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Get to Know a Fintech Expert — Everyday Operations from an Asst Controller

Ralph Perdomo

Nvoicepay’s solution is built to tackle the time-consuming and arduous task of manual check writing: a welcome solution for any enterprise-level accounts payable department paying hundreds to thousands of suppliers via paper check per month.

 

Sue Norwood, assistant controller at Nvoicepay

Like other leading tech companies, we eat our own dog food. That's tech's way of saying we use our own technology to solve our business need of automating supplier payments. Not only do we believe in our solution, we get a first hand experience using our product.

We interviewed Sue Norwood, Nvoicepay’s Assistant Controller, to find out how she uses our solution, AP Gateway, to pay suppliers electronically.

 

Ralph:
Sue, thank you for joining me today. What’s your official title and what are your responsibilities?

Sue:
I'm the Assistant Controller. I’m responsible for accounts payable, accounts receivable, the general ledger—basically all of the accounting up to the financial statements.

Ralph:
Wow! It sounds like you’re wearing a lot of hats. Is anyone else helping you with those responsibilities?

Sue:
Yes, our Accounting Specialist helps out. She’s the one directly tasked with paying our vendors.

Ralph:
And she’s doing that from within AP Gateway?

Sue:
She starts out in our accounting program, first—readying invoices for payment. Next, she generates a report and uploads that to AP Gateway.

Ralph:
And how much time would you say she spends performing that task?

Sue:
She does payments once a week.

It maybe takes her—well, she's entering invoices on an ongoing basis. As in, every day, she'll enter a few invoices, so we’re always up-to-date with invoice entry and processing—that takes about half an hour every day.

I’d say it then takes her about the same amount of time—30 minutes—to do an actual payment run. Maybe around an hour or so.

Ralph:
And what happens next—what does the approvals workflow look like once she runs payments?

Sue:
We have a two-person approval process. Once an invoice is marked for payment in AP Gateway it goes to me first and then to our CFO.

Ralph:
And that’s it? It’s paid?

Sue:
Yes. Just like that. It’s paid.

Ralph:
Now comparing this process to the past. As in when you started your career in AP, how does the workflow within AP Gateway compare to how it was in the past?

Sue:
For starters there are no physical checks. That, in and of itself, is a big deal because in the past, AP would have to print out checks, attach them to its invoice and physically go and get somebody to sign each and every check.

I've worked for companies where there were foot-high stacks of checks sitting on approvers desks, or in their in-basket, for days, while they weren't approved or turned around. And if things went missing, or people would lose the checks—yeah, it was a nightmare.

Plus there’s no having to go out and mail or transport checks, either.

So, yeah—there’s really no comparison to using AP Gateway. It saves a lot of time.

Ralph:
Are there other ways that AP Gateway helps save you time?

Sue:
Yeah. Looking up past payments. I can go in and quickly have a look through and see a complete history of what's been paid and who's been paid instead of riffling through a filing cabinet and trying to find it that way.

Ralph:
What is one of the benefits of ePayments that you're most excited about? Something that's making your life easier.

Sue:
AP Gateway is very useful for auditors. Auditors traditionally have a difficult time looking up approvals. Since there’s no email or any screen that you can go to that says, ‘this payment batch has been approved by so-and-so.’ We know it’s approved because AP Gateway won’t allow a payment to go out unless it is.

It’s funny how we’ve been able to be forward-thinking and remove paper, but there are still some things that require paper. Our auditors prefer a print out saying who’s approved what.

Ralph:
Yeah, I suppose that it is funny. Sue, thank you for taking the time to speak with me.

Sue:
You’re welcome.

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