Freson Bros Store Front

The challenge

Freson Bros. is a regional grocer with over 15 stores, located across Alberta. The accounts payable process 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 – particularly as management reporting relies on the information being entered quickly, reliably and accurately for distribution each week.

Purchases are made at the store level from many different vendors – large and small, national to local. Each vendor has their 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 business processes, Freson Bros. identified that the manual accounts payable process as an opportunity to improve overall business efficiencies and net profit.

As a growing business, the team was also looking for a solution that could rapidly scale as more locations were added.

The solution

Freson Bros. wanted an automated invoice entry solution that met the following requirements:

  • Streamline the workflow at the store level
  • Eliminate the courier and associated costs
  • Faster and predictable processing times
  • Ability to handle new circumstances or challenging invoices with ease
  • Easily scalable to accommodate adding more stores as the company grows
  • Integrated with the financial system (FMS) with a low-risk implementation process
  • Reduced cost for processing invoices

AP Portal 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 99.9% accuracy on the data that’s extracted and transferred.

The new AP process begins with the scanning and uploading invoices at stores by Freson Bros. personnel. AP Portal provided a hardware and software solution to make invoice collection as-simple-as a push of a button. Scanned images are automatically tagged with store, department and coding information and simultaneously uploaded to a secure SFTP site.

On a scheduled basis, AP Portal automatically processes the invoices, extracting and validating the data against client-defined criteria, and reviews for accuracy and quality assurance.

The majority of invoices pass all the validation steps and are queued for transfer into Freson Bros.’ ERP system for payment processing.

Invoices that do not meet client-defined validation criteria (such as duplicates, unverified vendors, missing invoice numbers, etc.) are flagged as exceptions by AP Portal to be investigated by the Freson Bros. accounts payable team. Scanned images of the invoices are easily reviewed online alongside the data that has been captured and entered.

The accounts payable team is no longer spending time on data-entry, allowing them to focus on value-added activities – such as following up with vendors and issues resolution.

The outcome

AP Portal helped Freson Bros. achieved all the goals established at the outset of the project. AP Portal has been recognized as the simplest process among Freson Bros.’ finance team and has provided significant savings in both costs along with time by allowing for staff redeployment and elimination of courier costs.

Since migrating to AP Portal, the solution has proven to scale up seamlessly as Freson Bros. continues to grow and add more locations.

Picture of the Freson Bros Market Grocery Store
Categories: Customer Stories
Categories: Customer Stories