Aberdeen City Council wins two Accounts Payable News’ Finance Awards

Aberdeen City Council has praised document management software provider, V1 after scooping two Accounts Payable News’ Finance Awards. The council, which won the AP Manager of the Year category and the Outstanding Contribution Award, referenced V1’s technology as playing a significant part in the award success.

The council implemented V1’s electronic document capture and storage solutions in January 2013 to boost the performance of its Accounts Payable (AP) department and as part of a bigger driver to deliver substantial efficiency savings.

Aberdeen City Council’s Financial Services Manager, Garry Stevens, said:  “We are proud to have received these awards and are very grateful to V1 for the part its software played in our success. We were competing against some big companies and large public sector organisations, so it was great to be recognised as best in class in our field.”

Aberdeen City Council, which processes more than 200,000 invoices a year, began using V1 optical character recognition (OCR) software earlier this year after a successful pilot scheme in 2012. V1’s software enables the automated capture and storage of invoice data with minimal staff input, and has helped the authority save 450 man hours a month.

Stevens continued: “V1 really revolutionised our AP processes. We previously used a paper-based system which was a laborious and extremely time consuming process.  Staff spent more time tracing invoices when the priority should have been organising payment. It’s great to see invoices being paid with minimal effort on our part.

“The V1 technology alone will save the council approximately £80,000 in man hours – that is three full-time employees able to do more valuable work elsewhere. Performance has also improved considerably. We can now pay 98.2% of our suppliers within 30 days. As well as all these benefits, the software ties in nicely with our green agenda.”

Stevens, chairman of the Scottish Authorities Accounts Payable User Group – an industry body set up for public sector finance directors to discuss challenges and issues within the sector – will introduce more V1 software in future. In January the council will look to implement PDF invoice importing to further improve their payment processing capability. At a later date, the finance team will also implement a self-service portal allowing customers to check the payment status of submitted invoices.

Earlier this year Aberdeen retained the coveted Finance Team of the Year title in the annual Scottish Accountancy Awards, taking the title for the second year running.

V1’s document management solutions integrates into Advanced Business Solutions finance system, eFinancials, which has allowed the council’s 400-stong finance division to exert greater control over budgets and maximise efficiencies.

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