Many man hours saved and suppliers being paid far quicker says trust
Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust says it’s saving 70 man hours a week after deploying cloud-based invoicing.
The time savings have been achieved by moving from paper-based invoice processing to an automated electronic system.
The trust is one of the largest NHS trusts in the UK, treating over 1.5 million patients annually across six sites in Newcastle, including the Freeman Hospital and Royal Victoria Infirmary. The organisation has an operating income of nearly £1 billion and employs around 13,000 people.
Cloud Invoicing from Advanced enables suppliers to send invoices directly to an email address, where they are converted into files that can automatically be recorded into the organisation’s finance system. The invoice is scanned using code, which has significantly reduced the number of queries that the trust’s finance team receives.
The trust procured the software through the Crown Commercial Service Corporate Software Solutions agreement. Advanced’s software is available on three of the seven specialist lots, including lot 2 for finance IT software solutions.
Since going live with the Advanced solution, the trust has saved 70 man hours a week by significantly reducing the need to handle paper invoices and having to manually enter the details into the register. Invoices are now received and processed on the same day, compared to up to seven days. This has also enabled finance staff to carry out more value-added activities.
The trust is projecting that nearly two thirds of the 200,000 plus invoices that it handles every year will eventually be processed through the new system.
Iain Bestford, assistant director of finance at The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Cloud Invoicing has completely transformed our function and we are delighted with the success of the project. To have 40 percent of our invoices coming through the system within three months of going live is a fantastic achievement, and will have a major impact on how the trust operates going forward.”
As a result of the time savings, the trust can now pay its suppliers more quickly, in line with the NHS Better Payment Practice Code (BPPC), which states that NHS suppliers should be paid within 30 days. It is also saving around 250,000 pieces of paper, helping the organisation to achieve cost savings and improve its sustainability.
Cloud Invoicing integrates directly into the trust’s accounting system, eFinancials, which is also provided by Advanced. The system is used by 160 people for a full range of financial functions, including accounts payable and receivable, asset management, general ledger, purchase order processing, and budgeting and forecasting.