“I call it magic!” – PETA Foundation on How Beanworks Transformed its AP
April 14, 2021
Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes
When you’re the largest animal rights organization running campaigns around the world, time is of the essence. For PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), a US-based non-profit, this means taking action fast. To ensure their campaigns run as planned, it relies on PETA Foundation, a separate arm that provides administrative and general support.
As the organization grew, it was no longer viable to sustain their existing accounts payable (AP) operations; Kelly Fidler, the VP of Finance at PETA Foundation, reached out to Beanworks to help streamline their workflow.
Up until Fidler made this key decision, the AP team was functioning through in-house processes using Excel and SharePoint. And although they had gone paperless a few years ago, AP was still time-consuming and lacked structure overall.
Entering an invoice into the system took a painful amount of data entry–vendor details, invoice number, approver, payment method, department–before it was finally routed to the approver. If it was rejected for any reason, the entire cycle had to be repeated.
“We spent a lot of time troubleshooting uploads because there would be issues… and you couldn’t always see them. You had to learn to guess what the problems were, where they were, and how to fix them.” – Kelly Fidler, VP of Finance, PETA Foundation
“You would have managers and directors that would decline invoices for something really minor. The process to resubmit the invoice was so clunky… SharePoint would only accept the same file once, or it would display an error message. To work around this, the file name had to be amended before starting the entire process again,” explains Fidler.
The non-profit had several project codes. For a small accounting team handling a large volume of data, this often led to mistakes.
“We spent a lot of time troubleshooting uploads because there would be issues… and you couldn’t always see them. You had to learn to guess what the problems were, where they were, and how to fix them,” she adds.
As you can tell, their old set-up wasn’t ideal – and they needed to find a solution fast. Not only could Beanworks streamline invoice approvals and manage payments through a central platform, it also integrated seamlessly with Sage 100, their main financial system.
“We cut off access to the old system immediately and we’ve never looked back. We love it! We are 100% happy.” – Kelly Fidler
Implementing Beanworks? A “PETA” cake!
Their IT department was surprised by how painless it was to introduce Beanworks across the organization. “We cut off access to the old system immediately and we’ve never looked back. We love it! We are 100% happy,” Fidler highlights.
Unlike before when an invoice had to go through a complicated process after being rejected, managers can easily manage approvals online, leaving notes in the software and resolving issues without exiting the platform.
“It really was not a difficult decision. The way Beanworks integrated with Sage 100, I call it magic!” – Kelly Fidler
Fidler says the new system has done away with their old practice of paying invoices immediately without considering the due date. Thanks to Beanworks, they have better visibility into payment deadlines. This means they can control payments for longer and gain a better handle over cash flow.
In the past, there had been times when duplicate invoices were accidentally missed. With Beanworks, the foundation doesn’t have to worry about that. The software automatically flags duplicates saving the AP team from manually tracking and correcting any mistakes.
PETA Foundation’s AP transformation has resulted in real-time access to accounts payable. Beanworks has accelerated invoice and payment processing, giving the accounting team more time for bigger tasks. Collaboration and efficiency have improved significantly as employees can navigate through different AP workflows, no matter where they’re working from.
“It really was not a difficult decision,” says Fidler. “The way Beanworks integrated with Sage 100, I call it magic!”
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