“Invoices received in the morning are scanned and on the system that same day. Payment on-time has increased significantly, enhancing our reputation, and we have far fewer query escalations.”
Richard Good, SAP Programme Manager, Capita P2P
- Communications in - invoice processing and scanning & data capture
Capita processes over 400,000 invoices per annum. Previously, manual keying of inbound invoices into SAP was proving labour and time-intensive. Slow approval processes and a lack of visibility and control were also leading to delays and exposure to fraud.
Capita’s P2P department partnered internally with Capita document & information services (CDIS) to develop a new SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). By automating its manual purchase-to-pay (P2P) processes, Capita is now making substantial savings while delivering significantly faster, more secure invoice processing services to its clients.
The solution centred on two key factors:
- A Shared Services Centre was established in the UK, and an offshore AP (accounts payable) centre set up in India.
- High spec OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology now facilitates high-volume, secure and centralised invoice scanning, with data integrated into SAP and electronic workflow systems within the day.
With automated systems and rationalised resources working seamlessly together, the whole invoice processing system is streamlined. Processing times are faster, queries are fewer and every step is audited, secure, and entirely visible to authorised users.
How it works
- Inbound invoices are received into a secure, centralised Capita facility (each cost centre has a separate PO box number)
- Invoices are scanned and data is securely extracted, identified and verified, while an image of each invoice is saved for archiving
- Verified invoices are entered into electronic workflows for approval
- Approved invoices are paid via SAP. Customised web portal allows users at any location to check and approve invoices, without needing access to SAP - saving money on SAP user licences and training
- All queried invoices are auto-escalated to Capita’s back office
- AP (accounts payable) processing facility in India, from where staff check any queries. Invoices are either then re-entered into the approval workflow, or rejected and returned to the supplier.
This partnership is delivering a range of benefits to Capita P2P including:
- Fast ROI and significant overall savings
Richard Good, SAP Programme Manager at Capita, explains;
"We’ve cut the cost of per invoice processing to just over £2, and reduced our back office resources from 40 in the UK to 20 in India, saving in excess of £1 million per annum. We also achieved ROI on scanning in the first year of operation.”
- Improved clarity, control and speed
Better control and visibility of Capita’s invoicing processes are helping transform processing times while minimising fraud and avoiding duplicate payments which had previously cost the business hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.
- Incremental savings and more benefits in the pipeline
Further reductions in invoice processing costs are anticipated from initiatives such as purchase order and invoice matching in SAP, and integration with SWIFT, the online banking payments community.
- Implementation and management of one UK Shared Services Centre for invoice processing
- Back office AP (accounts payable) resource rationalised from 40 staff across multiple UK sites to 20 staff in single offshore facility
- OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology facilitates seamless on-site invoice scanning, data capture, verification and storage
- Same day integration of data into electronic workflow and SAP systems provides end-to-end clarity and control