Another outcome is an increase in efficiency; the AP department can instantly find an invoice without having to waste time chasing the business users. With approximately 70% of the invoices now matching the PO immediately, a considerable amount of invoices only require scanning, after which the process is entirely automated. This efficiency has directly resulted in a reduction in the number of people required in the Accounts Payable department; before the system was installed the team consisted of 13 people and there have been reductions in headcount, as the AP manager substantiates: "The IMS system has increased efficiency in our Accounts Payable department to such an extent that on full implementation we expect to reduce our headcount by 4."
One of the key strengths of the automated invoice processing operation is the tight integration between their finance system and IMS. This is based on a transfer of Shared Reference Data that happens nightly that ensures each system contains the most up to date information e.g. PO numbers, GL codes and new vendors. The outcome of automation _ The new invoice processing solution has considerably automated the AP department, this is resulting in an increase in control over the process. At the end of each month, the ERP system produces an AP Log report that lists all the invoices that are with the business users. It is expected that the slicker and faster process will lead to a considerable reduction in the number of items on this log.