Publisher’s accounts payable department automates to help minimize duplicate payments, facilitate audits

GateHouse Media, a $600 million-a-year publisher of newspapers and business directories, had a complicated accounting system in place in early 2009, with decentralized initial receipt and more than 200,000 paper invoices a year.

Laura Williams, director of GateHouse Media's centralized accounting services, told AP Matters that it got to a point where the company's accounts payable staff found it impossible to function successfully. The accounting system made it difficult for Williams and her staff to consistently achieve early-pay discounts and avoid late-payment penalties because they had to wait for invoices to be shipped from the field to headquarters only once weekly and then manually enter them into the company's enterprise resource system.

In order to increase efficiency, save costs, and reduce errors such as duplicate payments and facilitate faster accounts payable audits, Williams presented executives with a proposal that would help accounting achieve automation without having to purchase new technology and create a burden for the IT department. Williams decided to contract cloud-based automation services from a vendor, including document scanning, workflow software configuration and maintenance and data storage, the source reports. The implementation of imaging enables an accounts payable recovery audit to be performed almost entirely off-site, without adding any stress on a company's AP resources.

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