ISS UK, one of the country’s largest commercial providers of facility services, is implementing an electronic workflow system from COA Solutions to electronically process and manage over 1,000 employee expense claims each month. This eBIS system, which will replace time-consuming paper-based expense claim management processes, will enable ISS UK to maintain greater control over expenses as well as project management costs whilst supporting its green agenda. This project will be fully live by late 2009.
Having already implemented COA Solutions’ financial management system, ISS UK was keen to further improve efficiency using integrated electronic workflow functionality for the automated processing of expense claims and purchase orders across its 230 UK offices and customer sites.
Mark Brown, IT Director at ISS UK, says, “We have thousands of workers throughout our business who manually complete and post paper expense claims for approval. Over one thousand expense claims are received every month. This information then has to be manually entered into our finance system which is extremely time-consuming and inevitably some claims go missing which sparks one, long paper chase.”
eBIS, which is a sophisticated workflow engine, will enable the electronic processing of all expense claims. Initially over 800 ISS UK staff will be able to quickly and easily submit their claims directly from their PCs, saving considerable time whilst providing much greater visibility of expenses payable. Staff will also be able to track the progress of their expense claims 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will receive electronic remittance advices confirming payment, thereby helping to reduce queries.
Brown comments, “With eBIS, we will be able to analyse employee expense claims more effectively, providing us with improved granularity from an audit perspective and greater financial control, which is vital in the current economic climate. The need to re-key data will be eliminated which will free-up staff time and ensure that expenses are processed with greater speed and accuracy. The substantial reduction in paper will also support our goal of becoming a paperless organisation, supporting our environmental agenda.”
The second phase of the project will involve ISS UK implementing COA Solutions’ financial management system with integrated eBIS at its subsidiary business, ISS Coflex. Once in place, ISS UK’s project managers will be able to raise purchase orders, approve purchase invoices and submit timesheets remotely, providing increased visibility of project management costs. Previously, ISS UK used to rely on a number of manual processes to serve as a reminder to invoice customers for additional services requested on-site, which was inefficient and prone to error.
Brown adds, “COA Solutions’ systems will give us greater control over project management costs and provide a real-time and holistic view of our finances. The ability to tailor eBIS to accommodate different business processes will also mean that future acquisitions will be integrated into the company with greater ease, aiding our rapid growth plans.”
To further improve purchase-to-pay efficiency, ISS UK is looking at implementing COA Solutions’ data capture system (using Version One technology) alongside eBIS to speed-up the capture of purchase invoice information from scanned invoices. This system, which uses optical character recognition (OCR) technology, will reduce manual data entry by up to 80%.