Universal benefit: increased self-service
Vendor Self-Service is an emerging trend in financial management systems. Vendor Self-Service allows vendors to manage their own account information and their financial transactions.
Accounts Payable can benefit from Vendor Self-Service in two main ways, by directing vendor payment inquiries through the system and delivering the answers based on the status of a payment in the ERP. Instead of a vendor calling a department, or the Solution Desk, with an inquiry on a payment and then having the department staff research the status of a payment then respond to the vendor, the vendor can now login to the system and determine the payment status on their own. While VendorWeb currently provides this basic functionality, it is an auxiliary system which is based on batch processing and uses antiquated technology. Vendor Self-Service as part of the proposed solution could provide real-time access to purchase orders, future scheduled payments and payment history with detailed invoice information.
Implementation of enhanced Vendor Self-Service through the proposed solution, can achieve increased productivity and efficiency. Vendors could submit invoices or other payment documents to the department directly through the system by completing a web form, or uploading a billing file. The information provided would then be work flowed and processed for approval and/or payment. No need to open mail, scan documents, data enter invoice information or any of the other manual activities found in the current process.
This increased efficiency could also be expanded to vendor set-up. With enhanced self-service functionality, successful vendors can log on and start supplying the necessary documents needed by the departments such as insurance certificates, tax documents, licenses and certificates, contracts and the data required to complete transactions. In addition to onboarding a vendor by collecting and validating information, the self-service functionality can also act as an ongoing management tool by tracking expirations for insurance and licensing and sending automatic notifications when a vendor is approaching non-compliance.