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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Commerce Bank's A/P Automation

This Tuesday was the workshop with Commerce Bank, titled "the 7 steps to go paperless". The
location was the second floor meeting room at the Nasdaq in New York City Times Square. In attendance that day were several people from a supermarket chain, non-profit organization, and a finance company.

Commerce Bank calls their product, ControlPay. I found their product to be a nice choice, that would fit most companies. There are different combinations of their modules that can be implemented to fit the needs of your company.

These are the three Module for Commerce Bank's ControlPay:  
Invoice Presentment - Converts all invoice data to a queryable electronic format accessible through a single online system. EIPP accepts the following invoice formats: paper, email, vendor portal, EDI and flat file. 
Approval Workflow - Automates the enforcement of business rules, eliminates error-prone manual process and maximizes employee resources by utilizing:
 > Automatic invoice approval when business rules are met
 > Fewer paper touch points > Preset GL coding capabilities
Improves visibility for both buyers and suppliers throughout the invoice life-cycle with:
Approval anytime, anywhere via web-based access
 > Expedited discrepancy resolution > Electronic access to line item detail > End-to-end electronic audit trail 
Payment - The Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment system consolidates a single electronic payment to Commerce Bank, simplifying reconciliation. EIPP provides a variety of vendor payment options such as card, check, ACH and wire. 
The feature that stood out for me was their credit card payment program.

The Credit card payment program gives you an alternative to paying by check, ACH, or wire. Commerce Bank takes charge of contacting your vendors to have them join the credit card payment program. So in exchange for a quicker payment via credit card, the vendor will assume a 2% fee. Commerce Bank then splits this 2 percent with your company, giving you a 1% virtual discount on any invoices from that vendor. Another neat feature of Commerce Bank program is that if your vendor are already subscribe to Commerce Bank's program at other companies they will automatically be signed up to accept credit card payments at your company.

Interesting facts and statistics that were mentioned at the workshop:
* Its not considered a capital project, you can mark it as an expense.
* The average AP clerk processes 150 invoices per day.
* Implementing this paperless program will take between 90 and 120 days.
* Start-up cost is between 10 and 15 thousand dollars.
* typically about 30 percent of vendors sign up for the credit card payment program.
* 95 percent paperless this is a good target you can get close to fully paperless but never 100 percent.

Robert Ruhno
Founder & Social Media Manager
Accounts Payable Professionals Group

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