Multiple Branches & AP Issues

multiple branches and AP issues

One of the use cases we see all the time is organizations with multiple branches and AP issues. Having multiple branches can mean exponential issues as it relates to Accounts Payable. This is compounded if your organization doesn’t use POs or can’t use POs to do your business with suppliers. It also means that there are purchase decisions being made at a local level, but invoices flowing into headquarters. Here are a few of the issues you may be facing:

Email to paper: Many organizations receive supplier invoices via email, which are usually sent to the AP team. Some of these organizations then print the invoices so they can be sent to the branch for approval. This is an inherently inefficient process for obvious reasons.

Courier hardcopy to the branch: The hard copy invoices and supporting documentation is then sent through internal or external courier. For external courier this means extra cost and likely a delay in the information getting distributed to the branch. Internal courier means that the invoices get delivered at the frequency that the vehicles need to be at a branch. This can mean several days between deliveries.

Scan and email: In some cases, organizations may be able to scan and email the invoices. There is still manual effort on the scanning side and the courier is replaced by multiple files in an email.

Approval issues: Once the hardcopy or scanned invoices are received by the branch, then the local manager or admin approves them. This approval process can be fraught with delays and missing information. Paper and emails can easily be lost. The process can also grind to a halt when people are out of the office on leave or vacation.

Impatient suppliers: Your suppliers want to get paid and some can become impatient. This usually manifests itself into three actions. First is that they will call the branch or head office frequently asking about the invoice. Second is that they may submit the invoice again to make sure they get paid. The third is that they may put you on hold, this means scrambling internally to deal with the issue.

Poor visibility: Often the finance team does not have great visibility on the invoice until they are sent back into head office after approvals. This can impact cashflow with unexpected invoices or delay invoicing depending on the impact the invoices have on your AR.

Manual entry: The last step in the process is that someone on the Accounts Payable team must manually enter the invoices into the ERP or Finance system.

If you would like to understand how OnePosting can help with streamlining your business when it comes to multiple branches and Ap issues, book a meeting with us!

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Mark Elliott
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