Company Background: Moda Midstream, LLC
Moda Midstream, LLC (“Moda”) is a liquids terminaling and logistics company that provides independent terminal, storage, and distribution solutions to refiners, petrochemical manufacturers, marketers and producers of crude oil and other bulk liquids along the US Gulf Coast. In 2018, Moda acquired the Ingleside Energy Center (“IEC”), a crude oil export terminal facility positioned to provide access to global markets for crude oil and LPG producers and marketers. IEC was not only operational, but it was also in the middle of several large construction projects for the expansion of storage capacity and terminal infrastructure, so things got very busy very quickly.
Situation: Fast growth and too many invoice approval steps
Newly established in 2015, Moda was a development-stage company with a small staff so they implemented Dynamics GP to handle back-office needs. The accounting team received paper purchase orders and invoices mailed by vendors or printed paper copies of electronic documents emailed from vendors. Approvers physically signed paper invoices or responded with approvals by email which were printed and attached to invoices as support. Purchase orders and contracts required wet signatures and all documents were stored in office file cabinets. While the process wasn’t exactly modern, for a small company it worked. However, after acquiring IEC and multiple ongoing expansion projects, the number of vendors jumped from 150 to 480 and average invoices handled increased from 50 to 200 per week.
Not only was the increased workload unsustainable for the long term, but many of the new vendors were also accustomed to submitting invoices through an automated portal and would repeatedly follow up with Moda to be sure their invoices were received, approved, and would be paid on time.
“It’s like magic! Everyone loves how easy the vendor invoice approval process is now.”
– Silvia Luis, Accounting & AP
Initially, Moda moved to Adobe Sign for invoice approvals, but the approvers complained about getting too many emails. While Moda had eliminated paper, it would still take a full day to send out all invoices to the right parties. And despite the numerous email reminders, approval processes were still stalled, with invoices sitting in email inboxes for a week or more. Although invoices were stored on a shared network drive, the files weren’t always saved with the right name and metadata, plus they were stored separately from the transactions in Dynamics GP. When Moda employees started working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, accessing the file share data became particularly difficult any time multiple people were connected to the office VPN.
Solution: EasyAP365 with Power Automate ingration to Dynamics GP
Because Moda was already running Dynamics 365 (GP), they wanted an invoice automation solution that would be closely integrated with Dynamics. DynamicPoint proved to be a perfect fit. The accounting team could route invoices for approval right within GP. DynamicPoint created Power Automate workflows that reduced the frequency of emails and sped up approval processes. They also configured reports to show any outstanding issues.
Result: Invoice approvals processed in hours instead of days for better vendor relations
Today, Moda’s daily incoming accounts payable invoices can be routed for approval by one person in only a few hours. Managers and approvers like that they can view and approve invoices from any device, and drill down to see more detail about the project or transaction. An approval report is available right out of Dynamics GP, as well as an invoice accrual report which Moda produces bi-weekly for cash flow planning and an overall status check. Overall, with DynamicPoint the accounting team has successfully increased efficiencies by automating much of the former manual processes and integrating further with existing Dynamics GP, enabling them to handle more transactions without further increasing headcount and creating a foundation for further growth.
Does your company need to reimburse expenses that are for external parties and not employees? The DynamicPoint EasyAP365 Invoice Automation solution can help. We have recently incorporated support for external contractors to submit expense reports either through a portal or email submission method for reimbursement. The expense reports are received in our Office 365 based Invoice Automation application for processing and workflow approval. Upon approval, they are integrated in real-time to your ERP system for payment.
The resulting solution looked like this:
The solution allowed our customers to automate a previously very manual and labor-intensive process and leverage Office 365 in conjunction with DynamicPoint’s EasyAP365 invoice automation solution.
DynamicPoint has partnered with Binary Stream Software to offer a full integration of our EasyAP365 Invoice Automation solution with Binary Stream’s Multi-Entity Management application. The Multi-Entity Management application allows Business Central and Dynamics GP users to streamline intercompany transactions and manage multiple legal entities all within a single company instance. This product is very useful for organizations that are managing a multi-tiered organization with shared service accounts payable processes. More about this product can be found here.
Thanks to the hard work of the DynamicPoint development team, you can now select these companies directly from the EasyAP365 application. Workflow can be configured to be organizational-based such that reviewers are defined by the organization they belong to. When the invoice is created in either Business Central or Dynamics GP, the Binary Stream application program interface (API) is leveraged to create a PO or non-PO invoice with the appropriate entities specified.
This effort is an integral part of the DynamicPoint software development roadmap, in that not only are we improving our integration with popular ERP applications, but also the key vendors that are often included in Microsoft Dynamics ecosystems.
DynamicPoint has expanded the list of ERP applications that are supported with its Office 365 Invoice Automation Application. We are now proud to say our EasyAP365 Invoice Automation Application can be used seamlessly with the following systems:
- Microsoft Business Central
- Microsoft Dynamics NAV
- Microsoft Dynamics GP
- Microsoft Finance and Operations
- SAP, Business One, ByDesign, and NetWeaver Gateway
- Sage 200, 300, Cloud, and Intacct
One of the key criteria when evaluating any Invoice Automation system is whether or not it works with your ERP/Accounting Application. How well the systems communicate with each other will determine if information needs to be synchronized between the two, or if a real-time integration exists.
DynamicPoint’s preference is to leave all master data that is managed by the ERP system, in the ERP system. This includes vendor records, shipments, and purchase orders. As opposed to synchronizing this information, we query it directly from the system of record. When an invoice is approved and ready to be integrated, we call the product’s Application Program Interface (APIs) to automatically create the invoice in a real-time fashion. This is preferred to an export and import process that requires manual steps, duplicate data, and leaves the process open to inconsistency and errors.
Given our preference of real-time integration, we have mapped our Office 365 based AP Invoice Automation, EasyAP365, to several leading ERP and accounting systems. We leverage the industry standard in integration methodologies, namely using REST-based ODATA endpoints. As some systems don’t provide REST-based services natively, we leverage our partnership with a data access and connectivity company by the name of CDATA Software that provides standard adapters to leading ERP and accounting systems.
Don’t see your system on the list, please give us a call to discuss.
Are you looking for an easy, cost-effective way to manage employee corporate credit card expenditures? For a lot of companies that we speak with, this process is manual and labor-intensive. It usually involves receiving a statement at the end of the month and then trying your best to email employees in an attempt to determine which accounts these expenditures should be assigned to. Depending on your volume, this process can be unmanageable and similar to herding cats.
Presented with this challenge DynamicPoint has created a Power App solution that automates this process, EasyEXP365. The solution entails the following:
- Credit card transactions are daily fed into Office 365 using a live feed with your banking institution
- These transactions are assigned to employees based on the card issued to them
- From a mobile or desktop Power App, employees can assign these transactions to the appropriate job or expense type (GL account)
- Coded transactions are routed for workflow (using Power Automate) or directly integrated with your ERP system as a journal entry
- Transactions are easily reconciled with the monthly statement when it is received
The process looks something like this:
Here is a screenshot of the employee’s Power App in which they can easily review their transactions, upload supporting receipts and submit for approval or integration into your accounting system:
Interested in Learning More About EasyEXP365?
It just takes one minute to learn what our suite of Office 365 apps can do for you by watching our latest video. Our suite of applications includes Customer, Vendor and Employee Portals, AP Invoice Automation, and Employee Expense Management. All of our products leverage SharePoint, Power Automate, Power Apps and Power BI to deliver robust, flexible applications at a fraction of the cost of competitive products. Watch the video below to learn what you’ve been missing and how easy it is to get started towards increasing your ROI.
Are you still processing accounts payable invoices using email? While this may have been effective prior to remote work being the new normal, it can pose a lot of challenges. The most significant issue is the ability to manage and track the outstanding invoices and where they are in the approval process. Also, when they finally are approved they must be manually entered into your accounting / ERP system. Well, you don’t have to accept these limitations anymore if you are a Microsoft Office 365 user.
What is Required for Invoice Automation
Invoice automation generally comes down to the following three major steps:
- Receipt of the invoice from the vendor
- Workflow for managerial review
- Integration with your Accounting / ERP system for posting and payment
Let’s explore each of these steps and see how you can leverage Office 365 to automate the process.
The objective of this step is to receive the invoice from the vendor and capture as much information as possible. The most typical method we see at DynamicPoint is email submission. This generally is an inbox managed by one person which provides little to no visibility for others into incoming invoices. Microsoft Power Automate and SharePoint can offer a lot of value to this process. A Power Automate workflow can be set up to receive an email from any inbox or alias, say email@example.com, and move it to a SharePoint document library. This library will provide the control, versioning, visibility, and management for everyone to see the invoices that have been submitted for payment. A template already exists for setting this up. Details can be found here.
If you’d prefer invoices to be submitted from your website, mobile app, or vendor portal, those are all options as well. Forms and Power Apps can also be leveraged to receive the invoice and place it in a SharePoint library.
After the invoice has been received the next step is ensuring it gets reviewed by managers or accounting. Power Automate provides a lot of functionality in this area as well. Email or mobile app notifications and approval tasks can be generated and assigned to the appropriate reviewers.
The last and final step after an invoice is reviewed and approved is to bring it into your accounting / ERP system for payment. DynamicPoint’s EasyAP365 invoice automation product was built specifically for this job. We bring the invoice directly into our product’s dashboard for automatic assignment to vendor templates, including GL account distribution. We integrate directly with leading ERP systems via web services to create the invoice automatically, including both PO and non-PO invoices.
Final Solution looks like this:
The good news regarding this solution is that most of our customers are already Office 365 subscription holders and already own the majority of the technology required. Even the base enterprise E1 plan includes Power Automate and SharePoint.
If you care to take the approved invoice and automatically bring it into your ERP system, DynamicPoint EasyAP365 will be required. More information can be found here, including pricing and recorded demonstrations.
Are you interested in building a customer, vendor or employee Portal using Office 365? If so, then DynamicPoint’s portal application is what you are looking for. The app enables real time connections to market leading ERP systems such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business Central, AX, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV, Acumatica, Epicor, Infor, Intacct, NetSuite, Oracle, Sage, SAP and others.
DynamicPoint has released a new recorded demonstration clearly illustrating the functionality offered by the application and possibilities for your portal. Like all of DynamicPoint’s products, the portal app leverages the Microsoft Office 365 framework.
Watch our new video and check out how easy it is to access and share customer, vendor or employee information from your ERP or CRM systems.
New for 2021: DynamicPoint has revamped the pricing of its Office 365 based employee expense management solution, EasyEXP365. The new pricing will offer its customers a more flexible and cost-effective method for automating the management of employee expenditures using the Office 365 platform. Details can be found on the EasyEXP365 product home page here: https://www.dynamicpoint.com/expense-reimbursement/
Just in time for the new year, DynamicPoint has released a new completely Office 365-based version of its Employee Expense Management application, named EasyEXP365. EasyEXP365 Employee Expense Management automates the entry, review, and approval of expense reports using Office 365. Utilizing SharePoint’s document libraries, Power Automate workflow, and Power Apps mobile entry, the product provides a familiar, easy to use app at a fraction of the cost of competitive solutions while not sacrificing functionality.
Why Customers Love DynamicPoint
Kellie and team I really appreciate all your help getting our customer’s project sorted out. It may not have been our ideal go live situation with the client’s old system going down suddenly, but you have been awesome about very quick responses, and getting things taken care of for us and the client. Thank you.
Senior Director, Technology Services | RSM US LLP
IT systems are never perfect. The difference between a good and average (or poor) experience is made when a vendor proves themselves as a true business Partner by ensuring the customer is getting the value they expect from their product, it’s this character and culture of their team that validates my decision to partner with DynamicPoint.
Director of Business and Quality Information Systems | OneBlood, Inc
We have been so impressed with DynamicPoint’s solution and their people. They put in the time to make sure they can deliver what they promise,” concludes Amy. “You can tell they are very committed to their customers and made me feel like a priority through every question and conversation.
Sr. Manager Business Applications & IT Support Services | CBORD
DynamicPoint is very knowledgeable, quick turnaround times and great customer service. What they deliver is always what I asked for or more. One of my most favorite vendors!
Great expertise with both Microsoft Dynamics GP and SharePoint. DynamicPoint was very responsive and professional throughout the engagement. The product was exactly what was desired, and was bug free upon delivery. I highly recommend working with DynamicPoint for any GP customization or SharePoint development.
T.D. Williamson Inc.