The Fiscal Year End Doesn't Have To Be A Taxing Time

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“Why does it take a minute to say hello and forever to
say goodbye?” This question comes to mind every time
we say goodbye to another fiscal year.
For Accounts Payable professionals, the usual process
of closing the books—digging through old data,
calls to busy vendors and deciphering months-old
transactions—can make EOFY seem like an eternity.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way.
With foresight, discipline, and the help of technology you
can say goodbye to stressful late-December evenings.

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The Fiscal Year End Doesn't Have To Be A Taxing Time

  1. 1. The Fiscal Year End Doesn’t Have To Be A Taxing Time PETER BEPLER, CO-FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF ANYBILL “Why does it take a minute to say hello and forever to say goodbye?” This question comes to mind every time we say goodbye to another fiscal year. For Accounts Payable professionals, the usual process of closing the books—digging through old data, calls to busy vendors and deciphering months-old transactions—can make EOFY seem like an eternity. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. With foresight, discipline, and the help of technology you can say goodbye to stressful late-December evenings. Looking Forward Even though we’re now focused on the current year, now’s the time to think about the next fiscal year—closing the books on 2013 opens a volume of opportunities for 2014. Use lessons learned this year to improve work processes, increase organizational efficiency and, of course, ease the pain of coming EOFYs. Ideally, you’ve held a firm grip on payables and kept monthly accounts in order throughout the year. Now, as you work through wrapping up the books, take careful notes as you close each situation. Ask your key team members to do the same. Do this “in process” so no important details are forgotten. Compile these notes into a list of potentially recurring snags with details of their resolution: who handled what, what steps were taken, and how long it took. This list prepares you for analysis—you should have a lengthy list of questions to be answered, such as: ++ Is there a pattern to causes of discrepant invoices—and an effective policy for their resolution? ++ Are invoices consistently being received first by you or your automated system? ++ Have any of your processors put through an inordinate number of invoices— and if so, why? ANYBILL.COM | INFO@ANYBILL.COM 1 1801 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 700 | Washington, DC 20006 | W 202-682-6300 | F 202-833-2141
  2. 2. THE FISCAL YEAR’S END DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A TAXING TIME ++ Who are the expense report laggards, and what policies can be enacted to ensure better compliance next year? ++ Is your ‘last check run’ really your last check run? ++ Are you printing checks and not mailing them? ++ If you’re experiencing unmanageable, last-minute rushes on cut-off dates, how can you better publicize (and enforce) the dates? ++ Are you effectively using TIN matching­ before the first payment is made? — ++ If you’re managing AP in-house, have you checked the back-up of your data file? The resulting data enables you (and your team), to draft a list of things you’ll need to do before closing next year’s books. Put a timeline to the tasks and assign the appropriate folks to each. You’ve just laid the foundation for a new “Financial Year-End Plan.” Making it Work The Plan you’ve created is guaranteed to make your next EOFY relatively tranquil… if you keep up-to-date with it. Yes, doing so adds to your monthly workload, but consider the other benefits: ++ The time you gain at EOFY serves as a safety net for unanticipated delays in resolving accounts. ++ You’ll be in a better position to monitor your position throughout the year and anticipate challenges before year’s end. ++ When less time, energy and personnel are required to close the books, you’re in a better position to manage staff requests for holiday time off. This should be motivation enough. But, if you’re working in a paper-based environment, consider the alternative: late nights spent wading through invoices and receipts… struggling to remember months-old transactions…the deadline looming ominously. Your monthly investment in tracking and reporting pays handsome dividends. The Easy Way If you’re not already using an automated solution for accounts payable, this should be high on your Plan’s action list. By adopting AP automation, paper-based organizations often shave days off the time taken to close their (month/quarter/ year-end) books. ANYBILL.COM | INFO@ANYBILL.COM 2 1801 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 700 | Washington, DC 20006 | W 202-682-6300 | F 202-833-2141
  3. 3. THE FISCAL YEAR’S END DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A TAXING TIME Most leading enterprises already have adopted some type of automation, enjoying significant advantages at EOFY including, but not limited to: ++ Pressure removed from AP staff at year-end ++ Everyone has near-simultaneous access to all key information ++ Electronic audit trail ++ No lost payments ++ Invoices are easily shared and re-sent ++ All rush payments made electronically Happily, price and platform complexity are no longer barriers to adopting AP automation. New technologies and efficiencies now make complete, end-to-end AP automation available to businesses of all sizes. Qualified providers, like Anybill, work with organizations based entirely in paper—or using any level of in-house automation—to provide measurable competitive advantages. And, of course, your transition to AP automation provides year-round benefits. Automation streamlines your accounts payable workflow process, from invoice capture to approval to payment. You’ll find that outsourcing the time and laborintensive functions of your business frees your team to focus on core activities. In short, efficiency and productivity increase while costs drop. Make ‘reducing EOFY stress’ your financial New Year’s resolution. Learn more about AP automation, and how to accelerate and simplify EOFY, by contacting Anybill. About the Author Peter directs Anybill’s business strategy, focusing on the company’s marketing, sales, channel partners and communications. As a co-founder, he plays a key role in developing the Anybill solution and championing accounts payable automation for the SMB market. Before co-founding Anybill, Peter was Director of Business Development for UniverseONE, Inc., a pioneer of online marketing. There he developed and implemented web marketing strategies for clients and spearheaded the development of online marketing best practices. Peter holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Kenyon College. In his free time he enjoys jumping out of helicopters. About Anybill Built on the premise that all payments are critical, Anybill was created in 2001 to transition any AP transaction to an automated solution. We combine our proprietary technology with unmatched customer service to deliver a complete Software-as-a-Service solution. Clients retain efficient workflows while gaining greater visibility and control, better cash flow management, streamlined approval processes, 24/7 accessibility, and increased auditor confidence. Anybill works with clients ranging from non-profit associations to some of the largest multinationals. We are headquartered in Washington, DC, and are SSAE 16 SOC compliant.  ANYBILL.COM | INFO@ANYBILL.COM 3 1801 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 700 | Washington, DC 20006 | W 202-682-6300 | F 202-833-2141

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