“Paper invoices were getting lost” – How Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Modernized Accounts Payable
June 25, 2021
Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is an acclaimed non-profit organization that attracts musicians, artists, and conductors from all over the globe.
Last year, the CSO celebrated its 125th anniversary bringing world-class musical productions to audiences both domestically and internationally. Yet as the organization continued to expand, the need to modernize became critical.
The CSO has a subsidiary, Music and Event Management, Inc., which operates several venues around Ohio that were dependent on paper-based invoicing. Over time, the levels of approval began to break down as the company had more venues and people to manage, and important financial information was slipping through the cracks.
Before switching to Beanworks, a runner would drive between their various venues with a folder full of invoices, leaving a paper trail that was inefficient, time-consuming, and costly.
“We had just built a venue about an hour north of Cincinnati in Huber Heights and the immediate need was getting things electronic because paper invoices were getting lost,” said Monica Putnick, Director of Finance at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/MEMI.
“Our team is spread across many different venues, and invoice routing is very complicated,” she says.
MEMI has two main invoice approvers, but the process became convoluted, as they had to rely on the “runner” to access pending invoices. “I was having a very tough time building approval channels because there was no real approval structure in place,” shares Putnick.
“We had very short notice before going virtual last March and thank goodness we already had Beanworks in place. It made it seamless for the finance team to work remotely and we are still remote now.” Monica Putnick, Director of Finance, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/MEMI
That is when the CSO/MEMI selected Beanworks to solve their mounting issues.
“The accountability that Beanworks has given us is unmatched and there is no more playing the ‘blame game’ for late/lost invoices. Everyone is accountable, as information is both accessible and transparent,” said Putnick.
“Beanworks has really helped with not losing invoices, getting things paid on time and making sure the right people see what needs to be seen.”
By having an AP automated solution, every invoice has an electronic audit trail, making everyone accountable. Moreover, the transparency provided by the Beanworks dashboard feature and platform allowed total confidence in approving finances in real-time without error.
Like many organizations, the paper-based CSO was sent into a major overhaul when the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year – and was instantly forced to adapt to the new normal.
“We have proved that our finance team can handle modern challenges with the aid of technology.”
“We had very short notice before going virtual last March and thank goodness we already had Beanworks in place. It made it seamless for the finance team to work remotely and we are still remote now,” said Putnick.
Automation has also been able to help Putnick and her team with flagging and removing duplicate invoices, as well as identifying fraud and scams, which she noticed increase significantly during the pandemic.
As for the future and going back into the office, Putnick is positive things have changed for the better, thanks to the team’s hard work and Beanworks assistance.
“We have proved that our finance team can handle modern challenges with the aid of technology,” Putnick concludes.
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