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Achieving significant process efficiencies for power users managing decentralized AP tasks

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

5 minute read

Achieving significant process efficiencies for power users managing decentralized AP tasks

A new release to the Basware Accounts Payable (AP) Automation solution focuses on making invoice processing as easy as possible for all types of users. By making the user interface (UI) even more streamlined and intuitive, organizations can enable all staff with purchasing responsibilities to perform complex AP-related tasks more efficiently. This serves your most central KPIs and drives user adoption, all while supporting your organization’s spend visibility. Continue reading to learn about the recent improvements and additional access levels we have created to increase usability.

 

The role of decentralized staff in AP operations

With large organizational charts usually comes complex processes around the financial administration side of running a business. While AP operations and AP tasks typically take place within a dedicated team of specialists, it is important to consider that many AP actions are performed outside such centralised teams, creating decentralized data and processes.

In many cases, what causes decentralized AP tasks are purchasing responsibilities that are spread out across your organization. For example, purchases executed by business managers are typically very location and project specific.

Example #1: project manager in construction

  • Spend responsibilities include purchasing construction materials & subcontracting on-site labor or security for the construction site

  • Receives and processes both PO and non-PO based invoices on a daily basis

Example #2: property manager in real estate

  • Spend-responsibilities include upkeep of facilities such as cleaning & landscaping services

  • Receives and processes invoices for many kinds of services on a weekly basis

In essence, no central AP team can understand all the unique local purchase requirements as well as the responsibilities of each business or project manager. Resulting in many situations where the staff on location takes responsibility for the spend and is then required to process the received invoices.

Often, both the volume and complexity of invoices that need to be processed by these employees require tools that would typically be viewed as functionality available to AP clerks. Meaning that decentralized staff performing these AP tasks would require sophisticated and precise tools to efficiently proceed through the buying process.

Guaranteeing efficient AP operations for all staff with spend responsibilities

Decentralized staff with AP tasks often perform complex invoice processing activities outside of merely approving invoices. The most common division of AP user roles is between users with either full access or very limited access to the tools available to them - depending on whether they are full-scale AP clerks or general business users. However, the reality is that AP staff requirements are much more complex than this binary distinction. Different users have different requirements when it comes to processing invoices within an AP solution. Requirements such as how often a user must approve invoices, handle deviations that are identified during order matching, or perform complex coding tasks. Only through fulfilling the requirements of all user groups can your AP software solution reach 100% user adoption.

Outside of these two more “traditional” user groups, we have identified a third profile. An ideal middle-ground, we call "power users”. The two user examples in construction and property management are perfect cases of power users: while they are not AP clerks, they still have many spend responsibilities. They often process more invoices than business users, and they perform complex invoice processing activities akin to AP clerks. Because of the complexity of their work and the sheer number of invoices they process, their AP-related work has a direct and measurable impact on your central AP-KPIs, most noteworthy your invoices paid on time and spend under control.

Basware’s enhanced functionality for power users

Ideally, everyone within your organization has the right tools available to perform any AP tasks – regardless of what team or function they work in. The enhanced functionality Basware has introduced supports the unique needs of power users and provides the missing link between business users and AP clerks to optimize efficiency in your AP operations across the entire organization and drive 100% user adoption. This improved stand-alone set of features comes with dedicated user functionality that allows your organization’s power users to benefit from the following:

  • Desktop-optimized view

    • One single view that helps your power users make decisions on invoices

    • Approve or reject invoices

  • Manual order matching

    • Allow your power users to match invoices with Purchase Orders (POs)

  • Coding generation

    • If a particular purchase does not fulfill the criteria on issuing a PO, coding dimensions for the invoice must be provided

    • Coding generation for power users support everything at hand to make the coding as fast and convenient as possible

      • SmartCoding to reduce manual exception handling

      • Coding templates

      • Optimized and streamlined adding & editing of coding

Key benefits

Basware’s new tools for power users deliver vastly improved usability and performance for decentralized AP tasks across the organization. With this new solution, power users can efficiently perform key finance processes and deliver process efficiencies. Benefits include:

  • An optimized user-interface for high volumes of complex invoice processing tasks

  • Easy to use & complete feature set for decentralized staff helps you reach 100% user adoption

  • Measurable processing efficiencies: 30% faster invoice processing times for power users

  • Better data quality for your AP department through streamlined coding

  • Improved spend visibility for the whole organization

  • Cash management opportunities such as realizing more early payment discounts due to reduced through-put time for invoices

Ready to learn more?

Staying on top of best-practices and developments in accounts payable is not an easy task. Our job at Basware is to take the complexity out of the AP process – so you can concentrate on the growth of your business. Are you interested in learning how Basware can take your AP processes to the next level? Click here to book a demo with our AP experts.