In a recent blog post, we discussed the importance and benefits of Sage Intacct’s best-of-breed model, including its ability to simplify integration, offer more flexibility and operate as the hub for a stack of applications that work together to improve your business. Today, we’re exploring how Sage Intacct’s ability to “play well with others” benefits users and how the platform’s best-of-breed design can bring more control and speed to your company’s spend management processes.
The Disjointed Spend Management Process: Costly, Paper-Based and Challenging
For many organizations, one of the most “invisible” parts of accounting happens before data is even entered into the books. These hidden tasks are often called pre-accounting processes, and they refer to the system through which financial data is gathered, coded, aggregated and normalized so that accounting can occur.
Pre-accounting processes may include tasks such as expense and invoice management, which are absolutely vital to how an organization functions — but too often, companies rely on paper-based, manual processes to get these jobs done. Whether it’s the box of receipts sitting on your travel manager’s desk, or the stack of invoices that need to be scanned, approved and paid, many companies are drowning in paper and need to free themselves. In many cases, these manual processes result in a lack of control, painfully slow payments to suppliers and a major blind spot blocking where the money is heading.
But spend management is only the first half of the equation. Once you track down all of the receipts or invoices in a spreadsheet, you have to manually transfer the data into an accounting solution or enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform, a process that could easily be derailed by human error, duplications and missed decimals. And what’s more, the process often takes more time to complete than it should.
Step One: Automate and Optimize the Spend Management Process
With the advent of technology, many organizations have looked to unify and automate these pre-accounting processes, turning to solutions like SAP Concur for their complete spend management needs. By aligning their spend management practices, organizations can uncover a wide range of new benefits:
- Employees Feel Valued and Get More Time to Focus on What Matters: Employees want to feel like they are playing a valuable role in the business. By automating the monotonous data entry process, you can put more hours back in their day to focus on tasks that provide more value to the organization. As a result, your employees not only feel appreciated, but they also have the opportunity to inform critical business strategy.
- Supplier Relationships Improve: When it comes to your suppliers, it’s never good to be “the client who pays on the last day” or “the client who calls to fix every invoice they receive” — and even worse, you don’t want to be “the client who doesn’t pay on time.” An ineffective spend management process decreases the likelihood that your supplier will be flexible, and it could damage your reputation if you hope to find a new supplier. By paying suppliers quickly and accurately, you not only improve your relationships but also how suppliers and the marketplace perceive you and your business.
- You Save Time and Money: Often, organizations that automate their invoice and expense management processes can cut the time it takes to process and pay an invoice in half — and they can further reduce the cost to pay a vendor by mitigating the risk of errors.
- You Control Spending: In our experience, the average value of a duplicate invoice is $2,034. Add this to the costs for each fraudulent or out-of-policy expense report, and companies could be hemorrhaging money without even knowing it. By automating your spend management processes, you and your leaders can see what invoices might be paid before you approve them.
Step Two: Leverage Sage Intacct Integration to Connect Spend Management and Accounting
While an automated spend management experience is the optimal solution for pre-accounting processes, making the transition from pre-accounting to accounting is another piece of the puzzle. This is where Sage Intacct’s integration capabilities come into play.
While best-of-breed applications are designed to “play well with others,” they also rely on the skills and knowledge of developers to extend the core financial management application.
At Wipfli, we’re not only leading resellers of Sage Intacct, but we’re also a leading SAP Concur App Center Partner. Our team has designed and optimized a cloud-to-cloud connector that can help you and your business complete the last mile of your pre-accounting process.
Our ExpenseConnect and InvoiceConnect solutions provide secure, customizable data transfer between SAP Concur and Sage Intacct, removing the need for double-entry or file manipulation in order to account for spend management. This solution can take your time and money savings even further by streamlining the workflow that goes into the accounting process, offering greater control and cost savings.
Many companies just like yours have leveraged Sage Intacct’s integration power by combining it with SAP Concur, using ExpenseConnect or InvoiceConnect. To see this combination in action, check out the story of AtTask, an organization that turned an eight-hour process into a 20-minute one using the easily configured and flexible ExpenseConnect solution.
Ready to learn more? Contact us today.