Customer Stories

Book Depot Saves 73% of Time in Accounts Payable with Beanworks AP Automation

November 12, 2020

Book Depot

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

For more than 30 years, Book Depot has prided itself on being one of the largest distributors of discount books. Their commitment to deliver an amazing customer experience has led to significant improvements to their operations using technology to sort, package, and ship orders. The Finance/Accounting team is no exception, where they are pushing the boundaries of traditional accounting practices by adopting accounts payable (AP) automation for faster invoice processing and approvals.

“I was struggling to track approvals for the 600 invoices that I was handling every month,” says Book Depot‘s AP clerk, Aaron Tigchelaar. He was spending approximately nine hours every week securing approvals from 12 managers. “It was tricky to keep track of invoices that were pending permission and those that were approved, particularly when sign-offs were needed from more than one person,” he says.

book depot
Book Depot’s only AP employee was spending 95% of his time doing manual work such as data entry

Before Beanworks, Tigchelaar also spent 10 hours per week coding invoices and inputting data. “Entering invoices into our financial system, Sage 300, took up a lot of my time that could have been used elsewhere.” He was the only employee orchestrating different AP functions and data entry took up the majority of his time.

“My favorite part about Beanworks is the auto-capture function because it means that I don’t have to manually input invoices anymore, and yet, capture more detailed information in my accounting system. –  Aaron Tigchelaar, Book Depot‘s AP clerk

Book Depot is no stranger to continuous improvement and innovation. They are leaders in implementing cutting-edge technologies within their facility; therefore, re-modeling their manual AP with the latest industry tools seemed like an obvious way to improve efficiency. According to Tigchelaar, “Beanworks had all of the tools that we needed for approving and entering invoices, coupled with a sleek interface.”

“Based on the initial demos for Beanworks and other AP tools, Beanworks seemed more user-friendly,” he adds. This was important because managers could not afford getting stuck in invoice reviews as Book Depot’s operations grew. Once they were ready to roll out the software, Tigchelaar gave all users a quick training session to demonstrate the many features. “It only took about five minutes for each approver. It was mostly self-explanatory and since the platform is web-based, our users can review and sign-off invoices from their computer or mobile device,” he highlights.

Book Depot
With cloud access, Book Depot managers can review and approve invoices from anywhere in the facility

Smooth Automation

Book Depot houses millions of books in their facility. This means organizing a large amount of vendor and invoice data on a daily basis. By automating AP, the Finance/Accounting team increased their productivity, freeing up Tigchelaar’s time and allowing him to focus on the implementation of other value-added projects. “I spend very little time on approvals. With Beanworks, I don’t have to worry about tracking or missing invoices.”

The less time Tigchelaar has to think about correcting errors, the less friction there is in approvals. “My favorite part about Beanworks is the auto-capture function because it means that I don’t have to manually input invoices anymore, and yet, capture more detailed information in my accounting system. This also allows me to review incoming expenses and catch any unusual transactions.” Overall, time spent on AP has gone down from 30 hours per week to six hours.

By streamlining internal workflows using Beanworks AP automation, Book Depot has been able to concentrate on what they do best – enchanting minds through great value books. Visit their retail site at or for Canadian customers.

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