Freson Bros. is a regional grocer with 16 stores located across Alberta. The company’s Accounts Payable Team struggled with the manual data entry of over 60,000 paper-based invoices into their accounting system each year. It was time-consuming, costly and inefficient – and management relied on invoice data being entered quickly, reliably, and accurately each week for reporting.
Purchases are made at the store level from many different local and national vendors. Each vendor has its own unique invoice, document type, and way of presenting information.
Invoices were received by each store, approved by local managers, and sent by courier to head office for processing – a slow, frustrating process that was prone to errors.
During an annual review of Freson Bros.’ business processes, the company identified the need to automate the accounts payable process and improve overall business efficiencies and net profit.
As a fast-growing company, the leadership team was also looking for an AP automation solution that could rapidly scale as more store locations were added.
Freson Bros. needed an automated invoice entry solution that met the following requirements:
- Streamline the AP workflow at the store level
- Eliminate courier and associated delivery costs
- Process invoices faster and more accurately
- Manage complex invoices and approval processes with ease
- Scale reliably to accommodate new store locations as the company grows
- Integrate seamlessly with the company’s financial management system (FMS)
- Ensure a low-risk implementation process
- Reduce invoice processing costs and complexity
Contexture AP Automation adapted seamlessly to Freson Bros.’ accounts payable process and requirements, providing an automated invoice-entry solution that is reliable, easy-to-use, and guaranteed to deliver 99.5% accuracy for data that’s extracted and transferred.
Freson Bros.’ new automated AP process starts with the scanning and uploading of invoices by the AP Team. Contexture provided a hardware and software solution to make invoice collection as simple as pushing a button. Scanned invoices are automatically tagged with store, department, and coding information, and simultaneously uploaded to a Secure FTP (SFTP) site.
On a scheduled basis, Contexture AP Automation automatically processes invoices, extracts and validates data against predefined company criteria, and reviews data for accuracy and quality assurance.
The majority of invoices pass all validation steps and are queued for transfer into Freson Bros.’ ERP system for payment processing.
Invoices that do not meet company-defined validation criteria (e.g., duplicate invoices, invoices from unverified vendors, or invoices missing invoice numbers, etc.) get flagged as exceptions, and Freson Bros.’ AP Team can easily compare extracted invoice data alongside scans of the original invoices from within Contexture’s cloud application.
The Accounts Payable Team no longer spends time manually entering invoice data. This allows them to focus on higher-value activities, such as improving vendor relationships and resolving other accounting issues.
Contexture AP Automation helped Freson Bros. achieve all of the goals established at the outset of the project. Invoice management is now considered one of the most efficient accounting processes at Freson Bros., and Contexture AP Automation has provided significant cost and time savings. The company has been able to scale and add new stores without needing to hire any additional AP clerks.