The demand for telecom expense management (TEM) systems to leverage automation is increasing. Matching contracts with a high volume of invoices take financial teams too much time to execute and high error rates are inevitable. On top of that, manual operation of these complex tasks makes it nearly impossible for CIOs to extract any useful business intelligence from the data that comes out of their enterprise-wide TEM engagement.
The most successful companies today have realized the benefits and achieved cost savings from automating their invoice processing. Here’s how they do it:
Maximizing AIP for Your Business
Telecom invoices received by business administrators can pass through several hands before they reach their final destination. Not only that, they can be delivered in many different formats, file types and in different currencies at varying exchange rates. Telecom bills are notorious for inaccuracy and error. Without an optimized invoice processing platform in place, businesses could be charged an excessive amount for their mobile device usage or be paying for fixed telecom services they no longer use without ever knowing it.
And when teams of individuals are tasked with verifying the correctness of each invoice, by hand, delays, human errors, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies are likely to occur and a loss of funds as a result. MDSL’s automated invoice processing (AIP) setup automatically verifies each invoice, line-by-line, against your agreed rates and any predefined rules. Invoices that have no discrepancies or issues are sent directly to the AIP portal of the administrator responsible initiating that payment. It substantially reduces the risk and error in non-automated systems.
Here are the three primary functions of an AIP system:
- Electronic Invoice Processing. By converting as many invoices as possible to digital files, processed directly from the vendor, and housing all invoice processing activities on a single, centralized system, AIP enables administrators to accurately assess data across multiple verticals of their business and provide timely analysis to procurement and other teams.
- Dispute Resolution. One of the most important benefits of a well-designed AIP system is its ability to quickly and effectively resolve any discrepancies between invoices and expense reports. Often procurement teams will invest a significant amount of time in negotiating optimal fixed and mobile telecom rates for the enterprise only to be billed incorrectly on a monthly basis. Across thousands of users, this can have a massive negative impact on telecom costs. MDSL’s AIP platform helps administrators track the entire lifecycle of an invoice from disposition to payment and can produce detailed and accurate reports to facilitate the management and resolution of any disputed transaction.
- Invoice Validation. The function responsible for perhaps most of the time savings generated by an AIP systemis that of invoice validation. Implementing an automated system allows processing teams to avoid costly, line-by-line reviews of invoice details and rely instead on an automated platform to quickly identify the accuracy of usage values, allocate costs to individuals and departments, verify contract details against company policies, and check totals against inventory and vendor agreements.
Administrators now only need to process exceptions, a dramatic reduction in time and cost from when they had to process each invoice by hand. Exceptions, once cleared by the administrator, are then sent back through the AIP system to be reverified and processed for payment. The ultimate goal of implementing AIP protocols is to have the platform perform the “heavy lifting,” completing tedious, error-prone tasks and freeing up resources and personnel to be utilized elsewhere in your business.
Benefits That Lead to Success
When AIP protocols align properly to your technology expense management workflow, companies can expect to experience several key benefits. These include:
- Tackling Billing Errors. AIP systems are designed specifically to minimize the impact of costly billing errors. MDSL’s automated service identifies all billing discrepancies and streamlines their handling from the administrator’s hands to the final phase of payment.
- Improving Accuracy. From invoice acquisition to loading and tracking invoices across multiple verticals of a large business, automation improves accuracy at each stage of the billing lifecycle and reduces costly human errors found from incorrect data entry or typos.
- Faster Processing. Automation is synonymous with efficiency. But in the highly demanding context of enterprise-level invoice processing and technology expense management, the ability to process invoices faster and more efficiently can streamline entire workflows and improve resource allocation.
- Global Mail Reception. MDSL’s AIP platform enables companies to take advantage of mail reception centers across three continents. Internal teams no longer have to process bulky paper invoices. MDSL will merge all paper records into the AIP system and manage the storage or destruction of all paper bills.
- Customizable Workflow. Business administrators can use their AIP platform to spec out each vendor account and configure individualized business rules that dictate cost allocation, approvals, and the managing of payment details.
- Granular Checks. A well-oiled AIP system will reveal actionable insights on the macro level. But at the micro level, AIP checks each invoice for inconsistencies down to the lowest level of detail and ensures accurate billing at negotiated rates.
Finding the Right AIP Platform
Large businesses need to employ a well-designed AIP platform to overcome common invoice processing challenges. If properly optimized and implemented, an automated solution could save your financial department, in some areas, as much as 80 percent of its overhead expenditures. These huge potential cost savings are why choosing the right AIP platform is so crucial to the success of your technology expense management program.
For a free consultation and a demonstration of MDSL’s automated invoice processing tool, contact a member of our expert team today and begin building a custom AIP solution to fit the individual needs of your business.