Our team was contacted by a leading American entertainment media brand that was looking for a trusted outsourcing partner who could help them efficiently streamline their accounts payable processing.
The client, a mainstream media brand was looking to move away from their in-house manual accounts payable processing and needed someone who could ensure a smoother transition for their entire AP function.
They turned to ARDEM as a trusted outsourcing partner and asked us to propose a solution based on our 2 decades’ worth of experience in finance and accounting outsourcing and accounts payable processing.
Identifying Current Challenges
There was an immediate need for someone to come in and take over their entire accounts payable process. Their current process was being handled in-house but was turning out to be quite a manual and time-consuming task. The most common issues with manual processing included delays, careless mistakes and the additional number of hours that have to be spent on tracking down and correcting those mistakes.
As the client was still dependent on manual processing, the entire process from the receipt of the invoice until the final payment was taking far longer than necessary. They needed someone to take charge of the 1200+ invoices that would be sent each month and process these documents swiftly and accurately while ensuring that the completed data was shared in time for faster payment.
Our team also had to contend with these additional challenges:
- There are certain rush payments that have to be prioritized in order to ensure they are completed, approved, and paid on time.
- Our team also has to be in charge of managing the correspondence between their various vendors.
- We also have to ensure that all invoices are sorted, organized, verified, and processed on time to get faster approvals which result in timely payment.
- All of this has to be accomplished while carrying out the time-consuming process of entering the correct vendor ID for each vendor invoice received by our team.
Keeping all of the above along with the standard challenges of accounts payable processing in mind, we moved on to define the overall scope of work.
Defining the Scope of Work
ARDEM was brought in by the client to manage their entire accounts payable process from start to finish. This entailed managing everything from the initial receipt of invoices, including sorting and organizing the received data, to processing and standardizing the different invoices.
Our team would also be in charge of sharing the invoices with relevant managers for timely approval and completing the final payment.
The entire scope of work constituted the following:
- Importing and processing all new vendor requests, i.e., vendor onboarding.
- Creating rush payments (check, EFT, Wire) for the most pressing invoices.
- Routing unassigned invoices to a proper manager with the correct GL codes for review and approval.
- Managing the entire cash process, including the overall management of the Lockbox, electronic wires, and remote deposits on behalf of our client.
- Our team would also be responsible for all month-end tasks such as bank reconciliation, bookkeeping, etc.
- We would also be responsible for setting up a payment mechanism with the client’s bank.
- Additional tasks further include processing and posting cash receipts for advertising, licensing, subscriptions, and event streams.
- Our team also generates and shares a weekly report summarizing all payments made; thereby offering deeper and timely insights to the client.
Tuning an Effective Solution
ARDEM first built a strong channel of communication with the client’s team, gathering tidbits of information from here and there and piecing them together to gain a complete picture of the client’s overall accounts payable processing requirements.
Once this was accomplished, the data gathered was shared with our team of process specialists who sat down to engineer a customized solution for the team and layout an upgraded workstream for processing our client’s data while maximizing efficiency for a higher ROI.
Here’s how ARDEM proposed to build in multiple efficiencies into our client’s AP process:
- Our team started off by studying the client’s documented process, once we had gleaned all information a training session was organized so that their team could share their process knowledge with us.
- We took this knowledge and devised our own upgraded process instructions and workflow.
- The next order of business was to train our remote AP team on this workflow process and start pilot production.
- ARDEM implemented our proprietary 30-60-90-day strategy for a smoother AP transition, during this time we received feedback from the client’s team on a regular basis and incorporated the feedback received in real-time.
- Next, we launched full production taking on the full responsibility of the client’s accounts payable function.
- As we proceed forward in our partnership, ARDEM has taken on several additional tasks and functionalities on behalf of our client and will continue to do so in the future.
The ARDEM Advantage
ARDEM first took the time to understand this client’s goals and current challenges in order to identify the best transition plan for their AP process.
We saw an opportunity to utilize our training platform along with our F&A expertise to engineer a customized and innovative solution for our client who needed assistance on several fronts.
Here’s why we were able to successfully build and deliver an effective solution for our client:
- ARDEM’s team is experienced in all the major accounting software tools including Concur, NetSuite, Great Plains, SAP, Xero, Sage, etc. Our expertise across these advanced tools proved to be a major asset to our client.
- Weekly/monthly meetings are scheduled with the client’s team to ensure a smooth transition as well as keep visibility high on both ends.
- We created meticulous work instructions to ensure that each and every step of the process was executed flawlessly. These highly-detailed steps were put to use while streamlining our virtual training program for this client and will continue to be useful for ensuring future scalability.
- All of our finance and accounting analysts are college-educated with a financial background and our training services were designed to acclimate them to our client’s requirements and way of functioning.
ARDEM prides itself on building well-tailored and innovative solutions that are engineered to each client’s specific needs to ensure that we build a long-lasting partnership for successful collaboration.
In the case of our current partnership with the media and entertainment giant, the time we took to understand their current needs and processes played a big role in creating a successful partnership as the client felt that we paid due attention to their every requirement.
As a result, ARDEM has successfully worked with this client to streamline their AP process and make it more efficient. This reduces the effort required from the client’s team, allowing them to focus on more core competencies further reducing the client’s operating costs.
- ARDEM has provided scalable teams to grow alongside this partner while also managing all rush payments.
- After providing continuous quality, ARDEM has been granted the rights to self-approve all invoices on behalf of the client.
- Due to a successful partnership, ARDEM has now taken over the AP functions of this client’s subsidiaries.
The client’s Financial Controller even remarked about ARDEM’s ability to understand and produce excellent results in such a short time.
If you would like to learn more about how we can build and execute a successful accounts payable processing solution for you, click here to book a short 15-min consultation with our team today!