Having remote employees has been a growing trend in recent years; however, that trend has clearly shifted into the norm in recent weeks. As more employees are logging in from home, it is critical they have access to business-essential tools.
For accountants, having to ensure that your vendors continue to be paid in timely fashion is one such critical aspect of the business. That is where Multiview’s Electronic Approvals and Business Event Workflows comes in.
Multiview’s functionality offers clients the ability to keep their Accounts Payable departments functioning at full capacity while their employees work from home. Your team can use electronic workflows to enter payables, process expense reports and authorize check runs.
What are electronic workflows?
Electronic workflows enhance your control and oversight of internal control functions while providing a visual medium for setting up and monitoring the authorization and review process.
How do electronic workflows work?
Workflow diagrams are created to instruct the system how to route vouchers, expense reports and check runs through the system for data entry and approval.
- Pre-Voucher Workflow: Electronic images are saved and routed to users’ Multiview inboxes based on criteria defined in the workflow diagram. The electronically stored invoice images will be permanently attached to the transactions in the Accounts Payable module. After the data entry is completed, each voucher transaction will be electronically routed to the appropriate person(s) for approval. Once the proper approval as been obtained, each approved voucher will be available to be picked up for payment during the check run process.
- Expense Report Workflow: Expense receipts can be captured with a smart phone camera or scanned into the system to allow expense reports to be built in real time. After employees upload all receipts into an expense report, they can submit the report for electronic review and approval. As with the Pre-Voucher Workflow, once the proper approval has been obtained, the expense report will be available for payment during a check run.
- Check Run Workflow: The Check Run Workflow controls what happens when a payment run is created. The workflow allows for electronic review and approval before payments are generated. The review and approval routing is based on parameters defined by the organization.
It is important to note that user-added comments, electronic routing, and user actions are all logged for audit purposes with date stamps. Additionally, inbox items can be electronically rerouted to designated users in the event of a planned or unplanned absence.
What changes in your processes?
You no longer need to rely on routing paper copies throughout your organization to obtain physical signatures and to retain backup documentation records. Instead, you can set up an email account (i.e. [email protected]) for your vendors to send their invoices to. Your staff can receive those emails and save the electronic invoice copies. In the event paper copies are still received from vendors, staff can scan and save them. The Pre-Voucher Workflow process will take over from there! Because the electronic images will be forever stored in the Multiview system and attached to the individual transactions, there is no longer a need to store paper copies. Auditors now accept the electronic approval process and electronic images as sufficient proof of proper internal controls being in place.
How does your organization benefit from electronic workflow processes?
In addition to helping organizations create telecommuting opportunities for employees, electronic workflow processes help organizations to increase efficiencies and improve communication on an ongoing basis. Consider the following benefits:
- Electronic tracking decreases time spent looking for paper and decreases the likelihood of delayed payments due to misplaced invoices
- Electronic routing increases efficiencies in the payment process and ensures that vendors are paid in a timely manner, thus decreasing the number of vendor calls
- Electronic image storage decreases staff time spent filing and also decreases storage costs
- Electronic access reduces or eliminates the amount of time auditors spend on-site as well as reduces the amount of staff time spent supporting the audit
- Automatic routing of tasks and assignments avoids bottlenecks
- Automatic assignment of responsibility and accountability provides visual clarity of routing activities
Are workflow processes available in other areas of your business operations?
The electronic approval process is not just limited to the Accounts Payable process. Multiview also has the functionality to electronically approve a variety of transactions, all while digitizing and attaching the supporting documentation for review. Our clients use electronic workflow processes for Journal Entries, Purchase Orders, Requisitions, Budgets, Projects, Time Management, Work Orders and Order Entry.
Additionally, Business Event workflows can be used to streamline processes, avoid bottlenecks, improve communications, and increase efficiencies. Business Event workflows are designed by the client and are essentially electronic checklists. For example, imagine having a list of month-end processes listed on the white board hanging in the accounting office. Each task is assigned to a staff member who must check off the item on the whiteboard to indicate that the task is complete. Management and team members can go to the whiteboard to know what is assigned to them and what the status of each task is. Now imagine having a virtual whiteboard that everyone can visit from their desks while also receiving electronic notices related to the list. That is what the Business Event workflows in Multiview accomplishes!
How do you take the next steps to implement these processes?
You will work with Multiview staff to define workflow diagrams for the review and approval routes of each process. You will receive training on creating and maintaining your workflow processes. Typically these processes will be set up in your Multiview Test environment, a virtual “sandbox” that allows you to test and train on new processes without worrying about affecting your real-time data. Once you are confident that the processes are working as expected, the workflows will be copied into your live environment.
For our Existing Clients:
Please contact Multiview’s Client Success team at [email protected]. They will connect you with the resources to put workflow processes to work for you!
For our Finance Community and new Multiview ERP Prospects:
Please contact the Multiview team at [email protected]. We’ll begin walking you down the path of Making Month-Ends, End!