With an ever-increasing number of documents within the purchase ledger cycle, which exposed how inefficient Stenball Group’s processes were, the company was facing a choice of either increasing headcount or looking for technology to remove those inefficiencies and streamline document management processes. According to Steve Kitney, Stenball’s Financial Controller, with the implementation of PaperLess for Sage “we have grown by approximately 25% and we have been able to deal with the increased volumes with no increase in headcount.”
Steve Kitney, Stenball’s Financial Controller
Stenball Group is a UK based refurbishment contractor, primarily operating in the hospitality and leisure sectors. With 2,000 documents processed on a monthly basis by the purchase ledger team, the company estimates that the automated approval process together with the more efficient handling of invoices introduced by PaperLess Software “has enabled the purchase ledger process and job cost management to be approximately 40%-50% more efficient” says the company’s representative.
The company associates the results achieved with the automated approval processes and the reduction on time spent on manual data input introduced by PaperLess software. The seamless integration between PaperLess and Sage, even when using multiple companies, is also considered as key since it ensures documents are immediately posted to the ledger, automatically archived and linked to the transactions with retrieval done in seconds directly from within Sage accounting lines.
Even though the client considers the increase on efficiency levels to be one of the main benefits that came with the implementation of PaperLess software, the ability for Project Managers to have sight of all invoices on each project as soon as the invoices are processed in PaperLess is also seen as a very important benefit. With PaperLess they can now “see all invoices in real-time, enabling them to identify any unexpected items for charging to clients and any abnormal purchases by our staff” adds Steve Kitney.
With multiple onsite projects throughout UK, Stenball has a team of 7 people that spend most of their time at the clients’ sites and rarely go into the office. Because of this, having invoices approved prior to payment was always a challenge, as well as very labor intensive and time consuming. Adding to this, Stenball’s clients wanted the final costs on each project to be submitted quickly after completion and the purchase ledger team was struggling to keep up to date because of the constrains in the approval process.
In order to speed up the approval process and ensure the clients’ satisfaction the company implemented PaperLess Online Invoice Approval so that approval processes could be automated and invoices could be approved from anywhere in the country.
Since the implementation of PaperLess Software invoices are easily approved by everyone in the company, regardless of their location, via PaperLess Remote Access. Currently, when a document is sent for approval an email notification is automatically sent informing users that they have documents pending approval, those documents are immediately available as soon as users login into the system, making the approval process much faster and extremely user-friendly.
The approval process in PaperLess adapts to the client’s needs and since for Stenball it was extremely important to have the invoices immediately posted to the ledger, PaperLess Dispute Approval method was enabled. Using this method means that invoices are immediately posted as soon as the document flow is activated, with PaperLess automatically setting the dispute flag in Sage, meaning that the invoices are stopped for payment until final approval is given.
The two most significant benefits of the introduction of PaperLess into our business are the time saving
Apart from increases in efficiency and productivity levels of around 40%-50% and the fact that, by implementing PaperLess, Stenball Group did not have to increase the accounts team headcount even after having experienced a 25% growth, the clients also points out some other important benefits delivered by PaperLess that they did not take into consideration when implementing this solution.
One of those benefits has to do with the fact that by using the PaperLess Accounting Archive the company no longer needs to prepare a file of project invoices as PaperLess allows them to look at all costs for each Project electronically. Steve Kitney adds that “this is also reflected in the speed and accuracy of the preparation of management information as all information is now only a click away, rather than needing to search through paper files.”
The company also identifies significant time savings on document handling and filing that is now automatically done by PaperLess and on searching for documents, who are now easily accessible via a simple lookup from Sage accounting lines or via PaperLess Accounting archive.
Since implementing PaperLess the number of paper documents processed has reduced significantly, meaning that time spend on opening the post is now negligible where it used to take half an hour a day prior to the use of PaperLess. This frees up time for the office staff that can now deal with a larger number of clients and, at the same time, also gives them more flexibility allowing them to work remotely and still have access to PaperLess and all accounting information.
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