About NEW Health Programs
NEW Health Programs Association holds itself to standards as lofty as the Huckleberry Mountain Range that surrounds its homey Chewelah, Washington headquarters. Driven by the mission to ensure a comprehensive range of high-quality care to all people, the non-profit organization is focused on getting the most out of its resources in order to maximize the value it can pass on to its surrounding community.
Soon after joining the NEW Health team, CFO Adam Jones zeroed in on the accounts payable process as a strategic opportunity to create value for the entire organization. While AP had been functioning as a manual process that was prone to costly mistakes, Jones transitioned his team to an automated workflow that created cost savings, improved financial forecasting, and elevated the role of accounts payable within the organization.
The Challenge: Eliminating High-Volume, Low-Value Work
“I would say our accounting department was full of highvolume, low-value work,” explained Jones. “It was a lot of busy work on our staff, and it didn’t achieve the overall goal of managing costs within our organization.”
The main culprit behind all of this inefficiency and excessive cost was NEW Health’s manual accounts payable process, which involves the transferring of paper invoices between desks for approval, typing invoice data into Microsoft Dynamics GP, and then cutting paper checks.
“I would say that I probably touched an invoice 10-15 times throughout the invoice process,” explained Expense Analyst Candi Daniels, who was originally the department’s AP Manager. And with so much focus on getting invoices processed and paid, there was little capacity left for Jones and his team to carefully review the invoices and focus on anything forward-facing and strategic.
“The focus wasn’t so much on the coding, the timing, or why the expenses were happening,” continued Jones. “It was just paperwork after paperwork after paperwork.” And a paper-based process was also hindering Jones and his team from maintaining an accrual accounting protocol, which Jones believed to be table stakes for running an effective department.
The Solution: MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay
When it came down to finding a solution, Jones knew automation was the route he wanted to take. In the process of looking into vendors, MineralTree stood out from the pack for a couple of core reasons.
“The reason we chose MineralTree was because it integrated with our accounting system, number one, and two, it could take an invoice all the way to payment,” explained Jones. “That was the biggest thing. It automatically made us accrual day one when we turned it on with an integration into GP.”
As a result of the integration between MineralTree and NEW Health’s instance of Microsoft Dynamics GP, Jones and his team could maintain a comprehensive and up-to-date view of critical company financial information at all times. “The AP aging was correct, the expense accounts were correct, and it just integrated seamlessly,” continued Jones.
With MineralTree fully integrated, NEW Health’s new accounts payable process featured one centralized and paperless workflow that wiped out all of the tedious, cumbersome tasks that were previously driving down productively on Jones’s team.
“I don’t have to open the mail, and I don’t have to touch the invoice multiple times,” explained Daniels. “The invoice is just dropped into MineralTree and stored along with the supporting documentation, which, in accounts payable is a huge bonus.”
While MineralTree quickly proved to be convenient, it also proved to be intuitively designed and easy-to-use across a variety of roles within the NEW Health finance team. “Accessing MineralTree is very easy and the search field is very user-friendly,” said Controller Vickie Nussbaum. “I can find a vendor in just a moment.”
The Outcome: Cost Savings and a Continuously-Growing ROI
Since implementing MineralTree, NEW Health has recognized a variety of benefits that are all moving both the finance team and the broader organization forward.
“Having MineralTree has allowed me to re-allocate one of my AP employees to a new department,” explained Jones. “This has resulted in cost savings of about $35-$42k. It has also enabled us to enhance our reporting mechanisms and our budgeting process to make it more detailed and robust than it ever has been before.”
Additionally, Jones has since promoted Daniels, who was formerly the team’s AP Manager, into the role of Expense Analyst. “Implementing MineralTree now enables her to continue managing AP, while also taking a more proactive approach to managing the business’s cash flow.”
MineralTree’s impact has extended beyond the finance team, and is also making life easier for employees surrounding the finance department, including the company’s CEO.
“If I had to estimate my time savings for invoice and check approving, I would say it was about 3 hours of time prior to MineralTree, and now we’re down to about 30 minutes,” said NEW Health CEO Desiree Sweeney.
Jones and his team look forward to continuing to generate AP efficiency in partnership with MineralTree, and scaling AP in an expedient and effective way.