A 60 Cent Invoice ?!?

I was asked to speak at the IQPC’s P2P conference in San Diego. First of all it was rainy… yes, no perfect weather, but at least the conference was good. On Monday I led a workshop with 15 people about the 8 Pitfalls book. IQPC was generous enough to give me two-hours… oh no two hours…I was very concerned that I was going to kill this group with two hours of me talking.  I started, and set the stage by stating that in order to make the next 2 hours significant each person would need to participate.  I was concerned that I might not have enough material, but to my delight, one hour and a half into it I had only made it through 4 of my 22 slides. The group was wonderful. Here are some highlights.

Scott from a gas and fuel company currently has 100% paper in his AP environment and is looking for a way out.

Micheal from a computer company said that when he calculates cost per invoice he adds benefit and IT costs to the salary number. I love that, however, I cautioned him that using a convective number to make a case was not a bad idea.

Leslie works for a manufacturing company that makes truck engines. She said that most of her process is paper, but as we delved into what her paper process was it really became a competition between direct and in-direct spending. Direct is associated to a PO or ERS solution so there is “technically” no invoice. The problem she desires to solve is that with the indirect spending there is no associated documentation to support the invoices, which means there is no way, in her mind, to have the invoices automatically approved. The group agreed that there is no other way besides going through an approval process. So faced with automation, which is the solution to making the  approvals run smoothly, she then said something I could not believe….

When I speak to a group I like to read an excerpt from the book about an accounting person who, before entering the office, had 3 things on his/her list of things to do. Upon arrival at the office the 3 change to 19. While working on the list the accounting person unwittingly answers the phone and on the other line is a vendor calling about an invoice that is 32 days past due in the amount of $7.52… I always get a big laugh on that one!  Well, Leslie said that $7.52 was nothing.  She informed the group that she once took a call from a vendor looking for payment on a $.60 invoice. WHAT!?! Now I consider myself someone who can think fast on his feet and has something to say about everything (really – just ask) but I was stopped cold. I did have something to say… I asked her if the $.60 was because the bill was undercharged or previously underpaid or if the invoice was somehow $.60 off.  She said no – it was $.60 for services.  Unbelievable!  Now I have truly heard it all!

I don’t know if I can make $.60 invoices go away, but automation does help lower costs and will make such small invoices less expensive.

The new book will be out soon – Check out the video… it explains more: http://www.costperinvoice.com/argument.html

To get your copy of The 8 Pitfalls of Accounts Payable Automation – click here to buy.

For more information go to www.costperinvoice.com

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