Colchester Borough Council has gone live with the first phase of a project to implement Advanced Cloud Invoicing, an eInvoicing solution from Advanced to process up to 20,000 invoices each year.
The authority recently implemented the system to increase efficiency and reduce administrative tasks. It will also go live with Advanced’s budgeting and forecasting solution, Collaborative Planning, in May 2015.
Advanced Cloud Invoicing (ACI) is currently being used by suppliers using a purchase ordering system, and phase two of the implementation involves extending the system to those without purchase orders.
Once the system has been fully rolled out, the Council will process up to 80 per cent of all invoices through the cloud. Manually intensive processes will be streamlined by reducing data entry and scanning, and paper flow around the office will decrease.
Colchester Borough Council has used Advanced’s software since 2001, which now includes financial management, eProcurement and V1 document management technology. ACI integrates with these systems to deliver a fully automated process. Suppliers can now email invoices to the Council, the data is then read in the cloud, captured, stored and entered into the invoice register for approval. It is then matched, in the financial management system, to receipted invoices and processed.
Steve Heath, Finance Manager at Colchester Borough Council, said: “Manually keying in data from 20,000 invoices a year and scanning documents is a very labour intensive operation. With an eInvoicing system in place we can save a significant proportion of time for the accounts payable and scanning team, enabling them to re-direct their efforts to more value-added activities.
“It also reduces the risk of payment terms not being met as paper documents are not being passed around the council, and it benefits suppliers by reducing postage and printing costs.”
The Council has also just begun a project to implement Collaborative Planning, to further automate its financial management and empower managers by giving them more autonomy over their budgets.
Heath adds: “We currently use an in-house solution to manage our budgets and forecasting, but Collaborative Planning offers a much more intuitive and automated approach. Utilising technology to reduce manual administrative tasks and ensure quality financial information is increasingly crucial as the requirement to perform more efficiently becomes more and more important.”
Advanced were named Tech Company of the Year at PwC’s UK Tech Awards on 12th November. The award recognises companies for attaining commercial and financial success through technological achievements and is given to those deemed to have long-term growth potential and sound strategy to successfully deliver commercial advantages and build shareholder value.