Embracing Automation Leads to Accounts Payable Success: An Interview with Victoria Gardner

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The onePAY Product Team

When you work in the accounts payable function and your company is growing, it can be easy for the workload to become unmanageable fast. But not for Victoria Gardner, accounts payable specialist at 60-store franchisee Pizza Hut of Fort Wayne and customer of OneDataSource.

Recently, we were able to talk with her about their business initiatives and how onePAY has helped them along the way. Below are highlights from the conversation.

Embracing AP Automation

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What do you view as the fundamental components of an operationally excellent AP function? And how does that add value for your business?

Victoria: I think fundamentally it comes down to being process-oriented and detailed. You can’t have an operationally excellent AP function without detailed record-keeping for both general vendor information and invoice details. And if you don’t have the right processes in place, then the chain can easily break. It’s a must-have to keep all the details we’re responsible for in line.

And in terms of added value, there are a number. First and foremost, when the books are clean and easy to understand, we’re operating more efficiently. Then, there’s also the aspect of avoiding late fees and eliminating duplicate invoice payments. That can be an issue if you aren’t operationally excellent. It goes without saying that money saving is always important to the business.

That’s so true, especially in the QSR industry. So, technology has certainly accelerated in the QSR industry and now touches almost all roles and functions. When you think about accounts payable, how do you feel technology has improved your function?

Victoria: I see technology really helping with automation, efficiency, and visibility. In a manual system, there are often delays in knowing when an invoice is submitted or it’s unclear where it’s at in the approval process. With technology, we’re notified immediately when invoices are submitted. And in terms of visibility, it’s clear where it’s at in the process. Plus, we’re notified when an invoice appears twice in the records.

Automation is also crucial. There are many times where an invoice doesn’t require any special treatment. Yet, in a manual setting, it still takes processing time. With technology, we can auto-approve invoices that are routine. It’s an incredible boost to time savings.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that onePAY helps with all of these!

That’s great and something we obviously love to hear. I’d like to talk a bit more about the automation of invoice approvals since I know you’ve been focused on that. Why was it an important initiative for you and what benefits have you seen?

Victoria: We have a large volume of invoices coming in for our stores. We needed a better solution than to have to manually enter all the data from every invoice. With automation, we can decide what we do and don’t need to see. Automatic routing and approvals help to keep things moving. And threshold limits flag the invoices we need to touch.

Plus, our company is also focused on growing. So, being able to auto-approve invoices keeps the workload manageable as new stores are added.

“What’s most exciting to me is that we’ve been able to get our auto-approvals up to 52% in onePAY. That’s allowed us to focus on other projects within our company and given us more time back in our day.”

As you mentioned, you’re a customer using onePAY. Would you elaborate on what impact onePAY makes to on your day-to-day?

Victoria: Absolutely! onePAY helps us keep our records clean and organized by clearly showing invoice details. Now, we can easily access those records in a matter of seconds. It allows us to search for and easily find any historical documents that have been saved in our files.

It’s also cut down on duplicate invoices. That translates to a lot of time savings and reduced headaches as we don’t have to keep a record on where we’ve overpaid, underpaid, or who we are expecting refund checks from.

What’s most exciting to me is that we’ve been able to get our auto-approvals up to 52% in onePAY. That’s allowed us to focus on other projects within our company and given us more time back in our day. We can even use some of that time to find more of our vendors who are perfect for auto-approval.

Thank you for sharing that. As a final touchpoint, I’m hoping you’d be willing to share what aspect of your partnership with OneDataSource you value the most.

Victoria: Of course. What stands out to me is the entire team at OneDataSource. Speaking of those auto-approvals, without the team we wouldn’t have been able to get to that point. And they’re always so proactive, keeping an eye out for us for more vendors who can be auto-approved. They’re easy to reach. If we have questions or concerns, they’re always willing to help or troubleshoot any issues we may have. Overall, they’ve been the absolute best team to work with!

If you’d like to learn more about OneDataSource and our onePAY for accounts payable processing, drop us an email or visit the onePAY demo page to book a product tour now!

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