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Poynton, Cheshire, United Kingdom, 2010/10/22 - Land Registry, the government department responsible for keeping and maintaining the Land Register of England and Wales, reports that it is now paying 99.7 per cent of its undisputed suppliers’ invoices within five working days.
All central government departments are required to pay 80 per cent of all undisputed invoices within five working days and to explore the option of moving to immediate payment. Land Registry’s ability to pay over 99 per cent of suppliers within five working days has been facilitated by the centralised receipt of supplier invoices, strict enforcement of procure-to-pay processes and policies and Version One’s document management and imaging software.
Land Registry processes approximately 25,000 purchase invoices per year. To meet Treasury guidelines introduced in October 2008, requiring payment of the government's small and midsize suppliers within 10 working days (now superseded by the May 2010 five working day payment guidelines), and to reduce staff numbers or enable staff time to be utilised elsewhere, Land Registry decided to move from what was a semi-manual to a fully automated accounts payable process.
A frequent reason given by customers for not paying invoices on time is that they haven’t received the POD and/or the invoice. In fact, it can sometimes take weeks before a mislaid POD is finally located and a sales invoice can be raised. By scanning PODs and electronically delivering them to the customer with the corresponding sales invoice, not only are they received a day or two sooner than if they’d been posted, the customer cannot use the excuse that they haven’t received the invoice to delay payment.
"We moved from a manually-intensive procure-to-pay process to a centralised, automated process with the help of Version One’s software systems. The new systems aided our ability to enforce compliance with procure-to-pay processes and enabled us to improve our payment performance by at least five per cent." - Debbie Wilkinson - Land Registry
Version One’s document management and imaging software (versionone.co.uk) was implemented at Land Registry in 2009. Linked with its Oracle Financials accounting system (and Oracle workflow solution), Version One’s software has enabled Land Registry to replace semi-manual procure-to-pay processes with the automated processing of purchase invoices. Version One’s data capture solution, which automatically captures and verifies data from purchase invoices before being uploaded to Oracle Financials, has significantly reduced manual data entry, further streamlining procure-to-pay and freeing-up the accounts payable team’s time.
Debbie Wilkinson, head of financial accounting from Land Registry, says, “We moved from a manually-intensive procure-to-pay process to a centralised, automated process with the help of Version One’s software systems. The new systems aided our ability to enforce compliance with procure-to-pay processes and enabled us to improve our payment performance by at least five per cent.”
Wilkinson continues, “We have also reduced our accounts payable data input staff from three to one full time employee. This reduction in staff numbers has been achieved through either natural wastage or redeployment to the accounts receivable function in line with our multifunctional working policy.”
Land Registry no longer needs to file paper invoices following approval from HM Revenue and Customs so less document storage space is needed, which also supports Land Registry’s sustainability agenda and frees-up staff time to assist with other duties.