The 15th-largest pork producer in the United States, TriOak Foods is also a feed manufacturer and grain marketer that manages more than 300 local farmer partnerships across the country. With corporate offices in Oakville and Ames, Iowa, it has additional footprints from four grain elevators, feed mills and sow operations in Oklahoma, Iowa, Illinois and Colorado.
TriOak Foods relied entirely on paper for its accounting procedures, including accounts payable and receivable. Mounds of invoices, many of which were in poor condition and none of which were standardized, were stuffed into file cabinets, making for a very complex and inefficient accounting process. Invoices were getting backlogged and late fees were being charged.
Adding to the stress were annual tax audits. “We have a private firm that audits us every year, and in the past 4 to 5 years they started requiring electronic documents,” explains Kerri Kronfeldt, TriOak Foods’ staff accountant in charge of payroll and banking, who had been with the company for 20 years at the time. “We would spend hours searching for documents, scanning them in and sending it to them.”
Solution Design & Project Management
In 2015 Kronfeldt initiated the hunt for a paperless document management solution and met a PaperSave representative at an event hosted by their Dynamics partner, RSM. PaperSave was her top choice, she says, in part because of the excellent customer service she received from the start but also because she saw the product’s potential while exploring the software’s full range of functionality.
After PaperSave for Dynamics GP was implemented and three other active users were thoroughly trained, TriOak Foods’ accounting departments were entirely paperless within a matter of weeks.
Project Results & Key Success Indicators
TriOak now relies entirely on digital technology rather than paper filing systems for its invoicing and accounting procedures, which has had a dramatic impact on audit and review, as well as daily approval processes. “The whole process of preparing for an audit used to take about 2 weeks, now it’s only a few days,” she says. “We can just go into PaperSave and send everything directly from there. The first time the auditors saw PaperSave, they asked to learn more so I showed them how it worked. They then recommended PaperSave to another company they audit!”
With automated alerts for outstanding invoices in need of approval, as well as more centralized governance and storage of all records, the department has enjoyed more efficiency and speed. Kronfeldt estimates the company once spent a few hundred dollars in late fees, but now that spending category has been eliminated entirely. Everything from journal entries and record keeping to invoice approvals and beyond takes seconds and workflow within and outside of the accounting department has improved substantially. Recently TriOak Foods also leveraged PaperSave for automated entry and OCR to further streamline relevant processes and procedures. She reports that alone has freed up at least two hours each week. “I wish there was a word to describe how good implementing PaperSave has been,” Kronfeldt says. “This was the easiest thing I ever did.”
“At first I was very nervous to take a paper-based, traditional company into a paperless company but I have not received any negative feedback from anyone at TriOak. Everyone is really happy with PaperSave.” —Kerri Kronfeldt, Staff Accountant/Payroll, TriOak Foods
Measures of Success
- Improved accounting efficiency, which resulted in faster audits and fewer backlogged invoices
- Much quicker and more efficient audits for tax and internal purposes
- No more trips to the file cabinets