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Going paperless with A/P in Intacct

Justin Wheeler's Profile

Intacct Accounts Payable ReviewsAll, We're in the process of evaluating Intacct (among others) for implementation on July 1, 2014. As a part of the implementation, we'd like to go paperless with our requisition to payment process. We're considering (1) just using Intacct's built in functionality, including approval routing & attachment of documents/invoices, (2) using Bill.com with Intacct, or (3) using a more comprehensive document management & workflow automation solution (Docassist). Pros/cons of each option as I see them: (1) Intacct alone: Pros: Workflow automation easily accomplished in Intacct (at some additional cost for light users). Documents can be attached to transactions. Cons: Access to documents is not optimal. No search functionality. No ability to view all invoices for a vendor, etc. Hard to image this option replacing our hard vendor files, though I'd be interested to hear if someone has made this work for them. (2) Bill.com. Pros: Very good user interface, resulting in faster invoice entry. Better invoice entering (receive by email or drag&drop; split batches of invoices in system) and invoice processing functionality (add notes); better payment functionality (many vendors already use Bill.com & have signed on for ACH pmt; vendors can be invited to system & receive full info when payment is processed). Inexpensive. Cons: As far as I can tell, we would have to forego requisition & purchase order workflows in Intacct because A/P transactions have to originate in Bill.com, and Bill.com only allows for entry of bills. A work-around might be to have staff upload approved POs with the related bills. (3) Docassist or similar solution. Pros: Can be implemented flexibly with Intacct such that workflows and related approvals can live in either system. All vendor documents easy to access, with audit trail on workflow. Can accommodate other workflows as well, such as contract or grant approval. Cons: Expensive. Value-added not greater than cost until multiple workflows (not just requisition to payment) are captured in system. I'd love to hear about anyone's experiences with any of these three options - including how they've worked around the limitations of (1) & (2) if they went those routes.

Answers

Ken Stumder
Title: Finance Director / Controller
Company: Ken Stumder, CPA
(Finance Director / Controller, Ken Stumder, CPA) |

This is a good thread.

Intacct does not offer a lot of options by way of bank integration, so unless you print manual checks all that workflow would stop at manual updating of payments once you went off and set up the payments with your bank. Anonymous poster provides an attractive alternative with the two-way synch with Bill.com and rightly calls out the payment piece as essential to the equation.

We never used Intacct's document storage capability. I vaguely recall that there was a low limit on free document storage. The concern was the cost would balloon for what was a light area at the time (perhaps the concern was unfounded, but A/P was low on the list in terms of reasons for the switch to Intacct).

For years, we used an expense mailbox for the routing of invoices and documentation of approvals; said mailbox then became the de facto document repository. Not perfect, but it worked and only required the part-time attention of an efficient staff accountant. The downside is that if that staff turns over, the system is broken until the new individual is up and running, and you don't know what has or has not been entered/paid, etc.

With the benefit of hindsight, we probably should have upgraded the process 2-3 years ago based on our growth. We'll be off-shoring A/P as part of a recent business combination, but this is still great information. Thanks for posting.

Topic Expert
Edward Abbati
Title: Vice President of Finance
Company: Location Labs
LinkedIn Profile
(Vice President of Finance, Location Labs) |

I just did a paperless implementation with NetSuite. We did not use Bill.com but instead are using Silicon Valley Bank to transmit payment via ACH, Wired and Checks. In fact, our biggest challenge was getting the right bank feeds to the Bank. Keep in mind that when you do checks, you may have multiple ways you want to handle the checks and therefore, the Banks need special codes for the various handlings. Also, we are doing all of our processing out of our India subsidiary so documentation and coordination is really key to be successful.

Feel free to contact me and I will give you my experience in setting up the process.

Anonymous
(Controller) |

We looked at all three of these solutions with Intacct. Ultimately we ended up going with a third-party procurement system (Coupa) and have generally managed to do away with paper bills, but at higher cost than your proposed solutions.

Your assessment of each is accurate. Intacct documents are clunky and unsearchable, Bill.com doesn't have real procurement functionality. A doc management tool (we used SpringCM) is helpful, but then you're entering in another system and the referencing/integration with Intacct isn't all that great. Those systems are OK for routing, but you're manually enforcing any procurement routing.

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