In August of 2016, the accounting department at Regent Bank—headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma—made the switch from Jack Henry’s Accounts Payable solution to BankTEL’s ASCEND. Accountant Mendy Collier wishes they had changed earlier.
“The sooner you can do it the better. Really, it’s just such a great system! It makes everything that’s associated with AP so much easier,” she says.
Almost immediately, Regent began to save time on it’s Accounts Payable duties. And that extra time has been helpful, since the bank—now at $543 million in assets—has grown at an average of approximately 30 percent a year for the past few years.
With ASCEND, AP staff can scan and store invoices directly into ASCEND, which is a big timesaver.
“In the past, we scanned invoices into a totally separate system and would enter similar information into both the electronic storage and Jack Henry AP. ASCEND has streamlined the process,”
ENHANCED SEARCH/ CLOUD-BASED STORAGE
Regent transitioned “because we liked the idea of storing our invoices in the same place where we keep information for each of our payments,” says Collier. “So if we have to look something up, we don’t have to figure out when the payment was made and then go to a file cabinet or electronic storage and hunt for an invoice.”
During the transition, they even scanned old invoices that hadn’t been saved electronically, so they would have a complete set of records in ASCEND. ASCEND’s electronic storage system has made daily tasks much easier for Collier and her team. Regent often has multiple accounts for a single vendor at each of its five branches.
Prior to ASCEND, “If you started to look for something like an AT&T invoice, you might have to go through 30 or 40 of them before you find the one you want,” Collier says.
She appreciates how ASCEND’s enhanced search cut out the extra work. “Now if we know the invoice number, we click on it, and we’ve got all the information right there. We’ve got the check number, we’ve got the date we paid, we’ve got everything…”
EASIER EXPENSE REPORTS
With Jack Henry’s AP program, Regent employees keyed expenses into spreadsheets. Often the AP team had to total several individual general ledger amounts (in the miscellaneous section), write out all the GL’s and the total amounts to be entered, then enter each GL and description into Jack Henry. “It was very cumbersome,” Collier says.
ASCEND imports expense reports to Accounts Payable, pulls in descriptions, dates and GL info, and shows a total by category. All Collier has to do is check the report before it’s finalized.
According to Collier, her staff loves ASCEND’s user-friendliness. “We had one employee who was behind on her expense reports, and I finally got her to go in and use the ASCEND app. She said, ‘If I knew it was this easy, I’d have done that a long time ago!’”
Before ASCEND, Regent’s employees would hand deliver or scan and email expense reports to the AP team.
Regent’s staff also used to key data for prepaid checks into Jack Henry, but with ASCEND, “As long as our AP person checks a box, It feeds everything into Prepaids. So when I go in to check Prepaids, 90-percent of the info is already there. I just need to tell it how many months and when to start,” says Collier.
One of her favorite features of ASCEND is how conveniently the different modules interface with each other. “You can pull info from one module to another, so that it’s totally easy to find and work with what you need.”
“The sooner you can do it the better. Really, it’s just such a great system! It makes everything that’s associated with AP so much easier,”
FAST CHECK PRINTING
Another great feature in ASCEND—“You can print a single check by the click of a button,” says Collier. “There were so many steps to printing checks in Jack Henry, that printing one check took almost as long as printing 50 checks.”
And voiding a check is fast and seamless.
MAKING THE SWITCH
Currently, Regent uses ASCEND for Accounts Payable, Vendor Management, Prepaids, Expense Reimbursement, and Remote Scanning and Approval. Making the move was surprisingly painless.
“I’ve been through the conversion process to new software before, and it’s usually a nightmare. Nothing balances and nothing works. But with ASCEND, things balanced and things worked. It was a very easy move,”
“If you learn one module, everything is set up in the same way. It’s no problem to add modules. You don’t have to learn a whole new software.”
She describes BankTEL’s customer support as, “knowledgeable, helpful and patient.” Any glitch was handled swiftly, “because so many of BankTEL’s customers use Jack Henry. If something came up, they’d seen it before.”
Collier has also found BankTEL to be highly responsive to customer features requests.
“We had some reports that we needed a different option on, so I put in a request. By the next update, it was fixed,” she says.
“They are constantly updating to make the software even better, but the cool thing is, it doesn’t change the format or how you do anything. It just gives you new options. It never makes anything harder.”
“Remote scanning has made our lives so much easier. The employees fill out their expense reports and they feed into AP, instead of us having to key everything in. It’s a huge time saver.”