Industry: Food and Beverage
Revenue: $100-500 M
Locations: 1,000 + and growing
Challenges: This company’s success and rapid growth introduced some business challenges in company operations. It was managing the majority of its back office operations for purchasing, invoices and expense reporting with paper-based processes.
Written purchase orders often contained thirty or more items. Once created, the purchase request would be physically routed for approvals that would take days to obtain. Sometimes orders were placed directly with vendors without purchase orders or prior approvals.
An automated business expense reporting system was deployed, but adoption was slow because many employees found it too hard to use. The majority of business expenses were calculated on spreadsheets, which were printed and then manually sent around for approvals.
The company was becoming mired in piles of paper and wasting significant time searching for missing invoices or expense reports and obtaining manual approvals. The work load was crushing the accounts payable and purchasing departments.
The biggest challenge, however, was control. With the manual, paper-based processes the company was using, it had no real way to control how money was being spent. The ability to track spending and manage cash flow was becoming more difficult.
Technical Needs: The system had to automate the paper processes for company purchasing, vendor invoices and expense reporting and enable the company to store scanned documents and receipts. It also wanted to build in tighter controls so management could set up approval workflows and hierarchies to better manage how money was being spent. For operational efficiencies, the system had to easily integrate with its enterprise resource planning system. Of primary importance was the ability to capture detailed expense information for more in-depth, faster and easier reporting.
ExpenseWatch Solution: ExpenseWatch recommended the full spend management suite that includes modules for Expense Reporting, Purchasing, and Payable Invoices.
With ExpenseWatch in place, the company has nearly eliminated the paper shuffling that was inherent to its manual processes. The online system enables the company to easily track the progress of purchase requests and expense reports. Approval cycles for expense reports, purchase requests and invoices shortened from as long as two weeks to about two days, enabling the company to respond to opportunities more quickly.
ExpenseWatch has also enabled the organization to consolidate responsibilities in its accounts payable department. One person can now check receipts and policy enforcement, a process that took as many as seven people when everything was entered into the accounting system manually.
One of the primary reasons for automating spending processes was more detailed reporting. Previously, reports were generated based on data in the organization’s general ledger, after spending had occurred. Now, the company can report on key expense metrics throughout its organization with real-time, up-to-the-minute information on spending that has occurred as well as what is in the approval process, waiting to be approved or paid.
620 W. Germantown Pike
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
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