Positive Coaching Alliance Goes Paperless with MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay
National Non-Profit Uses MineralTree To Stop Chasing Approvals And Eliminate Paper Invoices
Founded in 1998 at Stanford University by Jim Thompson, Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) is a national non-profit group whose mission is to transform the culture of youth sports so that young athletes have a positive, character-building experience. PCA works with youth and high school sports leaders, coaches, athletes, parents, and officials nationwide.
Through partnerships with schools and sports organizations, PCA provides live workshops, online courses, Thompson’s books, e-communications, free tips and tools, and a free resource center. To date, Positive Coaching Alliance has impacted more than 7.5 million youth athletes.
With respect to the Accounts Payable function, PCA’s growth to 14 locations across the United States was making it increasingly difficult to track down invoices and pay vendors. As volume grew and the process became outdated, Judy Dillenbeck, Senior Accountant at PCA, realized it was time for automation.
The Challenge: 14 Offices, 200 Invoices, And Lots Of Paper
For PCA, the process was plagued with issues from the moment an invoice was received. Depending on the vendor and office location, the process of submitting invoices varied. Either invoices were mailed directly to the specific location and then forwarded to headquarters or they were mailed or emailed from the vendor directly to headquarters. If an invoice was received at headquarters by email, it would be printed and filed away. In the end, both processes were inefficient and caused tireless complications.
“Across the 14 locations, a total of 25 to 30 people are involved in the Accounts Payable process,” says Cathie Whalen, Chief Financial Officer at PCA. For Judy Dillenbeck, having so many people involved was causing the approval process to be delayed and straining relationships with vendors. “We receive over 200 invoices a month, each of which is associated to a different location and approver. When an invoice was received, I would need to track down the appropriate approver. I was spending a lot of time contacting Directors to get them to approve an invoice,” recalls Dillenbeck.
“If we didn’t have MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay, I don’t know
how we’d survive and navigate the growth we expect as a company over the next 5 years.”
– Cathie Whalen, Chief Financial Officer, Positive Coaching Alliance
The Solution: MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay Eliminates Major AP Pain Points
With the issues and time it took to pay a single vendor, PCA decided to look for an invoice and payment automation solution. In searching for a provider, there were three main problems the solution needed to improve including:
- How to continue supporting a rapidly growing business without adding headcount
- Eliminate the problems associated with approving
invoices due to geographically dispersed operations
- Improve visibility into the invoice-to-pay process for all involved parties
After looking at solutions, PCA chose to implement MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay in October 2015. “We needed a solution that would eliminate the time I was spending on collecting paper, tracking down approvals, and processing checks. With MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay, everything is handled electronically and the time I spend on Accounts Payable is much more enjoyable,” says Dillenbeck.
The Benefits: Increased Visibility And Time Savings
It’s obvious that one of the major benefits for PCA is the ability to approve invoices and payments on-the-go from any device. But AP Automation ultimately brought additional benefits to Positive Coaching Alliance including improved visibility for the entire team.
“Getting invoices approved has never been easier. Instead of sorting through thousands of emails, I can search for specific invoices and see the last date an approval request was sent for those who have yet to
approve their purchases,” says Dillenbeck. With MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay, users can generate payment reports for greater visibility. “For me, one of the greatest benefits is being able to look at all of our payment history in one place, especially with recurring payments. Within MineralTree, I can see if there are missing bills or investigate why we are paying $100 more this month compared to last month,” says Whalen.
The Bottom Line: Time Spent On AP Is Cut In Half
Positive Coaching Alliance needed a solution that would provide visibility into all their locations while eliminating paper and increasing efficiency – and MineralTree did just that. Before MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay, PCA had two individuals spending 45% of their time on the AP process. “MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay is a state-of-the-art solution that cut the time we spend on processing invoices and executing payments in half,” says Whalen.
Without MineralTree, Positive Coaching Alliance would be stuck pushing paper, sorting through email approvals, and searching through file cabinets for long-lost invoices. “MineralTree understands how to simplify the Accounts Payable process. With automated invoice approval, single-sign on with NetSuite, and a proactive and responsive support team, the benefits go beyond just then cost savings and increased efficiency,” states Dillenbeck.
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