Complex Payables

"Complex Payables" Require Specialized Expense Management Processes

Cass possesses business process expertise in complex payables. Complex payables are any type of payable that requires specialized expense management tools and processes to manage effectively. Even after deploying best-in-class solutions for accounts payable automation, the invoice management process for complex payables falls outside the capabilities of procure-to-pay and other procurement/finance solutions.

Organizations turn to Cass to meet their requirements for processing these invoices - also known as “specialty payables” - for their freight, parcel, utilities, telecom and waste expenses.

Characteristics of Complex Payables

Invoices in these expense categories are characterized by:

  • High complexity – Invoices are difficult to process and audit due to transaction volume, complex rate structures and /or specialized service fees (a telecom bill can be hundreds of pages long and contains all three of these)

  • High error rate – both large-dollar errors as well as repetitive, small-dollar mistakes that if not corrected, drive up costs substantially

  • High content value – the data has high business value when it can be converted to actionable business intelligence requirements for specialized process

Complex Payable Examples

Many businesspeople first think of "T&E" or travel and expense management when they hear the term expense management. Most Fortune 1000 organizations have automated their management of T&E processes and very few are relying on paper-based employee expense reporting. However, organizations that have successfully optimized their processes for T&E, need to go further. 

Other examples of complex payables include invoices for telecom, facility costs such as utilities and waste, as well as freight. Organizations should also investigate telecom expense management (aka telecom invoice management), mobility management (and BYOD) utility expense management, waste expense management, facility expense management and freight expense management (aka freight audit and payment or transportation expense management).

Data-Driven Expense Management of Complex Payables

A significant benefit from introducing higher levels of invoice automation in Accounts Payable is the resulting data that becomes available for analysis. Organizations undertaking spend management projects need to be able to rely on accurate data that informs them about their organization’s spending behaviors.

Complex payables require their own business intelligence platforms and analytic tools because each area is exceedingly specialized. For example, in telecom expense management, huge amounts of data are extracted from invoices. The telecom invoice data plays an essential role in telecom inventory management, or the documentation of the ever-changing telecom circuit network. In the utility area, invoice data is exceedingly valuable in building data marts that help organizations monitor and track their carbon footprint – as well as manage overall spend. In transportation, freight invoices must be associated with a number of documents and records such as bills of lading, re-weigh certificates, etc. A best-practice solution for freight payment will capture an enormous amount of data used for specialized supply chain analytics.