In IOFM’s most recent webinar, AP’s Role in Stakeholder Relationship Management, we were first asked: Who are AP’s stakeholders?
Maybe a better question is: Who isn’t an AP stakeholder? From vendors, to senior management, to treasury and everyone in between--Accounts Payable has thousands to tens of thousands stakeholders.
The truth is, AP has a major role in keeping stakeholders informed and satisfied. AP is an information center--3-15% of invoice volume is inquired upon. Suppliers are wondering what the status of their invoice and payments are and simply, don’t have visibility into the process. With 78% of AR Departments planning to increase collection activities in the second half of 2014, and supplier inquiry calls taking between 5-20 minutes each, this means AP administrative workload will continue to increase! Even further, internal inquiries comprise of up to 40% of all inquiries that AP departments handle, and often leads up to 4 additional calls before each inquiry can be answered.
Two things can be done to solve this issue:
1. A supplier self-service portal allows the inquirer to answer their own questions without having to rely on an AP clerk to for help. The portal gives full visibility into invoice and payment statuses and allows suppliers to submit electronic messages to resolve disputes. That means suppliers wanting to know if payment is on the way can actually look it up in the portal instead of calling into AP, eliminating that 5-20 minutes spent managing these questions. With a supplier portal, you can eliminate up to 80% of inbound inquiries! In fact, suppliers want access to a tool like this. And the best part? The efficiency it creates gives AP a positive and professional reputation, thus strengthening stakeholder relationships across the board.
2. Enable an auto-accept feature (at Taulia, we call this CashFlow) that allows suppliers to automatically accelerated payments the moment the invoice is approved. This prevents AR from having to track down payments, as they’ll be processed and paid in the fastest way possible.
Overall, your supplier and stakeholder relationships will be much stronger, as AP will be able to focus on their main responsibilities and AR can rest easy knowing payment is on its way.
And of course, while time savings are tremendously valuable, your supplier portal can be used to generate millions each year like PG&E and Coca-Cola Bottling. Find out how to in this blog post: Is eInvoicing dead?
About the Author
Director, Solution Consulting at TauliaMore Content by Branden Lewis