enables bottlenecks to be addressed, for improved operational efficiency and productivity. Centralized access to all relevant information enables faster, more accurate processing and enhances decision making, collaboration and responsiveness. By eliminating manual processing, Enterprise Links for AP enables corporations to dedicate more time to higher-value activities such as realizing discounts, working with vendors to improve invoice processing, or strategic process development to enhance market competitiveness.
The solution also helps ensure compliance with the SOX Act, FDA, and other federal and state mandates through the automatic enforcement of information security protocols, analysis of day-to-day business processes and auditing and reporting capabilities. The unique user interface of Enterprise Links for AP expedites the implementation process by removing customization requirements and simplifying training and support of the solution.
enChoice® is the leading provider of end-to-end enterprise content management (ECM) solutions and services. The company designs, develops and deploys solutions encompassing business process management (BPM), records management, monitoring, and data protection, complemented by unparalleled single-point-of-contact support.
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