Vendor Portals: The Future of Accounts Payable
Why Automation is the Evolution of Your AP Department
How many calls or emails on average does your Accounts Payable department field from vendors? If you were to add up all of the time it takes to respond and give updates on payment to all of these people, you’re probably looking at days—maybe weeks worth of time.
So What Can Be done?
Vendors still need to know the status of payment, and you’ve still got to take care of dozens of other things.
Have you considered implementing a Vendor Portal?
Benefits of a Vendor Portal
There are many benefits to implementing a Vendor Portal for your invoice processing. These include:
Self Service: Drag and Drop Invoice Submission
What’s easier for a vendor than being able to drag and drop invoice submissions on a web-based interface, rather than having to print, mail/email and then follow up on progress? Sophisticated Vendor Portals allow for drag and drop functionality; they are simple and extremely user-friendly.
Eliminate Payment Delays
Your AP department can take full advantage of an automated invoice submission process, and eliminate any delays in invoice payment.
Track Invoice Status and Streamline Exceptions
Vendor Portals can be customized for various payment terms and conditions. Once these are set per vendor, the system will take care of any special exceptions you give it.
Secure, Web-Based Access
One of the primary focuses of Vendor Portals is security. They use advanced encryption technology to ensure that all information is secure at all points throughout the invoice submission and approval process.
Support for Mobile, PDF and E-invoicing
Today’s vendor portals are versatile. Because of the changing nature of how invoices are generated and submitted, vendor portals are capable of supporting multiple technologies. You’re covered whether a vendor emails PDFs, sends you scanned jpegs or even mails you paper.
Eliminate Mail Room Costs
Paper is the enemy of efficiency. Traditional mailroom functions of receiving, opening, sorting and distributing invoices are time-consuming and bring no value to your organization. Vendor ortals eliminate these costs and provide visibility to you and your vendor to the time that each invoice was received to facilitate faster turn-around times. Plus no more lost or misfiled invoices.
Improve Invoice and Vendor Master Data Accuracy
With a Vendor Portal, human error is minimized by keeping the importing and transferring of information in digital form. Clerical errors become a thing of the past.
The result is that your AP department and your vendors will able to reduce the costs and manual efforts associated with traditional invoice submission and receipt.
Keep in mind, there are some things that simply cannot be automated, nor would you want them to be. Even with an automation service in place, vendors will still require assistance to address specific invoice concerns. The point of having a Vendor Portal is to keep manual interaction contained to issues that need special attention.
How Much Money Can You Save Using a Self-Service Vendor Portal?
According to a recent 2015 Financial Operations Report, 11% of all invoices received by an organization will trigger an inquiry. For example, of every 500 daily invoices processed, 55 will elicit an inquiry from the vendor. On average, each request will take 8 minutes. This means that 7.3 hours per day—the equivalent of a full-time person—is being spent responding to vendor requests. Conversely, as noted in a study by the Accounts Payable Network Organization, those companies that have implemented a Vendor Portal reduced their customer service calls by 80%. That’s significant.
How much money does a self-service Vendor Portal cost as part of Octacom’s Accounts Payable automation service? Nothing! Our services package includes our Vendor Portal.
Aside from saving money and time, by implementing a Vendor Portal your vendors will be much happier and so will your Accounts Payable staff, seeing as they can now focus on other high priority activities.