Success Stories

Hackney Borough Council - Outsourced Invoice Processing Success Story

Hackney Borough Council outsourced the processing of over 165K invoices to DCS. A complete suite was developed for scanning, indexing and extracting data from invoices from 4,000 suppliers.

success-detail-hackney-council

Hackney is London's most diverse and dynamic borough. Stretching from the edge of the City, to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, it is an area of rapid economic growth, particularly in the tech, media, fashion and other creative industries. Hackney has more green space than any other inner London borough, some of the capital's best schools, and first-class transport connections. Combined with excellent local public services and a thriving arts, cultural and retail sector, Hackney has established itself as one of London's most popular areas to live, work and visit.

The challenge facing the Council is to make sure that the borough's economic growth provides benefits for everyone who lives there, and to create opportunities that will transform the lives of local people.

The Challenge

Hackney Council receives in excess of 55,000 invoice documents and 110,000 images every year from suppliers. The services provided by suppliers range from office stationery, Highways and Housing repairs to costs relating to Children and Adult Social Care.

Handling invoices efficiently and accurately is key to the smooth running of the Council and providing Hackney Council residents with a safe and stable environment to live.

However the Council found that its incumbent document scanning provider was not meeting their needs in terms of scalability, putting them at risk of error in its accounts payable department. How could the Council achieve excellence in the accounts payable department without increasing the cost of operations?

Head of Financial Systems & Payments John Delgado explains why he wanted to improve the efficiency of their department without having to deploy additional human resources or systems;

“Each month we process thousands of invoices and images, covering a multitude of local services provided by over 4,000 suppliers. As the number and complexity of invoices has increased over time we discovered that we were unable to process invoices as efficiently as we would have liked.”

In addition, continued pressure due to austerity measures meant the need to streamline processes and reduce costs whilst at the same time maintaining a positive supplier relationship;

“We needed to improve digital functionality and introduce automated checks at the start of the process in order to reduce the burden and increase accuracy in the back office. The main aim was to reduce the number of paper invoices, increase the number of electronic invoices and increase the number of invoices paid automatically ”

The Solution

After consultation with the Finance & Corporate Resources Directorate, Data Capture Solutions (DCS) was commissioned to provide an outsourced invoice processing solution utilising Kofax Transformation's advanced OCR technology to provide a turnkey solution for John’s team.

Since implementing an outsourced service for invoice processing, Hackney Council has increased the visibility of invoices and the efficiency of its finance department while making significant cost savings.

Equipped with intelligent invoice reading features, Kofax Transformation automatically detects and flags up invoices that contain errors or that it suspects to be fraudulent, minimising risk to the Council.

“Thanks to DCS, we have improved the accuracy of the invoicing process journey by gaining a clearer picture from start to finish.” notes John Delgado.

The Benefits

Since implementing an outsourced service for invoice processing, Hackney Council has increased the visibility of invoices and the efficiency of its finance department while making significant cost savings.

Equipped with intelligent invoice reading features, Kofax Transformation automatically detects and flags up invoices that contain errors or that it suspects to be fraudulent, minimising risk to the Council.

“Thanks to DCS, we have improved the accuracy of the invoicing process journey by gaining a clearer picture from start to finish.” notes John Delgado.

The solution has delivered;

  • A policy of ’No purchase order number - no pay’means invoices received are more accurate and relate to a valid purchase order.
  • Reduction in overheads.
  • Helped improve Hackney Council’s ability to pay invoices on time – now running at 98% within 30 days, improving supplier relationships.
  • Number of automatically paid manual invoices increased from 0% to 25% and climbing.

Removing the need for the labour intensive, manual process of reviewing, scanning and classifying invoices, the market leading solution has transformed the way Hackney Borough Council processes invoices with speed, precision and accuracy and scalability across the organisation.

“By introducing automated validation rules such as auto rejection processes with an outsourced solution, Hackney Council has improved operational efficiency, and is placed in pole position to identify problems quickly and trigger business processes through superior reporting as each invoice is processed.”

DCS Document Management

Data Capture Solutions (DCS) provide a wide range of information management software and service solutions targeted at improving organisational effectiveness and efficiency, saving you both time and money.

The invoice automation products used for Hackney's business solution are:

If you wish to outsource your invoice processing to us, more information can be found here:

DCS's outsource invoice processing

 

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