How a Top-Rated, National Credit Union Maximizes Productivity with BankTEL’s AP Automation

With: Jenny Grecian, Senior Accounting Specialist at GreenState Credit Union

Organized in 1938, GreenState Credit Union has grown to be Iowa’s largest credit union, and one of the top financial institutions in the United States for returning profits to members in the form of better rates and lower fees.

Serving over 255,000 members with 24 office locations, GreenState is committed to creating lasting value by strengthening communities and improving the lives of the members they serve. One of their core values is to embrace continuous improvement and efficiency. This forward-thinking mindset motivated a move to AP automation and a more process-oriented approach to back-office operations.

The Challenge

As an expanding, nationally ranked credit union with a reputation staked on providing the highest level of service and support to their members, GreenState recognized that manual AP tasks were preventing optimal productivity and efficiency within the accounting department.

Jennifer Grecian, Senior Accounting Specialist, identified how manual AP workflow not only cost her team precious time, but also provided virtually no reporting capabilities, control or predictable oversight.

GreenState Credit Union’s objective was to automate AP processes in order to:

  • Eliminate time-consuming, manual AP processes and increase productivity
  • Streamline vendor payment processes and approval workflow
  • Enable AP professionals to focus on the highest impact activities with regard to member service and business growth

The Solution

GreenState Credit Union turned to BankTEL to help navigate the conversion to a fully automated AP workflow and bill payment software solution. Accounts payable automation has eliminated many of the redundant tasks that prevented GreenState from realizing optimal efficiency and productivity. 

Now GreenState is able to employ a more strategic management mindset, with tools in place that simplify and streamline all facets of the AP workflow. The credit union utilizes a range of BankTEL products including ASCEND Accounts Payable, Invoice Inbox, Approval Workflow, AvidPay, Fixed Assets, Prepaids and Accruals, and Remote Imaging.

Saves Time & Streamlines the Entire AP Workflow

Before transitioning to fully automated accounts payable, GreenState Credit Union relied upon a paper-heavy, manual workflow that cost AP professionals precious time, offered little to no reporting capabilities, and made it difficult to build processes for approvals and vendor/invoice management.

 Jennifer Grecian describes life in the accounting department before and after automation.

“One of the reasons we began looking at AP solutions to begin with is that we wanted to become paperless, gain efficiencies and build processes,” she explains. “We used to spend a great deal of time just attaching check stubs to invoices and filing those away in physical cabinets, with each GL having its own folder. Finding room in the storage room for record retention was becoming a challenge as well.”

Automation provided the key GreenState needed to unlock greater efficiencies. “Now, we use BankTEL’s Remote Imaging, and more recently, Invoice Inbox to skip the manual upload process altogether. We designated specific people as approvers for reviewing, coding and approving. One AP specialist processes all of the batches, which streamlines the entire process and makes the approval workflow more efficient,” Grecian says.

Frees AP Professionals to Focus on the Most Productive Activities

GreenState Credit Union’s “members first” philosophy has earned a national rank by Callahan & Associates for Return of Member (ROM). For the last four years, GreenState’s ROM ranking has consistently been in the top 1%, out of more than 13,000 banks and credit unions nationwide. Maintaining this high level of customer service and support is only possible when skilled AP professionals are not mired in manual, redundant tasks.

When asked what advice she would offer other credit unions that are considering automating their AP, Jennifer Grecian did not hesitate. “Just do it. It’s really a no-brainer, with the number of efficiencies and time savings it can bring. Automation makes such a big impact on day-to-day operations. Everything is housed in one system. You can become completely paperless with your AP processes. No more filing cabinets. No more waiting around for approvals, and all the research you need is at your fingertips,” she says.

Automation allows GreenState’s talented employees to focus their energy and attention on achieving the most strategic objectives for both the credit union and its members. “As a credit union, we are always striving to find greater cost savings, to be more efficient, and to discover how we can best serve our members,” Grecian explains. “With automation, we drastically reduced our need for check stock, saved on postage expense, as well as staff time, and have been able to allow our staff to work on the things that are most impactful to the organization.”

Integrates Seamlessly with Core Symitar

Although GreenState Credit Union has seen a positive impact from implementing a full suite of BankTEL automation solutions, Jennifer Grecian points to a seamless integration into their core Symitar, as the most beneficial feature.

“For us, it’s really that integration with our core Symitar, which includes not only AP, but also fixed assets, and prepaids and accruals. Having the ability to easily flag those and create records, and then being able to post everything as a quick batch process in the core really makes that so smooth,” she says.

Grecian adds how BankTEL’s AvidPay makes the process of managing invoices and payments just as seamless. “AvidPay eliminates the need for our staff to cut and stuff checks,” she explains. “The platform helps us track which checks haven’t been cashed within a certain timeframe, and makes sure those funds are returned to us, so we don’t have items outstanding for long periods of time.”

Contact us today to learn more about how some of the nation’s most reputable banks and credit unions are turning to BankTEL for accounts payable automation solutions.