Customer Success

Invoice Processing Solution with Certified Technology Partner, Ephesoft

LasVegasI was recently in Las Vegas for an event and had a run of luck at the gaming tables. Since this doesn’t happen frequently, I reflected on what were a few things that made the night so fun and successful. As I thought through this, there were strong parallels to an invoice processing solution from our Certified Technology partner, Ephesoft. Like the winning hands I had, Ephesoft is like an “Ace in the Hole” in your Alfresco solution. It adds essential capture and classification to invoice processing which streamlines the front end work and prepares the documents for the workflow process.

In this post, I want to review a successful implementation and then reflect on 5 things to do to ensure you’ve got a winning hand for your business solution.

Case Study: BSA Limited
BSA Limited is Australia’s preeminent domestic satellite and technical services company to the broadcast industry. With 1,000 employees and over 1,400 contractors, BSA needed a simple way to manage invoices for their accounts payable departments across its eight national branches.

bsaBSA selected Zia Consulting, a platinum Alfresco and Ephesoft partner, to develop, pilot, test and implement an integrated Alfresco and Ephesoft solution. Zia consultants worked with BSA to understand their accounts payable process and develop automated workflows to speed up approvals. Using the out-of-the-box features in Alfresco and Ephesoft, Zia was able to quickly build a solution that leverages rules capabilities and custom workflows.

From the project, they learned several keys to success:

1: Only make sure bets
Once you hit a few good hands, it’s easy to think that you’re on that winning streak. That’s where the luck runs out and you start losing. Considering your cards, the cards in play and only making sure bets is essential. This is true also for AP solutions. The ROI from document automation solutions is well documented. The Aberdeen Group’s May 2012 report “Invoice Management in a Networked Economy”. Best in class organizations require less than $2 to pay an invoice while the average company pays over $15. The savings on 10,000 invoices can actually pay for the solution! This solution is a good bet!

2: Keep you money on the table
Casinos won’t let you pull money on and off dynamically – you need to play with your chips in front of you. Similarly, you need to keep track of cash consumed by Accounts Payable. Accurately tracking cash requirements and managing one-time payments can streamline systems. Without accurate information on the amount of cash on hand that AP needs, they can miss discounts for early payments or end up in cost overruns and need to request additional funds.

3. Know when to hold and when to fold
Like making a good bet, sometimes you need to chase a pot and sometimes you need to let it go. Knowing when to cut from the pot can save you from betting longer than you should. Likewise, you should be strategizing and mapping your AP process to regulatory controls and reporting requirements. Organizations with manual processes rely on reactive audits for compliance. Organizations that automate their AP processes can be a step ahead and achieve the savings that come along with it. A 2012 study by Association of Finance Professionals reports that 61% of organizations had an attempted or actual fraud. The typical loss for each fraud incident was over $20,000. Documentation and enforcement of policy and automation systems to these defined processes will ensure that fraud will not affect your organization.

4. Always tip your waitress and dealer
Keeping the people happy around you makes the game run better. Similarly, in Accounts Payable, keeping suppliers, customers and internal finance teams happy makes your job easier. How do you accomplish this? By automating invoice processing, you’ll have the foundation to better manage service level commitments. Now, metrics like DSO, cycle times, cost per invoice, throughput, queue management and productivity will be easily reviewed on a regular basis. By freeing up time and resources used for manual processes to mange automation, you’ll be able to deliver a better level to service to your stakeholders.

5. Change seats at the table every so often
Sitting at the same table gets old, visiting another table can change the game. In the AP world, having the flexibility to change to meet the organizations dynamic strategy is essential. Many times back-office functions have the reputation of not being flexible. Now you can be an agent of change in your organization by being responsive to changes in your business. Automation facilitates the movements of functions in your group and across geographies. Lead the charge in your organization to find new and more efficient ways to process.

Making investments in your business can be risky. By reviewing these 5 lessons-learned, see how you improve your business processes. Alfresco can help mitigate the risk with certified technologies with our partners like Ephesoft.  From the BSA implementation and others, we’ve seen AP solutions like invoice processing have a short payback period with realized ROI. It’s not unlikely to have a 9 month payback period – so take a look at a solution today and you could see results as early as New Years.


For more information on solutions from Ephesoft, go to the Alfresco solution showcase.


Image credits: Las Vegas Sign:  Patrick O’Brien and Poker Chips:  LLudo

About the author

Joe Tong

Joe is the Partner Marketing Manager for the Americas.

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