I worked in an automated (shared service) environment previously. It included data capture, invoice indexing, and P-Card with a team of six AP professional. The company I work for now is 100% paper. Invoices can be emailed as PDF, but they are treated as paper. I am responsible for all AP functions. Invoices that are emailed have to be printed and date stamped. There is a mixuture of PO and Non PO invoices. There is an average of 2000-2400 invoices a month, but I am processing around 1600-1800 a month. I feel overwhelmed which is leading to missed discounts and errors. I have spoke to my boss about it, but there is not much he can do due to budget. There are no resourses for an automated process or for an additional staff person. How can I improve on errors and missed discounts? I am trying to work this out before looking for employment elsewhere. Please help!!!!!!! Thanks.
Here are my functions(not in order)
1. date stamp all invoices
2. check invoices for signatures and proper coding.
3. print emailed invoices and date stamp (there can be 50 invoices per email and 40 emails).
4. respond to payment inquries(this requires a lot of my time).
5. Invoices exceptions have to be logged onto a spreadsheet and then submitted to purchasing department or submitted for signature(must include a cover attached to each problem invoice).
6. New vendors require a request for a W9(usually phone or email) and a vendor add/change form (I fill out form and handeliver to controller for signature).
7. Check printing is outsourced. ACH is an upload. The weekly check/ACH run register must be signed by controller or VP.
8. Invoices have to be scanned after entering -I have to bar code each invoice. Scanning is daily (most invoices are shredded some filed).
9. I have to manually review and enter our credit card payment/charges.
10. Wires are manual-I must have invoices attached to each wire form and submit to VP or controller for signature(once a month-some vendors have 80 plus invoices).
11. There are approx 2000 invoices but I can only process 1600-1700 a month ( a backlog of 300-400 invoices a month).
12. If I am out a day...there is no one to print invoices, get mail, or respond to email (a day off equates to more backlog due to time I spend printing and responding to inquiries).
13. Other functions(voiding checks, 1099 processing/printing, manually matching receipts(paper) to invoices).
You do sound overwhelmed, which can happen with rising invoice volumes, a manual process, and not enough staff. One option may be to outsource the invoice capture and data entry process. We have a partner, ScanOne, that could assist. Feel free to contact me tomorrow at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss in more detail.
Something must change either in the process or the volume. Moving your high volume vendors to the AN for PO flip or non-PO invoicing directly into Ariba would reduce the number of steps involved for that invoice. Are there any steps that could be eliminated? Could you triage your invoices, say invoices under a certain $ from certain suppliers don't need to be signed or are assigned coding. Why are you printing invoices and then scanning? What is the value of bar coding, why not attach the invoice to the Ariba invoice? You can also look at an outsourced scanning vendor to at least get you an image. Moving to a PO for purchases should eliminate the need to code and sign the invoice
I don't understand the business value to several of your steps, they seem redundant and there may be alternative processes that simplify your life yet provide your company with the desired level of control and record keeping.
Of course, if your company is unwilling to acknowledge the workload by either resourcing or efficiency gains, that shouldn't be your problem. Your skill set is very mobile.