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Paperless Accounts Payable

Our payable department is considering going paperless.  Are there any recommendation others are using to make this process secure?

Answers

Anonymous
(Controller) |

Pay.com, just make sure you can suck the data into your accounting system.

Len Green
Title: Performance Improvement Consultant and E..
Company: Haygarth Consulting LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Performance Improvement Consultant and ERP Strategist, Haygarth Consulting LLC) |

Anon
Interesting question you pose:)

In what way does your company think that paper based processing is secure or more secure than paperless?
Security is an aspect of internal control, regardless of paper/paperless, in my view.

Apart from the security aspect, what other reasons are making your company think about paperfree AP?

That may help us give you targeted responses/ideas.

Best

Len

Anonymous
(Office Manager) |

We are trying to cut down on filing time & filing space by having everything put in our computer system. We are trying to be green.

Glen Norman
Title: Lead Analyst - Accounting Systems
Company: Energy Transfer
(Lead Analyst - Accounting Systems, Energy Transfer) |

There are many solutions that might meet your requirements. The problem with trying to recommend any paperless solution is you haven't provided enough information. Options will be different based on the size of your company, what software you are running, and what the budget for the solution might be.

Len Green
Title: Performance Improvement Consultant and E..
Company: Haygarth Consulting LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Performance Improvement Consultant and ERP Strategist, Haygarth Consulting LLC) |

Agreed Glen. Anon, can you help us with info like:
1. what system(s) do you use today for Purchase Reqs & Orders, AP invoice entry?
2. what business are you in (make, distribute, service and parts, services only)
3. are you in one location or many?
etc

Emerald Quilab
Title: Cost Controller
Company: Elegancia Hospitality Services WLL
(Cost Controller, Elegancia Hospitality Services WLL) |

It is impossible to go paperless. Try erp system...

Marie Arriaga
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Mechanix Wear
(Accounting Manager, Mechanix Wear) |

True, there is no way to go completely paperless. You can, however, go considerably less-paper.

Donald Kalkofen
Title: Outsourced CFO/Controller/Director/SEC 4..
Company: Consulting CPA
(Outsourced CFO/Controller/Director/SEC 4 startups & public companies, Consulting CPA) |

Check out the Square 9 application, it has some nice features.

Topic Expert
Joan Varrone
Title: CFO
Company: Cloud Cruiser
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, Cloud Cruiser) |

Bill.com will allow you to go paperless and it also includes an electronic workflow for approval. All bills are emailed to Bill.com and stored. Bill.com automatically synchs with QuickBooks. If you are using another accounting package I would check to see if they can synch. If you have QuickBooks, there is seamless integration; you actually code the accounting information in Bill.com

Nelda Alston
Title: Office Manager
Company: Professional Retail Store Maintenance As..
(Office Manager, Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association) |

We currently use Bill.com., but we file the hard copy after processing. Do you keep the hard copy or shred? Since IRS requires 7 years retention, are the documents stored in Bill.com for this length of time & acceptable by IRS?

Anonymous
(Chief Financial Officer) |

Joan, my current bookkeeper is reluctant to use bill.com because they say that it is redundant and that they still have to enter the invoices into QB anyway. I have used bill.com in the past and liked it very much. Bookkeeper says that I shouldn't have to review invoices. Thoughts?

Anonymous
(Office Manager) |

We are a small membership based association. We have 20 employees. Currently we pay our bills thru Bill.com. We are set-up with them thru our accountant's office. They download all the information each month into their accounting software, Great Plain.s

Topic Expert
Paul Benedetto
Title: CFO, Director of Finance, Consultant
Company: Nextwave Software, Rethink Fabrics
(CFO, Director of Finance, Consultant, Nextwave Software, Rethink Fabrics) |

If you are a small business - say under 10M in revenue, my go to service is bill.com. I use it for my company, and recommend to clients that I touch. There are integrations with Xero (another strong recommendation of mine), as well as QuickBooks, Intacct, and NetSuite, among others). From a process standpoint I lean towards a bit of a hybrid. I use Bill.com to make the payments and a duplicate storage for voucher packages (invoice/request). At the core though I digitize all invoices and receipts in the AP process and store on Dropbox, then pull into the ERP (Xero) as linked attachments. Would be happy to show anyone the method to my madness with screen share to get a better feel; just direct message me if interested.

Full disclosure - I am now technically a vendor partner with both Xero and Bill.com, so can run stuff through me if it makes mutual sense (I consult as a CFO on the side for several startups, so the alignment became somewhat natural... Please don't take this as a sales pitch though - these are my recommendations because I am a long time, happy customer myself.

Sam Mikhail
Title: Vice President
Company: ACOM Solutions, Inc.
(Vice President, ACOM Solutions, Inc.) |

It would help if you could clarify which area of the AP process you are looking to automate. A good way to look at the AP process is to break it into two distinct areas. One is related to the receipt, routing & approval, GL coding, and archiving of inbound invoices. The other piece deals with the payment process and ways to minimize paper checks and converting more of your suppliers to ePayments. I think you need to evaluate which of these 2 areas would have a bigger impact on your operations and start there.

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