Just think about how many people have to touch a manually processed invoice and you might understand one of the main frustrations of Senior Living AP professionals everywhere.
First, the supplier sends it to the community where it’s routed for approval. Then, it’s physically scanned or entered. Next, the invoice is paid while yet another person archives it for accounting. The lifecycle of the invoice can vary even further depending on whether it’s processed through mail, email or in-person – none of which are ideal to begin with, and always are at risk for added human error.
Electronic invoicing (or e-invoicing) began in the 1990s to streamline the invoicing process and new automated features along with cloud-based capabilities are gradually becoming the norm. Even the federal government has committed to electronic invoicing by the year’s end.1
Large, independent and even self-managed Senior Living organizations have jumped on board with this third-party technology and are noticing the difference in more ways than expected. Benefits of this automation include higher processing efficiency with lower costs, reduced exceptions as well as improved visibility and audit ability.
Higher Processing Efficiency
Communities using an electronic invoicing system only take days to process an invoice from initial receipt until approved for payment compared to sometimes weeks with manual entry. Automated invoicing also reduces the stress and hassle of pushing through an invoice at the last minute. Faster payments can also mean early pay discounts in some cases, and certainly a reduction in late fee charges.
It’s a win-win-win for providers, suppliers and the corporate office alike.
Lower Processing Costs
Several factors go into processing costs. Think labor, fees – even postage. On average, communities using an automated invoicing system can save up to 80% of their processing costs!2 Considering most Senior Living organizations process thousands of invoices, it’s easy to see the appeal of automation. What’s more, e-invoicing is a great opportunity to save massive amounts of paper and be more compliant with green initiatives.
Automated invoice tools allow for improved exception management, since data can be readily reviewed faster. The improved accuracy means fewer rejections and less time resolving payment issues.
Improved Visibility & Audit Ability
Being able to spot inconsistencies and trends as well as forecast future business decisions are invaluable capabilities to any organization. E-invoicing also allows organizations to get the bird’s-eye view of their spend through consolidated reporting and analytics in real time.
Senior Living’s eProcurement Solution
More and more communities are using Direct Supply® DSSI™ for help with transaction automation. Our proprietary DSSI Capture™ service offers 100% invoice automation for a low monthly fee from both local and national vendors – suppliers don’t even have to be on the system. On top of the newfound efficiencies, many communities can save about $10,000 annually.