Automating Accounts Payable for a Regional Credit Union

With BerkOne’s help, one regional credit union rose above the competition with a strategic focus on cost control and efficiency achieved through streamlined operational procedures and workflows. A critical turning point? The adoption of BerkOne’s AP solution for accounts payable automation.
The Challenge

A regional credit union was struggling with an inefficient manual accounts payable process that was time-consuming and resulted in approval and reporting bottlenecks.  The credit union processed invoices using cumbersome, manual data entry procedures. This paper-based workflow required review and approvals from department to department prior to an invoice getting fully approved for payment. In addition to the time lost waiting for paper copies of invoices to physically reach their destinations, human error was rampant which in turn delayed approval even further. And the intensive manual workloads required a bloated AP department meaning high labor costs.

As a result, the credit union was saddled with late payment fees and payment discrepancies, and early discounts were practically unheard of. There was also a general lack of transparency between departments and decision-making was fragmented instead of being cohesive. Finally, the cost to process invoices was approximately $25 per invoice jeopardizing their ability to maintain competitively-priced loan products aimed at cost-conscious borrowers. They decided to engage BerkOne and their expertise at streamlining business processes for leading companies around the world.

Rampant Inefficiency

Weeks to Process Invoices

Little Visibility Into AP

The BerkOne Solution

BerkOne proved to be a perfect business partner, working closely with the credit union to fully understand their AP challenges so they could tailor a solution that was easy to implement and cost-effective. BerkOne configured an industry-leading automation platform, offering the credit union two flexible deployment options: on premise or hosted.

The credit union opted for application hosting, leveraging BerkOne’s AP automation know-how to improve their process without having to hire trained IT personnel or make large capital investments in software. BerkOne handled the entire end-to-end rollout and ongoing management for a reasonable implementation fee that covered initial programming of the solution to the credit union’s specifications.

The new solution accepts scanned invoice files and a vendor master feed from the credit union for improved data accuracy, checks for data integrity and verification into key index fields, and integrates the information feed into their ERP system. Relevant credit union AP processors and approvers can tap into critical features such as three-way matching where PO requisitions are matched with invoices and receipt of goods sold all via the web.

Easy to configure reporting, real-time dashboards, preset approval alerts for authorized users and intuitive exception identification and adjustment have virtually eliminated the manual processes typically performed by AP staff. Multiple, unique invoice types no long require manual reconciliation—the system recognizes and process them intelligently, and handles credit memos and adjustments with dynamic business rule functionality.

The Results

With BerkOne’s AP automation solution, the credit union shortened the paper-based process from nearly a month to a matter of a few days, significantly reduced the opportunity for human error and cut the cost to process an invoice by more than 50%. The automated process also allowed the credit union to earn early discounts, avoid late fees and slash its labor costs dramatically. This improved cash flow position enabled them to re-shift their strategic focus into other areas such as portfolio and customer service innovation which further enhanced their market position and allowed them to offer competitively-priced products coupled with ample credit limits for borrowers.

50% Lower Invoice Cost

Dramatic Efficiency Gains

Improved Collaboration

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