In a major ad agency and media-buying firm, the process of accounts payable is very different from companies in other industries. Though many businesses are inundated with paper, fax, and email invoices—all of which need to be entered, validated, and reviewed before processing—advertising and media companies have an added layer of client accountability with which to contend. Reporting back to clients is a non-stop, repetitive, error-prone process. Throw in the full slate of other day-to-day priorities and agencies have had no time to investigate alternative processes.
But it's a harsh reality that having "no time" is no longer a valid excuse for staying the course. New market pressures are mounting, including a proliferation of interactive/digital advertising, increased competition and lower media-buy markups. In addition, new regulations and more stringent audits require supporting documentation to be available with a click of the mouse, not buried in an offsite storage facility.
The result is a "change or die" atmosphere at many ad agencies and media buying firms. This case study shows how one firm, "The Agency", successfully teamed with IPS to streamline its shared services accounts payable processes. The result? Cutting invoice processing time from two and a half months to less than a week. At the same time, the Agency's leadership team was able to embrace a new, agile business model—one that enabled them to adapt services and respond quickly to ever-changing client demands and regulations.