With more than 60 farms under its control across New Zealand and in Australia, FarmRight, a specialised provider of third-party management services, handles up to 3,500 invoices each month, with its spend running into the millions.
On the farms, goods and services are procured in a largely manual process, with paper invoices sent through to a central accounts payable (AP) team. The farmers typically set aside one day each month for the invoice approval activity. FarmRight had a seven-person administration team who entered all invoices into their MS Dynamics GP financial system, sent them to farm managers for approval and scheduled payments. As a growing business, with more farms steadily being added to its portfolio, FarmRight was starting to drown in the paperwork and had reached a point where they’d have to grow the admin team,or find a better way of handling AP.
“Paper was a real problem. Invoices would come in, be printed and placed in a pigeonhole. An AP clerk would bring it out, enter the data, then scan the invoice which would go into a transaction list for approval by the farm manager – there was a lot of double and triple handling,” said Mark Paul, Chief Financial Officer.
FarmRight’s request for information resulted in six proposals, which the company rapidly narrowed down to two serious contenders. Fuji Xerox and Esker stood out owing to a proven track record with several local successful implementations and demonstrable functionality and ease for users.
FarmRight was looking for an AP solution to:
- Solve tedious, time-consuming, paper-bound problems
- Streamline and automate current manual AP processes to improve businesse ciency and capacity without adding more resources
- Eliminate the need to handle paper invoices
Farm managers have welcomed Esker’s Accounts Payable automation solution and now handling payments is a breeze. With Esker, invoices are received electronically (generally via email) and placed into a work flow, where they are coded and approved for payment, which is often done in micro-moments through the day using Esker’s mobile application, Esker Anywhere.
“Most of our farmers handle their approvals at breakfast after the morning milking. It’s just made it so easy for them,” said Paul.
Esker’s solution implementation was completed within four months, on time and on budget, and delivered the anticipated results. To learn how you can approach your company to streamline accounts payable, download Esker’s e-Book: “Building a Business Case for AP Automation.”
Established in August 2000, FarmRight provides expertise to equity partnerships, corporate ownership and large-scale family holdings in the dairy, beef and horticulture farming industry. The business has expanded from the original three managed farms to more than 60, including several in Australia. The company focuses on providing a full range of investment and management solutions to well governed, long-term investors. This includes investors in portfolios of farms as well as traditional equity partnerships. With staff located throughout New Zealand, FarmRigh tmaintains offices in Lumsden, Christchurch and Te Awamutu.
This post is sponsored by Esker Australia