Accounts payable departments are spending more time dealing with calls and e-mails from suppliers.
Twenty-two percent of accounts payable leaders say they have seen a spike in supplier inquiries regarding the status of invoices and payments since the onset of the pandemic. That is according to the results of a virtual town hall meeting held by the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM).
Supplier inquiries are burdensome and costly. Benchmark data from IOFM finds that it costs an average $3.60 to respond to a single phone call or e-mail regarding invoice or payment status. The time staff must spend researching information represents a big part of the cost of supplier inquiries.
While $3.60 may not sound like a lot of money, the cost of supplier inquiries adds up fast, especially for mid-sized or large businesses that receive hundreds or thousands of supplier inquiries monthly.
And that is on top of all the time and effort accounts payable departments spend chasing down suppliers for profile information, tax forms and supplemental documents to resolve exceptions.
It does not have to be this way.
Accounts payable solutions providers such as IPS offer self-service online portals that empower suppliers to effortlessly submit invoices and tax forms, instantly view the status of invoices and payments, resolve invoice exceptions online, update contact data and collaborate with buyers.
And some self-service online portals, such as IPS’, can be deployed as part of an automated invoice processing solution, enabling electronically submitted invoices to flow straight-through to an ERP. With these solutions, suppliers also can convert purchase orders electronically received from buyers through the online portal into electronic invoices that can be processed effortlessly by the buyer.
The benefits of a self-service online portal
Deploying a self-service online portal is a win-win for suppliers and buyers.
As a result of using a self-service online portal, suppliers no longer need to:
- Print, stuff and mail paper invoices for customers
- Call or e-mail customers to know the status of invoices and payments
- Risk payment delays as a result of back-and-forth faxes and e-mails to resolve exceptions
- Go through the tedious process of calling customers to update contact information
Not surprisingly, self-service online portals help buyers attract and retain top-shelf suppliers.
Buyers benefit from lower operational costs and streamlined invoice approval processes.
What’s more, reducing inquiries from suppliers regarding invoice and payment status frees up staff for important activities such as cash flow and spend analysis, and vendor master database cleanup.
And an online portal makes it easier for buyers to collect important information from suppliers, such as contact details and tax documents. No more chasing suppliers down for this information!
- Do you want to make it easier for suppliers to submit invoices electronically?
- Is your accounts payable department overwhelmed by inquiries from suppliers?
- Are you looking for ways to streamline the resolution of invoice exceptions?
- Is it a hassle for you to collect tax and profile information from suppliers?
Then IPS wants to talk to you about our self-service online supplier portal!