August 17, 2022
By David Tierney
In the scheme of things, your accounts payable process may not be the biggest challenge your construction firm is facing right now. With rising costs, labour shortages and supply issues, you might feel you have more pressing issues on your hands.
But, if you’re persisting with a manual, labour intensive invoice process, you are only making matters worse. With a manual AP process, it costs roughly $30 to pay an invoice. Compare that with the cost of invoices paid in a fully automated system - just $3.50.
While the thought of overhauling your AP processes may seem daunting, the investment will be worth it - especially if you can harness existing technology solutions, such as Procore.
Let’s have a look at some of the systemic issues facing construction firms when it comes to invoice processing and accounts payable.
In an environment where costs are rising on all sides, the traditionally high labour costs associated with invoice management are placing a greater strain on construction firms. Saddled with a host of manual processes, AP teams waste time chasing up approvals and fielding supplier calls rather than analysing payments to help your business get ahead financially.
Relying on paper invoices presents several risks to AP teams in the construction sector. Persisting with a manual paper-based AP process increases the chance of missed, late and duplicate payments. Costs also mount up when paper invoices move between teams for approval and when physical space needs to be set aside for document storage and retrieval.
The need to move paper invoices from AP teams to approvers (and back again), only serves to slow down the process. This is exacerbated by the distributed nature of the construction workforce. With staff working in the office, at construction sites and on the road, getting paper invoices to approvers and back again can be a long, frustrating and overly-complicated process.
Without a clear view of the AP process, it’s impossible to understand how well your construction business is really operating. Your bank balance may look healthy, but how many bills are outstanding? Your cash flow might look good, but are outdated invoicing processes hindering your firm from getting ahead? A lack of data means you lack insight into your financial health.
If your firm already uses a project management system, like Procore, overcoming these AP challenges may be easier than you think.
Allowing firms to connect everything and everyone on a single platform, Procore makes it easy to stay on top of your projects, people and processes - including accounts payable.
Popular for project management, Procore has tools to streamline the preconstruction process, take charge of workforce management and get a handle on your finances. When integrated with other applications, you can automate repetitive tasks and gain greater visibility over business processes.
Features of Procore include:
The key to tackling the AP challenges facing construction is linking Procore’s financial management capabilities with advanced automation solutions to streamline the entire process.
On its own, Procore is a powerful tool. But when you integrate it with other applications and systems, you have the opportunity to truly automate and streamline your construction business.
Integrating Procore with a document management solution allows your firm to build key document workflows to add efficiency to your operations. For AP teams, this paves the way for automated digital approval processes, eliminating paper and slashing approval times.
Linking Procore to advanced machine learning tools introduces intelligent data capture to the mix. By automatically capturing data, you can eliminate manual data entry, increase data accuracy and save money on paper storage and transport costs.
Increasing Procure’s analytical ability by integrating a business intelligence platform provides visual analysis of data from every area of your construction business. Offering a new level of visibility, you can ‘see’ how your business is truly performing and identify any issues.
Combining Procure with a digital signature tool adds even more value to your business. Simplifying the contract signing process, you can get project sign-offs quicker, speed up the AP approval process and increase productivity, all with just a click of a button.
With so many integration options, it can be hard to find the right solution to meet your needs. That’s why finding the right technology partner is key. Ideally, your technology partner will have existing knowledge of Procore and be able to work with you to create a custom solution that streamlines all your business processes, not just AP.
Instead of having to work with multiple partners, the right provider should deliver a range of custom solutions to meet your needs, now and into the future. This will not only simplify your processes but also make it easier to manage your already long list of stakeholder partnerships.
Delivering document and workflow automation applications to improve business operations, Umlaut can help your construction firm get the most out of Procore. Harnessing a range of best-in-breed solutions, Umlaut streamlines your operations to save time, money and frustration, delivering a range of solutions to meet your business needs.
Building on your current technology stack, our automation solutions for the construction industry integrate seamlessly to unlock a range of time and cost savings for your business.
Partnering with leading technology providers we leverage automation, intelligent document capture and AI, ML and deep learning to create tailored and powerful technology solutions for your construction firm.
The experienced team at Umlaut is ready to lead the way. Book a demo to see how our suite of AP Tools can streamline and transform the way you do business.