‘We are now a 90% paperless company’ – How Everest Automated Its AP
November 30, 2020
ESTIMATED READING TIME: 3 MINUTES
With 16 Mr. Lube franchises in British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario, business is good for Everest Services Centre.
But with that comes a high volume of invoices – and their accounting team was drowning in the paperwork.
“There were three people doing AP,” explained senior accountant Jesusa Agustin. “We were just doing data entry, but we were still behind because we did everything manually, and our financial system (Sage 300) was still new to us.”
The issue was the volume of invoices, which could run into more than 100 in a single day. And when it comes to summing up the old, manual way of working, Agustin doesn’t beat around the bush.
“We were all manual. It was horrible,” she said.
Along with falling behind, the company had issues with invoices being entered more than once as the team of three battled to tackle the huge volume of invoices. “We were seeing duplicate invoices; we are only human,” Agustin said.
In 2018, this came to a head. The decision to automate their AP with Beanworks for invoices and payments was based on two factors. Firstly, Everest wanted something which was user-friendly. Secondly, it had to be compatible with Sage 300, Everest’s main accounting program.
Everest Services Centre went from a manual process for their AP to an automated one.
With only a few weeks to implement including training staff on how to use it, Beanworks was the obvious choice.
“The biggest game-changer has been the time saving and accuracy of reports.” – Jesusa Agustin, senior accountant, Everest.
How Beanworks transformed Everest’s AP
One of the most noticeable benefits which Everest experienced straight away was better accuracy.
“With Beanworks, the system won’t accept a new invoice if the invoice number is repeated,” Agustin said. “There is always a warning and it won’t let us sync if the invoice was duplicated. It’s a great helper.” Greater visibility has also improved accuracy, as it is easy for the team to see which codes each invoice has been given.
Another thing that has made a huge difference is that operations are almost entirely paperless, radically reducing the amount of filing the team needs to do.
“Right now we’re about 90% paperless across the company,” Agustin said.
That means anyone with access, from any location, can generate an invoice or a report, as all the information is in the cloud.
“The biggest game-changer has been the time saving and accuracy of reports, comparing manual to automation,” she added. “We’ve seen a big difference.”
Remember those three people doing data entry in the AP team? They’ve now saved so much time, one of them has been permanently deployed elsewhere. With automated payments, the time spent cutting checks has been reduced from one day per week to one day every two weeks. The time spent coding invoices has also dropped right down since this comes prepared by Beanworks. Moving vendors to electronic invoices also mean Everest’s AP team spends much less time scanning them in.
Yet another benefit comes during audit time, which can now be done remotely. Everest simply creates a user ID for audits, and the audit team enters and generates reports themselves from there.
Having better visibility has strategic advantages too. Agustin, who oversees the AP process but does not directly work on it herself, can use Beanworks to generate reports and compare data, allowing for better insights and analysis.
And there have been benefits during the uncertainty of the pandemic, too. Working remotely has been easy for Everest, while other companies have struggled to adapt.
“Because of Beanworks, nothing changed. Working from home or working at the office, I think we are good.”
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