Cher Pearsall, Co-Founder and CEO, Denise Davert, Vice President of Marketing
The digital transformation of accounting processes has been driven to a critical point. Many business leaders say the COVID-19 pandemic caused their organizations to embrace digitalization sooner than planned. The need to work from home puts enormous pressure on organizations to reinvent operations or risk serious bottom-line impacts. Even though they realized digitalization of the accounting process was an absolute necessity, achieving success is not easy. Why? It’s complicated.
Typically, accounting functions involve individuals across the organization – e.g., ordering supplies, making sales calls, filing expense reports, approving purchases. The accounting department also has its own cross-functional roles – e.g., accounts receivables (AR), accounts payables (AP), payroll, and financial reporting. These “front-end” and “back-end” accounting processes are interwoven and dependent upon each other to collect, record, validate, and maintain business transaction data in a systematic way. Streamlining and automating these touchpoints is a significant task that considers technology, data, processes, and organizational change to achieve its objectives.
In fact, AR and AP are among the most complicated processes of any business. That is where Pivot Payables, and its strategic partner, SAP Concur, come in. “We deliver SaaS applications to automate back-end accounting functions related to client billing, accounting integration, and corporate card reconciliation,” says Cher Pearsall, co-founder and CEO of Pivot Payables. “Our partnership with SAP Concur—the market leader in expense and spend management solutions—places Pivot in a unique position to further automate business-critical processes that increase the value of customer investments in SAP Concur.”
Pivot Payables currently offers two solutions, with a third coming soon. PivotNexus is an integration platform as a service (iPaaS) that moves data between Concur Expense or Concur Invoice and the customer’s accounting system. PivotPrime is an AR application that gathers business expense and purchasing data, along with associated images, then creates billing statements that are presented to collect reimbursements of those expenses and purchases. And PivotEQ, launching this year, is a tool that helps manage the reconciliation process and accounting entries required for company-paid corporate credit cards.
Unlike general iPaaS solutions, PivotNexus is specifically designed for the integration of financial transaction data between SAP Concur’s solutions and a wide variety of accounting and ERP systems. PivotNexus sits between the two: data is received from the ERP, which PivotNexus loads into Concur; or PivotNexus extracts data from Concur and delivers it ready for the target accounting or ERP system. To illustrate, PivotNexus receives data from the customer’s ERP that includes vendor details, open purchase orders (POs), and receipts for fulfilled POs, then loads this data into Concur. The customer uses Concur Invoice to match the PO and receipt data to the incoming invoice from the vendor, i.e., a 3-way match process, and then electronically route items to department managers who validate the purchase and associate them correctly to cost accounts. Finally, the AP department uses Concur Invoice to batch code and approve invoices for payment. At this point, PivotNexus extracts the approved data from Concur and delivers it back to the ERP.
Data is delivered as journal entries, payables transactions, or payments. PivotNexus accurately and systematically moves the data between systems, supporting nearly 50 different accounting and ERP systems, including QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online, and Microsoft Dynamics solutions.
PivotPrime, on the other hand, sits on the AR side. Customers who incur expenses on behalf of their clients often face the daunting task of manually assembling billing documentation that substantiates the expenses and provides receipt images. Cher mentions one customer referring to it as the “monthly arts and crafts project,” where creating client billing may take an hour for each one. Further, if they miss billing for reimbursement, that is profit leaking directly off the bottom line.
“It’s magic,” says one PivotPrime customer, “automatically importing expense data and receipt images into PivotPrime, then reorganizing that data into AR billing statements in just minutes.” Formatting options give customers the flexibility to present the billing statement in a way that reflects their business, such as organized by clients and projects or by expense type. The return on investment achieved by automating this manual process is clear.
Our partnership with SAP Concur places Pivot in a unique position to further automate business-critical processes that increase the value of customer investments in SAP Concur.
But wait, there’s more. Denise Davert, vice president of marketing at Pivot Payables, elaborates on the business value with a case study. One small consulting company using Concur for the previous several years to file approximately 200 expense reports per month decided to audit their manual billing process. The director wanted to learn, “are we really missing a substantive amount”? Their auditors compared the expense reports filed with the client billings for reimbursement during their previous 18 months. They discovered $1.35M in missed billings—reimbursable expenses that had never been billed to their clients—a stunning $75,000 per month in dollar-for-dollar lost profit. PivotPrime stopped that cash leakage overnight.
With many similar success stories under its hood, Pivot Payables is ready to release PivotEQ to automate the company-paid corporate card reconciliation processes.
To explain its competencies, Denise notes that once, each month, company-paid corporate card issuers send statements to the card program administrators. The statement contains all transactions for every cardholder in the program, with the total amount of the statement due in 30 days. Administrators rely upon cardholders to submit their transactions in expense reports. Unfortunately, often there are unsubmitted transactions by multiple cardholders. The submitted transactions need to be handled differently than unsubmitted transactions—so it’s critical to identify which are which—and it’s a moving target every day. When the due date arrives, and the bill gets paid, that bill payment transaction needs to be posted and offset in the accounting system correctly. Further, some of this accounting is temporary accruals and so carries its own ongoing accounting entry reconciliation. It’s a dynamic, deadline-stressed, manual process.
PivotEQ will enable the card administrator to automate the process of identifying submitted and unsubmitted transactions, deliver customizable messages that encourage cardholders to take action, and have intelligent accounting functions that provide options for automating the accounting postings each month as well as managing the reconciliation from month to month. Denise notes, “PivotEQ will be made available to Pivot Payables’ customers over the next several months.”
In addition to gearing up for the release of PivotEQ, the company also plans to add enhancements to both PivotNexus and PivotPrime. “The PivotEQ product launch and ongoing innovation of our existing applications will remain our focus for this year,” summarizes Cher, “continuing to add measurable value to back-end accounting for our customers.”