30.06.2022 Case studies
Behind the scenes of POST’s Accounts Payable department
USE-CASE: HOW VBS INVOICE PROCESSING SERVICE HELPS STREAMLINE POST GROUP’S ACCOUNTS PAYABLE PROCESSES
Paying suppliers on time without errors can sometimes be much more challenging than it first seems for Accounts Payable departments. Indeed, you may receive various formats of invoices depending on your suppliers’ level of digital maturity. While the most digital-savvy suppliers can send XML files that can be automatically uploaded into your accounting software, the vast majority, however, keeps on sending you invoices by email or by post. You may therefore find yourself struggling to harmonize a mixed flow of paper and digital documents. This often turns out to be very inefficient and frustrating, not to mention the increased risk of errors and delays inherent to manual operations. This is exactly the challenge we found POST Group’s Accounts Payable department to be facing when we started our collaboration in 2010.
A HEAVY AND TIME-CONSUMING SUPPLIERS ACCOUNTING PROCESS
POST Group’s Accounts Payable department is responsible for the payment of all POST Group entities’ providers. Before VBS started digitizing their invoices, the department was struggling with a complex organization. Every month, about 1200 paper invoices had to be recorded and validated to enable the payments. The procedure was particularly cumbersome:
- Creation of paper files for each invoice;
- Transfer of files from one department to another to collect approvals and signatures;
- Multiple entries in their database;
- Repeated reminders to obtain signatures/validations on time
Despite 11 people being booked full-time on the Accounts Payable activity, it took one week on average to complete an invoice validation cycle, which could sometimes result in payment delays. On top of being inefficient, you can imagine how frustrating this situation was for the team. It was clearly high time to find a solution to streamline their process and enhance their efficiency.
AN AUTOMATED INVOICE DIGITIZATION SERVICE FOR INCREASED EFFICIENCY
As our client was struggling to meet their closing targets, VBS set up a simple yet efficient process to save them time and relieve them as much as possible from manual tasks:
- A postal redirection was created to enable VBS teams to receive directly the invoices in our production center in Bettembourg;
- The daily flow of invoices is prepared for scanning (removal of staples, addition of dividers,…);
- The invoices and attachments are scanned and the relevant accounting entries are captured and fed into the department’s accounting software. No more manual encoding;
A daily report is produced and sent to the client so the team can monitor the full process and see exactly when and how each invoice has been processed.
TIME SAVED, REDUCED ERRORS AND STRESS-FREE CLOSINGS
After more than ten years of collaboration, the client is very satisfied with the service. The benefits are countless:
- Considerable Time Savings: thanks to the automation, the complete validation cycle of an invoice takes one to 3 days instead of one week.
- Increased Efficiency: the team is now reduced, the retired employees did not need replacement. And above all, they no longer have any payment delays and are much more comfortable with urgent payments.
- Flexibility: Since the process is now fully digitalized and the paper invoices are scanned within VBS’ premises, there is no need for the client’s on-site presence to get the work done. This was all the more beneficial to them during the lockdown period and continues to be so now that remote work has been widely accepted and permanently adopted.
Thanks to the enhanced efficiency, our client can now process many more invoices (3,500 per month) in different formats (about 15% paper, with the rest being digital) with a smaller team.
WHAT OUR CLIENT SAYS WITH HIS OWN WORDS
VBS has been digitizing POST’s suppliers invoices since 2010. We are very happy with this collaboration: the service is flawless and the teams are very responsive. With this service, the accounting data from the invoices is automatically extracted and fed into our system. This has saved us considerable time, reduced coding errors and made monthly closings less stressful.”Adrien Meysembourg,
Head of accounts payable department
To know more about our invoice digitization services: digitization.victorbuckservices.com