Summit Financial Group, Inc.

Financial Holding Company Reduces Invoice Processing Time by 95% and Achieves ROI in Less Than One Year


reduction of time processing invoices


improved AP staff productivity


ROI within first year


  • Most paper, manual processes eliminated
  • Pre-configured, automated approval workflows
  • No more misplaced, lost invoices
  • Access from anywhere, remote approvals


  • Eliminated payment late fees and interest
  • All documents accessible instantaneously
  • Self-service access, no more AP research required
  • AP staff reallocated to other tasks


Summit was experiencing significant growth through acquisitions and the addition of more branches and business locations. This was creating greater transaction volume and causing much more work for accounts payable. Like many AP departments, Summit’s was paper intensive, making the invoicing process in particular quite painful. From the time an invoice was received, to the time it took to manually process, approve and pay it was 20-45 days. Approvals were done with physical stamps and signatures, and were often misplaced on someone’s desk. Sometimes invoices were completely lost in transition between branches and the main office. It became a much more serious problem when Summit began incurring late fees and interest because of late payments.

The approval process was also difficult due to the daily information requests fielded by AP. Many approvers would ask for backup documentation prior to approving invoices. The AP team would then have to search through files to get answers. Often times AP was also asked to complete major projects, such as collecting all the invoices for a specific merchant during the last calendar year. Finding all the documents could take one full-time person days to complete.

Summit knew they had to make changes, but didn’t want to add new staff to absorb the growth. They decided to make technology investments that would allow them to process increased transaction volume more efficiently.

Scott Jennings, COO and Senior Vice President of Summit stated, “I received an email from Sage and Altec at just the right time, when I began looking for a solution. The information in the email ticked off all of my boxes so, after discussions and demos with Altec, our management team gave the green light to proceed with DocLink. We knew it would be a major project but with the way we were growing it was exactly what we needed in the long run.”


Summit implemented DocLink with minimal issues and no longer has a paper problem. About 65% of invoices are still sent by mail, but that’s where the paper stops. AP simply scans them into DocLink where each document starts their workflow.

For Summit, DocLink’s workflow is where the magic happens; invoices are automatically moved through the approvals process quickly. Additionally, the company takes full advantage of the strong integration with Sage 100. “The workflow capabilities are the best, there’s no guessing who needs to approve an invoice, which could be difficult to manage with so many approvers across all our branches. Now it’s all pre-configured in DocLink so that an invoice makes its way through the designated approval process automatically. Furthermore, we’ve been very pleased with how well it works with Sage, information moves seamlessly back and forth between the programs. For example, once a document’s approval is complete, DocLink automatically processes the document to the final queue where it interfaces with the Sage system for us to print off checks or send ACH files. It’s been a big help paying bills and reimbursing employees for expenses quickly.” said Jennings.

Summit also appreciates DocLink’s auto index capabilities, which minimizes manual input of the same data for individual merchants. AP uses this as much as possible according to Jennings. When they receive a document from a merchant that hasn’t been input before, AP has to set them up in the system. But after that, DocLink reads each document following scanning and auto indexes the necessary information for that invoice automatically.

As for approvals, invoices no longer sit on desks or get lost. With DocLink, the process is now extremely simple – approvers login from the email they receive to see what’s in their workflow. From there they can access the invoice, review the information and either approve or deny it and include a stamp or note if they wish. The invoice is then automatically sent to the next person’s queue.

Summit has also implemented DocLink’s Mobile and Web clients, making approving invoices even easier. Jennings states, “Before, if approvers were out of the office they couldn’t approve anything, which held up the process. But now with DocLink Mobile and Web, managers can access and approve invoices from anywhere. They can be in the middle of DisneyWorld on vacation and get an email that they just click on, review and approve. Or they can access and approve invoices right from the downloadable DocLink app, all in less than a minute.”

DocLink Web has also made it easier on Summit’s IT team. Prior to their upgrade, IT would have to install and manage DocLink on every computer, which was incredibly time consuming and cumbersome with 43 locations. Jennings comments, “With DocLink Web, we just send out a link which automatically goes to our web-based program. Users login with their active directory login information and they’re in where they can access their workflow and approve invoices. Users don’t have to do anything special, DocLink Web works much more quickly than the traditional stand-alone version.”

“DocLink has definitely allowed us to grow really easily. Without DocLink, our accounting and accounts payable process would be very antiquated and slow and I can guarantee we would have to spend a lot more money processing invoices. We easily saved one full-time employee our first year which means DocLink paid for itself almost immediately.”

Scott JenningsCOO and Senior Vice President


The company has experienced substantial time saving benefits and ROI since implementing DocLink.

What used to take 20-45 days – invoice processing and payment – now is completed on average in 5 days. The company no longer incurs late fees or interest and is known for their incredibly timely payments. “DocLink has allowed us to process invoices so quickly that, if I need a bill paid right away it could be processed, approved and printed within a couple of hours,” says Jennings.

Additionally, AP spends far less time having to do research projects, big or small, for other departments. Approvers can access and review any document, and the backup data to that document, in seconds. “DocLink’s research capabilities are amazing. I can’t imagine how many people it would take in AP to manage all the research that’s required throughout our organization. Now everybody has that capability at their fingertips. If they want to know something they can get it themselves. The visibility that DocLink provides into the process is pretty significant and has changed how everyone can work,” comments Jennings.

The impact on AP’s workload has been substantial. Before DocLink, AP staffed 3 people to manage invoices for only 7 business locations. Now with DocLink, the company’s grown to 43 locations and the number of all Summit employees has multiplied by 5, but accounting has reduced its AP staff by 50% to just 1.5 people managing invoices.

Jennings states, “DocLink has definitely allowed us to grow really easily. Without DocLink, our accounting and accounts payable process would be very antiquated and slow and I can guarantee we would have to spend a lot more money processing invoices. We easily saved one full-time employee our first year which means DocLink paid for itself almost immediately.”

He continued, “Overall I was surprised with how well our employees responded to DocLink. It speaks to the total ease of the system. DocLink gives us the flexibility to manage and maintain documents with workflow and email notifications to where a lot of human intervention and error has been eliminated. And that has allowed us to be as efficient as possible. We’ve been incredibly satisfied with DocLink, it continues to meet our needs and we look forward to what future options it may deliver.”