Invoices for 35 different locations are processed. Even with the help of a specialised administrative office, the process is fairly complex. Ad Winters, senior policy officer of Finance at INOS wanted to bring about a change in this and began looking for a solution that gave INOS better control of its own administration.
INOS is the name of the Breda Catholic Education Foundation. They manage 29 schools, two learning centres, and have an additional four locations. At all locations, there is an administrative employee who processes the location’s invoices. In addition to that, there are 26 directors who have authorized access to these invoices. The central administration is where the employees provide support in the broadest sense of the word. Financially, but also in the area of HRM. In each field, they have two specialists.
A four-week processing time
Up until 2012, INOS had an administrative office that helped with administrative tasks, like invoice processing. Since invoices were still sent by mail, there was a processing time of three to four weeks. The invoices went:
- from the administrative employee to the administrative office;
- then were scanned and processed by Accounts Payable and sent back to the administrative employee;
- after coding to the director;
- and finally after clearance, sent back to the administrative office for the payment process.
“The long processing time was reason enough to seek out an alternative method of operation, but the lack of information known by our own administration was the deciding factor,” says Ad. “We couldn’t provide any reliable, correct information to the directors or the management. We had no grasp of our own finances.
We wanted to utilise another administrative office, but they were technically only as far the administrative office we were already sitting in. Together with an ICT colleague and an Accounts Payable colleague, we had a meeting with a consulting firm.
Our consultant recommended AFAS. We could manage a large portion of the invoice processing with it ourselves, but we eventually wanted more. We met with the consulting firm again. After this discussion, we, along with AFAS and our consultant, began talks with three candidates, one of which was ProActive.”
During the discussion with the consulting firm, INOS expressed three clear needs: no more paper invoices to save, clearance through the new program and not in AFAS, and a web-based programme.
ProActive for now and in the future
“We chose ProActive, because the modules we were looking for had already been developed. We also saw a number of modules that we wanted to use in the future. The well-established, good connection with AFAS was the cherry on top.
From the moment that we decided to start working with ProActive, everything happened fairly quickly: the implementation of the software as well as working with it. Within two weeks, we were already used to the software at central administration. At our other locations, it went fairly quickly as well, depending on the number of invoices that they processed per week. Our administrative employees were extraordinarily enthusiastic, especially regarding the e-mail notification. They thought that was wonderful.”
No more reminders
In the meantime, INOS has been working with the ProActive software for almost three years. “Now that we work with ProActive, we have reliable information immediately available for our directors and management. The processing time of the invoices has dropped by 60 to 70%! Our payment process is so fast that we hardlyreceive reminders anymore.
“After a year we chose to supplement our package with the Cash and Bank Management module. The implementation of this went just as smoothly. Our employees can work with a new module with one hand tied behind their backs.”