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Bauer Media achieves straight-through invoice processing and payment with Proactis
Media and Publishing
Introduce a streamlined purchase order and online expenses process.
Manage purchase invoices centrally with the highest levels of efficiency and accuracy.
Improve invoice process control and transparency across the Group.
How Proactis helped
Streamlined invoice processing and payment authorisation, with seamless integration with SAP Finance system.
Provided complete visibility of what has been spent and planned expenditure.
Reduced manually-intensive and error-prone aspects of invoice processing.
Benefits to Bauer Media
Links Procurement and Finance by encouraging 'straight-through processing.'
Purchase invoices can now be viewed and paid at the click of a button from within SAP.
Accounts Payable (AP) staff now able to concentrate on more value-add tasks.
Proactis really understands our business. Due to the nature of our sector, invoicing is not always straightforward. Often our requirements are non-typical, such as our self-billing process, but Proactis worked with us to come up with an ideal solution.
Trudy Heasman, Head of Transaction Processing, Bauer Media Group
Bauer Media, part of the Bauer Media Group is Europe’s largest privately owned media and publishing group. The Group reaches millions of people around the world with its media, with over 600 magazines worldwide, more than 400 digital media outlets, and over 100 radio and TV stations. Outlets are spread across the UK, from Northern Scotland to the South of England.
The UK is made up of many legal entities, but the decision was made to centralise the Accounts Payable (AP) function so all invoices would be emailed to a central location for processing to improve control, visibility and efficiency.
The UK part of the business was looking to simplify the purchase order (PO), invoice and payment process. Previously, reams of paper invoices, spread across the numerous locations throughout the UK, were needed. There was limited insight into costs, and the AP department was unable to tell suppliers when they were going to be paid.
Expenses were also resource intensive. They were being done manually, on spreadsheets, with receipts being sent through the post. This was both inefficient, with receipts often getting lost, and very difficult to audit.
Bauer Media already used Proactis Invoice Capture so took the decision to extend this solution to achieve straight-through invoice processing to payment and unlock immediate insights and visibility into expenditure.
How Proactis helped
Proactis provides a streamlined purchase order processing system and online expenses module. Using Invoice Capture, Bauer Media scans and imports electronic invoices but now, when invoices come in, PO numbers are quoted on the invoice, resulting in straight-through processing. And because Proactis integrates seamlessly with SAP, payment is quicker and more accurate.
If there is a mismatch or error, it is automatically work-flowed out to the relevant business though Proactis. Previously this was being done manually but the process is now not only quicker but has vastly improved auditability and traceability.
Bauer Media was also able to introduce a ‘no PO, no pay’ policy. If an invoice is received with no purchase order number, it is automatically returned to the supplier for validation. The robust process ensures the AP department knows how much is being spent, and what is planned. All spend data is up-to-date and accurate and provides visibility into the company’s total combined spend, including all AP transactions.
Benefits to Bauer Media
Proactis has ensured that all invoices are visible, all costs are known, and all POs are raised up-front so the Finance team is able to evaluate all costs. There has been huge costs savings in the AP team as, due to the automation of the invoice process, AP staff are able to concentrate on more value-add tasks.
Cost and accrual management is now quick and robust with the AP department now knowing exactly what’s been spent. Bauer Media has implemented a self-billing process so the business can raise invoices on behalf of all freelancers and contributors. They are now all paid to terms, thanks to integration with SAP. Proactis provided the templates to automate the process and deliver vast time savings.
Bauer Media has also used Proactis to replace paper expenses processes with a fully electronic system. Now, people can electronically attach receipts to ensure quicker reimbursements and a happier workforce due to faster approvals. This has reduced the cost of expense processing.
Additionally, using Proactis has resulted in improved supplier relationships due to a vastly streamlined experience. Bauer Media now receives very few supplier queries (fewer phone calls).