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B&G Equipment and Supply Uses Web Services to Cut Down on Month-End Close Time

Betsy Lumpkin, Controller, B&G Equipment and Supply
Birmingham, AL

Journal Entry Upload is fantastic...I'm able to do within a minute what would otherwise be a long and error-prone process.

Betsy Lumpkin, Controller

B&G Equipment and Supply rents and sells a wide range of equipment (earthmoving, aerial, compaction, marine, tools, and cranes) across six locations throughout the Southeast. 

DeAnna Freeman, a former customer-turned InTempo professional services team member, helped the accounting department at BGES automate repetitive processes and cut hours off of month end. Controller Betsy Lumpkin talks about her experience. 

Q: What led you to work with DeAnna?

Betsy: I was looking for a way to cut down on a time-consuming process. If you’re entering an invoice in Accounts Payable, you have to key in the vendor number, invoice number, and dollar amount. Then, if the invoice doesn’t have a PO number associated with it, you have to key in the GL number. This can take up a lot of time, especially for recurring invoices you get on a monthly basis. For example, we order from Sam’s Club for office supplies. We don’t necessarily set up a purchase order for Sam’s because we have six locations, and all six of them use the same store account. When we get in the Sam’s bill it can run 20 pages long, and there may be six to eight transactions per page from different locations. We’ll email the bill out to our locations and have them code which GL each are supposed to hit. When you get that back, there are multiple line items you have to key in every single time. It is tedious. It’s the same story with our power bills. We were looking for a way to make this more efficient, so that’s where DeAnna started working with us.

"At month end and crunch time is on—especially when you have a large volume of invoices—AP Upload saves us a few hours."

Q: How was she able to help?

Betsy: She set us up with a web-based tool called AP Upload. What it does is enable us to use a spreadsheet (accountants love spreadsheets!) and then import the file for recurring invoices. DeAnna and the InTempo team set up templates for us. We know the GL numbers that are normally used, so all we have to do in the templates is key in the invoice numbers and dollar amounts. It cuts down on keystrokes—now it’s just two fields that need to be entered. Say we have ten power bills to pay, our AP accountant can go in and just change a few lines. It is so much easier using one spreadsheet than going through the various screens to key in the vendor number, invoice number, distribution line, and description, while hitting “enter” each time. After updating the two fields on the template, there are just two screens to validate the data and import it, and it’s done. At month end and crunch time is on—especially when you have a large volume of invoices—AP Upload saves us a few hours.

B&G Equipment and Supply

Q: What set up and training was involved?

Betsy: It was very simple. The only learning curve is really the new template as far as what fields to fill in, but DeAnna provided step-by-step instructions. It’s pretty intuitive and you can learn it in a day. 

 

 "I’m able to do within a minute what would otherwise be a long and error-prone process."

Q: Is there anything else you’ve used to help you streamline and automate your processes?  

Betsy: Journal Entry Upload is fantastic.  You can do multiple journal entries all from one spreadsheet, and post up to five different days on one journal entry. You can see the dollar amount and make sure everything adds up to zero, which reduces manual errors. This way you don’t have to worry about whether you’ve keyed into the correct GL number. Journal Entry Upload is especially useful to me because I do a lot of repetitive month-end journal entries. I have a template that’s saved, and I just go right into Enterprise and hit import. It validates the data and then it’s sitting there in the journal entry posting field so I can double-check that it is exactly what I want to post. I’m able to do within a minute what would otherwise be a long and error-prone process. We’re also using Reporter which is great because you can create your own ad-hoc reports. I like that I can export easily and manipulate reports within Excel. We have reports like inventory and open contracts that are scheduled every day. We can also verify rates for those contracts before they’re set up to cycle bill. Since the reports are automated and go directly to our email, nobody has to think about running them.

"[DeAnna] can suggest ways you might be able to cut down on repeatitive tasks."

Q: Do you have any advice for other Enterprise customers who are thinking about using web services (AP Upload, Journal Entry Upload)?

Betsy: My advice would be to have DeAnna take a look at your processes from top to bottom. She can suggest ways you might able to cut down on repetitive tasks. Since DeAnna was a customer prior to working at InTempo, and she was a Controller, she understands first-hand what you’re trying to do and can make really useful recommendations. 

"Do you have manual processes you repeat on a regular basis? I can work with you to help identify shortcuts that can save you hours each month." -DeAnna Freeman

Contact DeAnna for advice or training  Send an email | Call 888.950.2221x31