About Appalachian Mountain Club
The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) has been promoting the protection, enjoyment, and wise use of the mountains, rivers, and trails of the Northeast outdoors since 1876. As the nation’s oldest outdoor recreation and conservation organization, AMC has 90,000 members that maintain over 1,500 miles of trails, including nearly 350 miles of the Appalachian Trail in five states.
With twelve chapters stretching from Maine to Washington D.C., AMC employs a team of over 450 full-time and seasonal staff and more than 16,000 volunteers. The finance team is responsible for processing more than 500 invoices and payments each month. But with a geographically dispersed team, getting invoice approvals was no easy feat.
The Challenge: Difficulty Tracking Invoice Approvals
As the Accounting Supervisor, Mirzeta Mehuljic is responsible for overseeing the entire Accounts Payable process. She ensures invoices are processed on time, approvals are received, invoices are posted back to the appropriate general ledger account in Microsoft Dynamics GP, and vendors are paid on time to avoid late fees or benefit from early pay discounts.
The previous accounts payable process was plagued with manual entry, approval delays, and never-ending amounts of paper. AMC received invoices from their vendors via email and postal mail, making the approval process very tedious.
Invoices that were physically mailed to AMC’s headquarters required the Accounting Specialist to print, fold, and mail that invoice to the appropriate approver at multiple business locations. For electronic invoices, the Accounting Specialist would forward to the appropriate manager and await approval. Both processes were inefficient and difficult to manage.
“We were having trouble keeping track of when invoices were sent to approvers and who had actually given their approval. Not to mention the time it took to consistently follow-up with approvers via email,” recalls Mehuljic. And the lengthy approval process was hurting relationships with vendors.
The Solution: Automated Approvals and Virtual Card Payments
AMC knew the process they had in place was inefficient. And they knew there were AP solutions out there that could solve their problems.
“We looked at other solutions that integrated with Microsoft Dynamics GP to see what they offered and which would work best. MineralTree had the most robust approval workflows, a real-time, API-level integration, and allowed us to earn cash back on eligible vendor payments,” stated Mehuljic.
As a nonprofit organization, AMC was excited about earning cashback through SilverPay, MineralTree’s virtual card platform. And of course, reducing all that paper mean saving some trees.
“MineralTree took care of the entire vendor match and enrollment process – we didn’t have to do anything,” recalls Mehuljic. An in just one quarter, Appalachian Mountain Club has earned thousands in rebates on an annual basis. And these rebates alone are covering over 30% of the total cost of MineralTree.
The Outcome: Centralized and Paperless Accounts Payable
Beyond the rebates, Appalachian Mountain Club’s accounts payable process is now streamlined, efficient, and paperless. All invoices, whether they are mailed and uploaded or emailed directly, are stored in one centralized location. The team no longer has to worry about invoices getting lost in inboxes or mailboxes. New invoices are automatically sent for automated capture where header and line item information is extracted. Then the invoice is automatically routed to the assigned approver. How does this work? Through MineralTree’s invoice approver workflow rules. “We set up vendor profiles in MineralTree with default approvers in place. All invoices go to the appropriate approver saving us a lot of time. Now, when we look at an invoice, it’s already approved,” says Mehuljic.
For AMC, having electronic approval workflows and tracking was critical. In the MineralTree interface, the accounts payable team sees when approvals were sent out and automatic reminders are sent after 3 days of non-response.
“Since implementing MineralTree, we save at least a day’s worth of work each week,” says Mehuljic. AMC no longer keys in invoice data, sends invoices around for approval, tracks emails or sends reminders, or prints and mails paper checks.
Beyond that, MineralTree enables the AMC team to approve invoices and process payments remotely. “Our team is dispersed across the northeast so it was absolutely necessary that the solution be easily accessible and easy-to-use,” says Mehuljic.
MineralTree has positively transformed the accounts payable and payment process for Appalachian Mountain Club. “From the support team to our dedicated Customer Success Manager, MineralTree is there for us whenever we need them. It’s great to see a leading company form partnerships with their customers and listen to their feedback,” says Mehuljic.
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