Your Accounts Payable Processes Are Overdue for An Overhaul

June 24, 2021 Karli Langner

How your business handles its AP processes can greatly affect the bottom line. Implementing a strategic payment plan can open the door to supplier discounts and generate new revenue. However, AP processes are prone to many inefficiencies, like sorting through boxes of tickets and invoices. Automating these processes can foster cost-cutting and revenue-generating potential, positively affecting the entire organization.

Companies who pay invoices early typically get to reap the benefits of a discount. Unfortunately, a lot of work has to be done in order to get those invoices paid; buyers have to receive, validate, approve, send, and ensure that payment is received by their supplier – usually in 10 days or less. This is no easy feat for most companies to do on a regular basis.

The monumental task of getting all invoice data coded accurately into the accounting system is a huge undertaking. Manually typing this data in requires a lot of time that individual(s) have to devote to accomplish this task, and it also opens up the door for errors. Oftentimes, these errors go unnoticed until month-end close, creating extravagant costs that are easily avoidable.

Eliminate the Headaches of Reconciling Tickets with Invoices

Automation can speed up the most time-consuming processes so that discounts become an opportunity that is more obtainable, and so that the organization does not suffer from the time costs and errors associated with getting all of the invoice data coded. Employees are not saddled with the task of keying in all of the data, freeing up time for more impactful work; instead, the data is automatically captured and fed into the accounting system, drastically cutting back the number of errors that hold teams up in their month-end close.

For Contractors, Command Alkon’s CONNEX Jobsite solution has been a great value add to the team at Grand Parkway Infrastructure, LLC. providing the streamlined workflow with ticketing and materials tracking needed on the SH 99-Grand Parkway Segments H, I-1 and I-2 project. The power to connect internal supply chain processes with suppliers, logistics providers, inspectors, and owners brings visibility into the condition and location of orders, trucks, and materials at all times and simplifies invoice reconciliation and AP workflows.

"We no longer need to manually check tickets one by one. We just have to check if the delivery ticket has been approved by the engineers. What use to take one to two hours, now it takes about 30 seconds to reconcile an invoice."

- Miguel Hernandez, Segment Accounting Manager, Grand Parkway Infrastructure, LLC

For Ready Mix Producers, CONNEX Inbound Materials takes the information found on paper tickets and digitizes it to automatically update inventory and reconcile material and haul tickets with invoices, so that producers can focus on their inbound processes as much as they do their outbound processes. For example, Lauren Concrete has been utilizing CONNEX Inbound Materials to ensure that they have enough materials to meet demand, and can understand what is outstanding from a payables perspective.

“CONNEX Inbound Materials makes us more efficient because we don’t have to waste time going through paper processes; everything's tracked all the way up to the plant, and we are only paying for what we recieve” said Ryan Cupps, Operations Manager at Lauren Concrete.

With Inbound Materials, all of the vendor tickets and invoices live in one place while AI technology automatically matches up every line item, flagging the user if they are being overbilled or highlighting other exceptions requiring clarification. 

With all of the ticket data in the system, business insights are immediately available to provide an unmatched perspective of inbound material and transportation costs and outstanding payables.  

Capture All Ticket Data to Speed Up Payable Process

Invoice automation can file and track everything in one place by creating electronic data from invoice images, making referencing and auditing a breeze.

Although we are in the 21st century, 95% of the tickets in the construction industry are still just pieces of paper that get passed through multiple touchpoints. Now with TicketPro, back office personnel can capture every single ticket that hits a production facility or a jobsite.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology makes it possible to capture 100% of material and haul tickets as early as possible, get them re-digitized, and then utilize the digital data for job cost reporting, accruals reporting, invoice reconciliation, quantities delivered for project managers, and deliver more insights that can help to run a more efficient job. OCR technology extracts data from paper tickets via a mobile device in the field or office, through scanner integration, directly from the scale printer, or as soon as they are created by the scale operator.

Now, all the tickets and invoices live in one place while AI technology automatically matches up every line item, flagging the user if they are being overbilled or highlighting other exceptions requiring clarification. 

Once the payment is authorized, the invoice makes its way to the person who will execute the payment. This person needs clear visibility into all payment due dates and any eligible early-pay discount deadlines. Most businesses process hundreds of invoices monthly, so it can be difficult to keep track of all of these deadlines if not closely monitored. Vendors get disappointed by late payments, and short-term cash flow gets deprived of early-pay discounts.

By automating the execution of payments, approved payments can be scheduled and sent automatically and stored in one central location, making it easier to pay electronically and cut costs and risks that come with every payment.

How Can Transforming Your AP Processes Help You?

Your heavy building materials suppliers are likely aiming to cut costs, create new revenue, and cut out manual process as well. Invoice automation is appreciated by suppliers because they know they’re more likely to get paid faster.

“Once our suppliers realized how easy it was to get on board that removed any reluctance. It benefits them as much as it does us,” said Bartholomew. “It’s a much quicker and more effective way of communicating with us electronically.”

Contractors can check out www.commandalkon.com/getconnexjobsite, and ready mix producers can visit www.commandalkon.com/getconnexinbound  to learn more about how automating AP workflows can help gain an advantage from a payables perspective.

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