If you’ve shuddered at terms “automated invoice processing”, “touchless AP processing” or “e-invoicing”, you’re not alone. Many restaurant owner/operators are still attached to the old ways of doing accounting work. Slaving away in a cramped office, struggling to find important invoices amidst a sea of papers cluttering the desk. Everyone’s done it and nobody’s liked it.
Adding an automated invoicing process to your workflow can get you out of your office and get back to doing what you do best—serving your customers great food.
Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Let’s walk through a few ways this benefits your bottom line.
- Automate your workflow and remove manual accounting tasks
Automated invoice processing refers to the digitized process for handling vendor invoices from its receipt to when it has been posted in your accounting system. By having all invoices processed for you and all line item data quickly captured and categorized, you can get back to value-adding tasks like improving efficiency or solidifying relationships with your community.
Automated invoice processing solutions create the financial control restaurant owners need to free up time for these value-adding tasks.
- You can watch the real-time price movement of your products
Do you know how much the prices of your products has fluctuated this year? Many owner/operators don’t. And this causes serious stress on a business’ bottom line.
Imagine having invoices from all of your food, supplies, alcohol, and utility bills neatly organized into line-item details that are accessible from any mobile device. You could track the prices of products from vendors, allowing you to shop the marketplace for the best price rather than being loyal to one source.
This can improve both the quality of your product and increase your profit margins. Who doesn’t want that?
- Never miss vendor credits owed again
You’ve probably rejected something from a vendor, whether it was the wrong item or you were shorted. But, how do you track those credits owed to your business?
Some file invoices away in a folder marked “GET YOUR MONEY BACK”. Others may hope their vendor is tracking that information.
But, the end of the month is a busy time in this industry. There’s always payroll, paying bills, and serving our customers. That’s life.
Automated invoice processing systems capture those credits owed at the line-item level and some prepare a memo showing them. This ensures that you’ll never miss a credit again.
- Automatic, continually-updated recipe prices
Automatic invoice processing not only helps with purchasing, but it also helps with product pricing.
Why is this important? Let’s say you want to add a trout dish to your menu. How will this affect the prices of your other dishes?
Aggregating your product data into one line-item spreadsheet helps you find out how much of certain ingredients you’ll need to buy and how that affects your plate costs. This ensures that new dishes don’t hinder your overall target food cost.
- Use theoretical usage data to reduce waste and improve efficiency
A complete invoice processing solution will connect directly to your Point-of-Sale system to show you what’s flying off the shelves and what’s not. This allows you to see what you used compared to what you should have used. This data is invaluable to restaurant owners who are just starting out or well-seasoned veterans looking to grow their business.
According to research from Walden University, “The inability to satisfy customer needs has caused a loss of 4% in potential revenue and resulted in dissatisfied customers.”
Moreover, not having enough of a product a customer wants is the main cause of dissatisfaction among consumers.
While making any change, especially a change to a process as important as invoice processing can be daunting it is worth considering this option. Once you get migrated over to the new system you may just find it saves you time, money and a lot of headaches.