Aberdeen City Council is anticipating significant cost savings per annum by implementing Cloud Invoicing, a hosted eInvoicing solution from Advanced Business Solutions. The solution will go live in October 2014.
Aberdeen will use Cloud Invoicing to speed-up the processing of approximately 75,000 invoices each year from 147 registered suppliers and remain compliant with Government late payment legislation.
Advanced’s solution will also substantially reduce administration costs and time associated with printing, postage, data entry and document handling by fully automating Aberdeen’s accounts payable (AP) processes.
Cloud Invoicing will integrate with Aberdeen’s current accounting system, eFinancials, which is also provided by Advanced. PDF invoices sent to a designated email address are automatically detached via the hosted cloud service which extracts all of the invoice data. This data is then converted into an eInvoice that eFinancials can interpret and validate before processing payment. No manual intervention is required for this process.
Original PDF invoices will be stored on the Council’s document management system which links to the relevant transaction records in the invoice register. This ensures quick and secure online access to images without the need to handle paper.
Aberdeen City Council’s finance convener Councillor Willie Young said: “We will be one of the first councils in the UK to be fully automated in terms of accounts payable. This will help not only to save the council money, but also to free up staff time.
"It reflects how forward-thinking we are in the use of computer systems and new technology to speed up the payment process and save public money."
Financial services manager Garry Stevens added: “We anticipate that Advanced Cloud Invoicing will considerably reduce the cost to process a matched invoice through the cloud solution.
“Removing the manual administration from our AP function will also enable us to free-up staff time to focus on value-added activities and eliminate human errors and payment inaccuracies.”
Proposed changes to Government late payment targets could have significant implications for local authorities. This follows an announcement of new plans by the UK Government in June 2014 to make it a legal requirement for organisations to publicly publish details of their payment performance to reinforce the Prompt Payment Code.
Stevens comments, “Cloud Invoicing will enable us to comfortably achieve Government late payment targets and ensure we are fully prepared for new legislative changes. Advanced’s solution will notify us on receipt of a supplier invoice, automatically transfer it into eFinancials and schedule for payment in the space of five minutes where it matches, by fully automating our AP processes.
“This process has supported positive discussions with our suppliers, helping us to consider discounts from them as we can ensure prompt payment of invoices. This will enable us to further invest in improving the Accounts Payable function