Posts tagged "Accounts Payable Automation"

Efficiency Leaders Accounts Payable Automation with Kofax Software

Leverage the benefits of Accounts Payable automation for your organisation

July 31st, 2017 Posted by Blog 0 thoughts on “Leverage the benefits of Accounts Payable automation for your organisation”

Superior Accounts Payable processing is essential for profitable and effective business operations.
Every organisation is familiar with the often time-consuming task of accounts payable, no matter what kind of industry its in. Paying suppliers for services or goods is all part of the mechanics of good business operations. Regardless of size, every organisation needs to ensure this process is well managed to maintain smooth and seamless operations. Failure to pay on time for things such as goods, utilities and services can have a dramatically negative effect on business operations. A small, local restaurant will have the same problems as a large, multi-national company, if both fail to pay their overhead expenses. Sooner or later, they will suddenly find their operations at a stand still.

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The Top Seven Reasons to Automate Accounts Payable

April 21st, 2016 Posted by Blog, White Paper 0 thoughts on “The Top Seven Reasons to Automate Accounts Payable”

The accounts payable (AP) process is dif cult to tame, yet well worth the effort. The reasons for investing in accounts payable automation are compelling, and in this paper we will make them clear. Yet, while few processes offer such tangible and fast return on an automation investment, many organizations err in judging AP as a low-value activity not worth that investment.

Accounts payable organizations are charged with simultaneously reducing costs, improving performance, achieving regulatory compliance, increasing visibility and enabling the corporation’s strategic initiatives. Not only do these goals conflict at times, they compete for the same resources, limiting AP’s ability to accomplish them.

Many technologies have been applied to the accounts payable process, including financial management systems (ERP), capture, intelligent document recognition, EDI, e-Invoicing, workflow, and the cloud. But industry experts agree that substantial bene ts remain to be realized through an end-to- end invoice and AP process automation that these technologies have not delivered.

As The Hackett Group reports in its 2013 Purchase-to-Pay Performance Study, finance departments continue to seek improvement in a range of efficiency and effectiveness metrics

that include first pass match rate, on-time payment rate, level of spend visibility, compliance to preferred supplier policies, cost per FTE, transactions per FTE, and invoice processing cycle time. This paper discusses why you should move now to capture the bene ts available through implementation of end-to-end Accounts Payable automation.

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Infographic: Finding revenue in your AP Automation Process

April 21st, 2016 Posted by Blog, White Paper 0 thoughts on “Infographic: Finding revenue in your AP Automation Process”

While increasing sales is a natural goal for improving the bottom line, significant revenue can be found by optimizing AP automation. Improving workflows at every key milestone reduces costs of manual intervention, all while increasing early payment discounts. Below are ways your organization can implement best-in-class AP practices.

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What AP Automation will look like in 3 years

April 21st, 2016 Posted by Blog, White Paper 0 thoughts on “What AP Automation will look like in 3 years”

A modern financial system is the foundation for automation. Complete accounts payable automation solutions are a relatively new product category for financial operations professionals. Advanced technologies such as mobile, social networking, and intelligent dashboards are very slowly being integrated into offerings and adopted by enterprises.

Finance professionals are cautious by nature and do not always view AP automation solutions as being strategic to an enterprise. However, in the past 10 to 15 years, companies have automated components of their AP process, doing it in phases with a slow adoption rate.

Let’s look at the current phases for incorporating an automated solution into AP systems, as well as the current state of adoption, and predictions about where the industry is headed.

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Cutting Costs With Accounts Payable Automation

April 20th, 2016 Posted by Blog, White Paper 0 thoughts on “Cutting Costs With Accounts Payable Automation”

One thing is clear: Technology holds the key toward transitioning accounts payable from a cost centre into a profit centre and making the AP professional’s job strategic and even more  relevant. The problem, industry watchers say, is that there’s no “one size fits all” solution, and  each department is left to cobble together its own set of tools to fit its individual needs. So should an AP department automate or not? It’s a tough call. Some aren’t sure where to begin, how much to automate, or what technology to use.

But there’s good news. The number of tools is growing as innovative companies work to solve the AP automation dilemma. And users are largely satisfied with AP automation technologies, once they implement them. As the AP profession gains new stature, capturing the attention of controllers, CFOs, and even CEOs looking to cost saving and preserve precious dollars in an economy is always changing, companies that offer solutions in AP technology are racing to come up with ways to improve speed and accuracy in processing payables.

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AP Requirements eBook

April 14th, 2016 Posted by Blog, White Paper 0 thoughts on “AP Requirements eBook”

The AP requirements eBook is a guide when considering an AP automation solution. We constructed this guide as business processes are more complex than most people realise. Often the process isn’t documented well and finance teams just know how to force exceptions through the system.

Use this guide as a start when considering what your requirements are for AP automation. Once you have an idea of what you need from AP Automation it will make selecting the right one an easier process.

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Remuera Golf Club AP Automation Case Study

April 12th, 2016 Posted by Blog, Case Studies 0 thoughts on “Remuera Golf Club AP Automation Case Study”

Having reviewed a number of options, we placed our confidence in ELAP Cloud to automate the data entry from supplier invoices into our existing systems. We could not be happier with our decision.

Chris Davies General Manager – Remuera Golf Club

During the initial processes of integration and installation, the team at Efficiency Leaders went above and beyond what you would expect, with no query or task too large. The system has worked magic for our business and the result has been that we have now integrated ELAP Cloud throughout our entire business with integration between our Accounting package and POS software. The integration allows our current staff to spend more time running the business rather than just data entry.

We were at crossroads: we either needed to invest further in staff or alternatively, invest in more efficient work processes and systems.

About Remuera Golf Club

Set in a graceful woodlands setting, Remuera Golf Club is a private members golf club. Established in 1934 Remuera has a proud history and heritage and the course and facilities have been continually improved over the time.

The course continues to be improved and developed and members regularly enjoy the Clubhouse facilities with the 19th bar being one of the most popular in the country.

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Twin Towns Clubs and Resorts AP Automation Case Study

April 12th, 2016 Posted by Blog, Case Studies 0 thoughts on “Twin Towns Clubs and Resorts AP Automation Case Study”

Twin Towns are very pleased with the impressive return on investment experienced since the inception of ELAP.

The ELAP solution has provided cost efficiencies and improvements in processes, resources and internal controls. Overall the flow of work is much more efficient and effective. ELAP enables us to manage our purchasing and stock management systems more efficiently and has automated the processing of invoice information into our IT systems. ELAP also performs validation checks (tax invoices, purchase orders, creditor details etc) to ensure the accuracy of information entered into our core systems.

says Kim Collins, Executive Manager Finance for Twin Towns.

As with any hospitality and tourism based company, the amount of paperwork processed daily at Twin Towns is tremendous, particularly in terms of accounts processing.

Prior to investing in the Efficiency Leaders Automation Platform (ELAP), Twin Towns implemented inventory management and financial software (Micros™-FIDELIO Materials Control and TechnologyOne Financials systems) in a bid to increase business efficiency.

Some Managers were spending a minimum of fifteen hours a week just checking what goods were ordered, what had been received, what was invoiced and discrepancies between the three, and then manually entering the data

Micros™ was implemented to streamline inventory management processes and assist the company in electronic purchasing and stock management. Whilst Micros™ was a great system for the Twin Towns group, it still required manual inputting of data for the AP team. This process was time consuming, inefficient and in most instances required staff to manually enter basic invoice information a minimum of twice. Purchase Orders were manually raised and approved. Stock was ordered manually and once it arrived, the AP process required a second approval from management on the invoice to ensure the company had been invoiced correctly against what had been ordered. There was an incredible amount of time spent verifying that the invoices reflected what had been approved for purchase on the initial Purchase Order (PO).

There was also a lot of paper chasing between the Food and Beverage and Administration departments to confirm these details. Once management in Food and Beverage and Purchasing had approved the invoice and its details, the information was entered manually into Micros™. The invoice was then sent (via internal mail) to the AP team who manually entered the invoice information all over again into their accounting system, TechnologyOne Financials.

The costs associated with managing invoice processing, as well as the human labour required to catch and fix any errors along the way, was growing quickly.

We had a total of four AP staff employed full time just following up, manually inputting and checking invoices. In the last couple of days of every ‘end of month’, our accounts staff would be incredibly busy processing as a significant number of invoices for the company would land on their desk in that last week.

Twin Towns had not leveraged from its investment in software systems and the IT infrastructure. With the number of ‘touch points’ an invoice needed to go through in order to be processed, what the company needed was a powerful and tailored technology solution to efficiently manage and automate the inflow and outflow of information and data.


Twin Towns  Clubs and Resorts selected Efficiency Leaders to streamline, automate  and simplify what was fast becoming a very complicated AP and stock management system for staff and suppliers alike. As the industry leaders in creating efficient business processes, Efficiency Leaders was the perfect team to improve Twin Towns’ accounts and stock processes. After initial consultation and analysis of existing business processes, Efficiency Leaders implemented ELAP.

ELAP is a powerful and intelligent automated AP solution which captures, extracts    and transfers critical data from any document into back end systems (TechnologyOne Financials, Micros™ Materials Control for example) through seamless integration. ELAP’s intelligent document capture software automatically reads any invoice (or document for that matter), regardless of its format, layout, tabular data, fields or length. In real terms, this means the Twin Towns accounts process can now be carried out from start to finish more efficiently and effectively.

Purchase Orders are now raised electronically in Micros™ instead of manually. Before the order goes out, management still need to approve orders over a certain dollar value, but this is now also done electronically. When the goods arrive to be delivered at Twin Towns, the invoice is checked against the stock. The invoice is then scanned into an office scanner. ELAP automatically extracts all the information from data contained on the invoice. This includes the PO number, invoice number, ABN, suppliers contact and address details, GST amounts, stock information and any other information required from the document. ELAP then automatically checks the invoice against the initial PO at a rate of 1000 characters per second (so on average up to 50 invoices per minute can potentially be checked). If 100% of the invoice data matches the PO, ELAP automatically updates Micros™ using B2B functionality and the accounts information is interfaced with TechnologyOne Financials.

One of the many benefits of ELAP is that it can be implemented to compliment any existing IT and business systems. The intelligent scanning and distribution solution is also a self-learning software system, meaning it will even “learn-by-example” and adapt to documents that frequent the business, allowing configuration to be quickly optimised. Intelligent software that improves data quality and reduces data entry costs, complimenting existing software systems – exactly what the Twin Towns team were after!


Thanks to the professional change management and internal communication skills of Efficiency Leaders, the upgrade to automated accounts processing for Twin Towns has been a smooth process.

Staff have truly embraced and taken ownership of the new ELAP® system. They were involved in the initial planning and testing of the system and Efficiency Leaders, as a result of their feedback, tailored the system to suit Twin Towns’ needs.

Since Efficiency Leaders completed the ELAP® upgrade project, Twin Towns are looking at how they can implement the ELAP® system in other areas of the business – payroll, HR, staff surveys, membership processing etc. Our entire business is now leveraging from the IT investment and the business processes are becoming more automated and efficient thanks to the assistance from Efficiency Leaders.

About Twin Towns

Employing 450 staff, Twin Towns provides entertainment, accommodation, dining, conference, meeting and event facilities across three sites to international and local members and visitors to the Gold Coast and Northern NSW region.

Approximately 15,000 invoices pass through its Accounts Payable (AP) system each month. As with any hospitality and tourism based company, the amount of paperwork processed daily at Twin Towns is tremendous, particularly in terms of accounts processing.

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Urban Purveyor Group AP Automation Case Study

April 12th, 2016 Posted by Blog, Case Studies 0 thoughts on “Urban Purveyor Group AP Automation Case Study”

Since the new ELAP system was installed, the Financial Controller has been delighted with the transparency and the efficiencies of the invoice automation platform.

The business is now well placed to manage the rapid expansion plans without increasing back office overheads. This would not have been possible without this technology.

said the IT Manager.

The Financial Controller for the Urban Purveyor Group said the UPG head office dealt with between 3500 – 4000 invoices a month. Without any EDI links with key suppliers, over 90% of these invoices arrive on paper and must be manually entered.

There was lack of control over the processing of invoices, additionally all of the purchase orders (POs) were created manually and it meant we had a lack of visibility.

said the Financial Controller.

The manual workflow that had evolved over time has also introduced multiple layers of duplication which added the potential for human error to introduce inaccuracies. Previously, invoices were handled a minimum of three times after being sent into head office.

Each invoice was sent to the executive chef, who had them compiled into an Excel spreadsheet. Then all food and liquor invoices were entered manually into UPG’s Micros based inventory system, after which they would be sent to the finance department and be entered into the accounting software.

Being handled so many times and manually entered into two different systems saw many opportunities for human error.

explained the Financial Controller.

UPG’s IT Manager, had been assessing alternatives for invoice automation since 2009, but the rapid rollout of new stores in 2010 increased the pressure to implement a solution.

I had to make sure that the application mapped our needs.
I had a look at a number of proposals but they wouldn’t map to the Micros POS system or couldn’t talk to our Greentree financials.
The Efficiency Leaders Automation Platform (ELAP®) has delivered the integration that we required.

There is better integration between business units, inventory people are talking to financials, who are in turn talking to the venues. There is better interaction between every business unit. Data is accurate so people are more confident in talking to one another.

said the IT Manager

In addition to adopting ELAP®, UPG migrated from the Micros point of sale (POS) platform to an alternative from H&L. Efficiency Leaders provided the turnkey automation solution in 12 weeks.

The entire solution went live at the end of March 2011 and is now interfaced to a new SharePoint Foundation installation, providing automatic archiving of invoice images and extracted data. Invoices are scanned once at the venues on MFPs and sent to the head office for processing.

ELAP automatically ingests invoices received and applies image clean-up technology to enable the most accurate extraction results. Once the scanned images are received from the remote locations, the application intelligently interprets the invoice data and automatically applies business rules to validate the content. Efficiency Leaders also developed the custom connectors for Greentree Financials and H&L Sysnet to support automatic line item processing.

Validations are compatible with the ABR Web service, Sysnet and Greentree. Exceptions are handled by operators at the head office. If the invoice is valid, the relevant details are automatically exported to Greentree, Sysnet, and SharePoint Foundation.

Suppliers have now been requested to include a Purchase Order (PO) number on the invoice along with specific article codes and quantities. It’s no longer sufficient to invoice for a box of apples, the numbers or weight must be specified.

We haven’t had any resistance from suppliers. They are all happy to contribute to a more efficient payment system.

We now have transparency with purchase orders being raised first in H&L. We have also gained visibility and control of our food and liquor costs.

said the Financial Controller.

Business rules are applied once an invoice has been scanned into ELAP®. If the extracted invoice data matches the Purchase Order, it can go straight through for payment from Greentree financials. If there are exceptions or quantities outside a certain limit, the PO will be queried by a validation operator.

The exceptions generally come from variances in quantity or weight of foodstuffs, for instance you ordered 2kg of fish and you get 2.1kg. It depends on the business rules you set whether that gets processed or comes up as an exception.

said the IT Manager.

We have added five new venues without any new administrative staff, I don’t think we would have been able to do that without introducing this solution.

During this whole transformation, Efficiency Leaders has consistently under-promised and over-delivered. Our requirements were constantly changing and they easily accommodated any changes. They were very easy to deal with.

said the Financial Controller.

About Urban Purveyor Group

Started by German-born restaurateur John Szangolies over 35 years ago, UPG now owns and runs a growing network of restaurants throughout NSW and Queensland. UPG’s first restaurant, the Löwenbräu Keller in the Rocks, is a Sydney institution. In recent years the UPG brand has grown to include The Argyle, Sake Restaurant & Bar, The Cut Bar & Grill, and the Bavarian Bier Café.

UPG has experienced rapid growth adding many new venues, including the first interstate locations in Queensland. Even before the rapid expansion, manual processing of supplier invoices was growing increasingly unwieldy.

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Coffs Harbour City Council AP Automation

April 12th, 2016 Posted by Blog, Case Studies 0 thoughts on “Coffs Harbour City Council AP Automation”

The advantages of the ELAP Accounts Payable automation solution are substantial and multifaceted. Physical paper handling and manual information entry is reduced by 80% or more, with most of the required textual data being automatically extracted from the images. Order matching is also automated.

As a consequence of these advantages, processing time is reduced which does not only save time and money but is also an efficient and satisfying way of operating a business.

The Council’s Executive Manager – Finance, Dale Allen said

The city’s status has been recognised by the NSW state government, which has designated Coffs Harbour as a centre for strategic growth, highlighting its economic and social importance to the state.

To enable economic growth and to assist the local business community to reach their full potential, Coffs Harbour City Council (CHCC) decided to set local trends by optimising their investment in administrative processes by re-engineering inefficient business processes. The council embarked upon its programme of functional optimisation by automating their Accounts Payable (AP) process.


Prior to automation, hardcopy invoices were receipted by council staff, who usually instigated the procurement process via mail. If an electronic image was sent to Council it was printed and processed as a hardcopy. The hardcopy document was stamped with a “goods received” stamp which prompted for a signature to acknowledge that the goods or service had been received and that it is OK to pay. The creditor clerk would manually identify who the purchaser was, if it was not clear from the data on the invoice.

Where no purchase order number was quoted, the clerk would also request a purchase order number to be supplied by the purchaser.

The hardcopy invoice would then be physically delivered to the identified purchaser at one of council’s offices and depots disbursed throughout the Local Government area. After the invoice had been approved, it would be physically returned to the purchasing branch office where it would be manually processed by a creditor clerk. The creditor clerk would then enter textual information from the invoice into a transaction data entry screen of the financial system before matching the transaction to the nominated electronic version of the purchase order.

The council was not only wasting time by transporting hardcopy documents around physical locations, but also would often lose track of where invoices actually were in the process. Documents would often get lost or misplaced, resulting in even more processing inefficiencies. This approach to accounts processing also led to the system costing balances being delayed as a result of the processing time required to handle the physical document and manually enter information.


When the council heard about the Efficiency Leaders Automation Platform (ELAP) at    a TechnologyOne™ User Group Meeting, their staff were surprised by the extent of technological capabilities available to assist them in making their business processes more efficient.

The council started their process improvements by setting up a dedicated email address for receipting invoices and contacted all suppliers requesting that, in future, they email PDF copies of invoices in order to eradicate hard copy document processing. In a second step, council decided to take full advantage of the ELAP Accounts Payable automation solution, enabling automatic processing of both scanned hardcopy documents and imported electronic images. After an intelligent image clean-up and data extraction process, pre-defined business rules are automatically applied against the extracted information for validity checking. The extracted data and the invoice image are presented to the AP operator to check validity with the option to correct exceptional invoices. Part of the automated validity checking involves database queries being invoked by ELAP® to check that the purchase order exists, the supplier details exist in the financial system, and the ABN details are valid.

Once the operator is satisfied that the image, pagination, data extraction and validation is correct, the textual information and images are exported from ELAP to Microsoft SharePoint. When the export is complete, an automatic ELAP workflow process is then triggered which accesses the information which has been exported to SharePoint. The automated process follows a pre-defined workflow which updates the information stored in SharePoint as appropriate.

Invoices which have been successfully matched to an order or backorder and which have been approved for payment are given a “Ready for Export” status. The credit officer decides when invoices are ready to import into a batch (Document File) within the financial system. Another workflow is then invoked which collects the requested information from SharePoint. The approved requests for payment are then automatically uplifted into the financial system database import table with a pointer to the path and name of the invoice image file. SharePoint is updated to identify which invoices were exported together as a batch to aid in the reconciliation process.

Once posted, the costing transaction retains the image so it can be accessed via the financial system for ease of reference at a later stage.


…Furthermore, the hard copies do not get lost or misplaced anymore, queries by suppliers can be researched and responded to more easily and quickly and supplier ABN details are more closely monitored and updated.
This is very pleasing from a finance perspective in that the financial system actual costing balances are updated sooner as the purchasing branch staff do not have to enter details of all the goods and services in the financial system. The purchaser approval and matching is used to allow the receipting to be done with the order matching and posting in the financial system.

The benefits of ELAP® Automated Accounts payable were such that Coffs Harbour City Council decided to go into the next phase of automating business processes within Council.

This is the beauty of ELAP, it is made to work organisation-wide

commented Dale Allen after the successful Accounts Processing implementation project.

Coffs Harbour City Council are currently in the process of planning additional ELAP® process automation implementations for Payroll time sheet processing as the next phase in their enterprise wide process automation strategy.

About Coffs Harbour City Council

Positioned halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, Coffs Harbour is a thriving regional coastal city of around 70,000 residents who enjoy a unique lifestyle created by Coffs Harbour’s geography and climate. Nestled between the coastal slopes of the Great Dividing Range and the 80 kilometres of golden beaches that form its boundaries, Coffs Harbour has gained a reputation as a dynamic and rapidly expanding economic hub.

The city’s status has been recognised by the NSW state government, which has designated Coffs Harbour as a centre for strategic growth, highlighting its economic and social importance to the state.

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