FAQs - Accounts Payable
Whether you are looking to outsource your accounts payable processes or looking for an in-house solution to reduce your costs, Cleardata can provide consultancy and software to deliver substantial savings to your business.
The following questions are intended to provide prospective customers with answers to anticipated questions when considering our AP+ solution.
1. Why should I be interested in talking to you about my Supplier Invoice Processing (Accounts Payable)?
If your company deal with multiple suppliers and 1000’s of invoices per month then you are almost certainly aware the this is a huge processing overhead which is both costly and inefficient. However, if you are not in the Accounts department then you should talk to the FD about this issue as there is a good chance that they are tasked with making it more efficient or cutting costs
It is a fully automated end-to-end solution to the age old problem of processing Supplier Invoices.
The AP process can be complex and convoluted. Starting with receiving Invoices in various formats a company needs to understand the data held on the invoice and compare it with other systems then approve it for payment – See AP+ diagrams. Typically this can be a very long and mostly manual process that costs a company a lot of money.
Cleardata is experienced in understanding and finding solutions to combat customers’ document process and management issues.
Initially the company can arrange an onsite presentation to demonstrate the benefits of the system. Cleardata uses a questionnaire to gain as much information as possible to gain a thorough understanding of how your document process currently works. This achieves the following:
- Help identify the problems
- Help you to understand the scale of the problem – you may be astounded
- Show you an alternative solution and the proposed cost savings
- Help you understand the requirement for a Discovery engagement
Once your team have been assured of the benefits, we can offer an onsite consultancy process called a Discovery Engagement. This is a thorough evaluation and as such we will have to agree a fee for this service.
Cleardata's consultants will perform an onsite business analysis of your entire AP process from end-to-end.
From this we will derive a Detailed Specification Document that will show full details of the issues, implications and scope of the proposed AP+ solution. It will also show more detailed current costs and definite costs savings. This document will be owned by the customer and can also be used as the basis of an internal Business Justification Plan.
6. If we do not want to invest in the software, concentrating on our core business, can we outsource our Accounts Payable to cleardata?
Yes, of course. Cleardata provides a managed offsite accounts payable processing solution. This can prove more cost effective, depending on the size of your accounts payable operation.
Difficult question to answer without completing a full discovery engagement as costs vary from business to business. The customer questionnaire is designed to help Cleardata identify existing costs. Previous business assessments have identified companies spending in excess of £500k per year on Accounts Payable and only turning over £20million. That £500k is a huge chunk of their profit and AP+ has allowed them significantly reduce costs.
That’s also difficult to answer without understanding you as a customer in depth. It’s not what it costs that is important, it’s what it's going to save you by implementing - the Return on Investment. A typical cost for the Whole AP+ solution is between £70k and £150k but it could be significantly more or less.
Outsourcing the AP could be a more cost effective option depending on the size of your operation and the upfront costs will be minimal with an ongoing fee per invoice.
Again difficult to answer without the full customer discovery, but once this is done the RoI is there for all to see in black and white. One customer engagement completed showed a Cost Saving of £700k in 3 yrs. The system paid for itself in less than 9 months on saved salary costs alone.
By automating the majority of the steps it provides huge efficiencies for all aspects of the process and therefore removes the requirement for large AP teams and removes the mistakes and delivers the right information to the right place at the right time for approval.
The whole accounts payable process can be broken down into a number of steps to move the invoice through to payment. Although the process can be broken down further, at the highest level they can be thought of as:
- Capture – extracting the data from the Invoice
- Manage – collect and compare all relevant documents
- Process – approve the invoice for payment
- Archive – store all relevant documents and their audit history for compliance and retrieval
The Outline AP+ process diagram shows these steps.
No but one solution can! The AP+ solution is a collection of 3 fully integrated Software systems formulated into one solution. This solution is a generic AP solution which will always require some Professional Services to make it work for each customer.
We use a combination of the following depending on your overall requirement:
- Readsoft Invoices for Intelligent Document Capture
- Captaris Alchemy for Document Management
- Captaris Workflow for Approval Processes
All three are best of breed products.
- An independent analysis has shown Readsoft to be the worldwide market leader in the Capture market for document processing. They have numerous existing accounts in the UK and Worldwide.
- Captaris Alchemy has been operating as an EDM in accounts dept space for 12+ years and has over 1000 customers in the UK alone
- Captaris Workflow integrates with Alchemy and provides an extremely powerful process development platform for AP+ and many other processes. It is fully integrated with Alchemy and provides 100% capability for integration with other systems.
Overall the most important thing is that AP+ provides full end-to-end solution for a complex and expensive problem and is both flexible and quick to implement and provides huge Roi.
For further details on Cleardata's Accounts Payable Processing Software or Invoice Processing software call today on 0800 046 8085.
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