Invoices are sent to the relevant approvers throughout your company for review and approval.
Said invoices sit and pile up.
The finance team cannot proceed without the required approvals so a friendly reminder is sent from the finance team to the approvers.
A not-so-friendly reminder is sent from the finance team, which leads the approver to log into bill.com, quickly scan the invoices, click “Select All” and approve.
Is this really an approval process? Were quantities confirmed to be accurate? Were prices checked against the agreed terms and the signed contract? Have price or quantity increases been checked against prior months? Was it confirmed that this is not a duplicate payment that has already been paid or charged to a credit card?
If you replied no to all, or most, of these questions, please keep reading.
The invoice approval process is universally disliked and neglected not because approvers are lazy or disinterested. Rather, they are busy and under-equipped.
They are busy with their day jobs — building products, heading up sales, closing deals, or whatever their role may be. This is the focus of their energy and time.
They are under-equipped because they do not have easy access to what they need to properly complete the task — prior month’s invoices, original documentation, copies of contracts, aggregate figures, etc.
They don't have spend analytics to review period to period and there is no centralized repository for documents related to the charge.There's no easy way to collaborate with others with the exception of the dreaded back-and-forth email chains.
You’re actually expecting a lot out of these approvers given the lack of tools and information they have at their disposal.
The finance department is also under-equipped to scrutinize invoices.
Department heads/approvers are the ones who negotiated the terms of the transaction and control the relationship. They are familiar with the contract specifics and have a good understanding of exactly what service the vendor is supplying and what contractual terms were agreed to.
With Glean AI, everyone is on the same team, working towards a common goal.
Says Howard Katzenberg, Glean CEO and founder, “We see it across the board with our customers - when they roll out Glean, people appreciate being included in the process of talking about vendors and ensuring that their company is spending wisely. You see a lot more engagement, a sense of ownership and accountability, because everyone is included in the process.
“A system like Glean empowers your approvers to get answers and understand the bills they are asked to approve.The approval task is no longer considered a giant pain which is a big win.”
Say your law firm quotes a job for you at forty hours. Once the job is complete, they send over an invoice — for fifty hours.
If the approver didn’t know, or simply forgot, about the initial 40-hour quote, the higher invoice would be approved without question.
In fact, even if the approver knew about the 40-hour quote, they are likely to simply approve the higher amount. They could be in the midst of a client crisis or possibly away at a conference … or perhaps they just would like finance off their back. And besides, what’s an extra 10 hours anyway?
Ten hours at $350 per hour is $3,500. This is $3,500 that is now unavailable for revenue-generating activities, product development, or anything that positively impacts the company’s bottom line.
Now extrapolate this across the 20, 50, or 200 invoices your finance team pays each month, and you see that these are not insignificant figures.
With Glean AI, your approver would have instant access to the original agreed terms, copies of the documentation and details for the vendor contact. Taking action to negotiate a lower fee or perhaps a credit on future work could be done easily and swiftly.
Glean AI gives your approvers the information they need and encourages collaboration amongst departments. And this saves you money.
Budget owners on other bill-pay platforms look at one vendor at a time – invoice for $500, approve. Invoice for $3,000, approve. Invoice for $85, approve.
But department heads are not responsible for just one-off bills. They are responsible for many different vendor relationships simultaneously. How can they get a feeling for their total spend without access to their department’s aggregate figures? And once they have these figures, are they able to compare against budget, last month, last year, etc. etc.
Glean AI provides exactly this type of data and analytics, with the ability to drill down into any given area with the click of a button.Glean AI allows you to empower your budget owners with everything they need to embrace their roles as approvers and spend gatekeepers.
We’ve made it easier than ever to see Glean AI in action. Simply contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can set up a virtual call to walk you through the platform.