Proactis is used for scanning invoices, and combined with the finance system, suppliers can see their invoices and where they are in the process. Proactis uses optical character recognition (OCR) for scanning and lifting data and this has removed a lot of the manual processes.
The Council has also been able to reduce the number of suppliers from 25,000 to less than 7,000, which it hopes will result in more financial visibility, reduced administration costs and risk, and improved supplier relationships. Purchase orders now go out electronically, the work is completed, and then the system is marked as goods receipted. The invoice comes in and Proactis scans and matches it – the whole process is automated. For any exceptions, for example if the order value is exceeded, a notification is sent, and it is managed as necessary.
“For me, efficient operations are the ability to measure what’s been spent against what was expected and what’s been ordered. To be able to track invoices, to identify how long it takes to pay invoices and why some take longer than others, gives us a great idea of what can we do to address these challenges,” concluded Darren. “In the old way of working we didn’t have that, but the introduction of purchase orders drives better control. Additionally, I can now run reports, allowing me to complete a much more streamlined accrual year-end process as opposed to a manual finger in the air!”