With the necessary restraint CSG Liudger went looking for a suitable solution for the long lead times of invoices. After reference visits, they were convinced that ProActive was easy enough to be accepted by employees and effective enough to solve their problems at the same time. The throughput time has been reduced and the work has been simplified in such a way that they accomplish the same work as before with less people.
“If everyone gets the hang of it, it obviously garners much more support.”
Halbe van der Wal, Head of Financial Administration
Time and again, the Christelijke Scholengemeenschap (CSG) Liudger turned away the offers from Purchase-to-Pay software suppliers. Their interest was piqued only when ProActive introduced an updated version after a couple of years.
CSG Liudger is a board Christian combined school with five locations for secondary education in Friesland. As the Head of Financial Administration, Halbe van der Wal explains the turning point after which they decided to give ProActive a chance.
“A couple of years ago, invoices arrived by mail at different locations. The invoices were forwarded to the budget holder from the location that received them. Sometimes an assessor was also required, involving three signatures. The invoice then had to be submitted to the location director, before eventually arriving at us. In total, this took five to ten days.”
Although the processing time of invoices was an issue, the software they had seen up to that point was not sufficiently convincing.
User-friendliness and convenience
“We were looking for user-friendly software. If everyone gets the hang of it, it obviously garners much more support. Various organisations visited us to give a demonstration, and we chose the two most suitable.”
“During reference visits, we saw how easy ProActive is to work with. And it’s that user-friendliness, the clearly set-up system, as well as the discussions with the account manager, that led to us opting for ProActive. Of course it’s not just about the software itself, but also the people you are dealing with.”
The implementation went smoothly. After the training sessions, CSG Liudger got straight to work. “We got used to the switch from paper to digital pretty quickly, although some colleagues thought that the reminder mail was SPAM. Almost all invoices arrived centrally, with half coming directly into the digital inbox. The handful of invoices that still came by mail are scanned first and then forwarded to the financial administration. They submit invoices for payment in our financial package AFAS. This takes just five days in total.
In addition to the daily invoices, CSG Liudger also gets special invoices. “Invoices from the energy provider are spread across multiple cost centres. This is done when they are sent to the authorised signatories. We also have invoices that are spread across multiple periods, such as Executive Board invoices. This involves paying a certain amount per pupil per school year.”
Half an FTE less
CSG Liudger opted for ProActive to reduce the processing times of invoices using a practical digitised process. A very favourable by-product of that is their new process is that they are now working with half an FTE less. But that is not the only positive by-product. “I’ve also noticed that budget holders are now assessing invoices with a more critical eye. It happens with some regularity that they notice the invoice is for a different location by looking at the coding. This is because incoming invoices are more widely distributed and no longer arrive in large stacks that budget holders then have to rapidly scrutinise and sign.
ProActive delivers concrete results. Many people benefit from the simplification of these business processes. The status of invoices is always accessible and I can see the reason why an assessor rejects an invoice. I’d never want to return to the old situation.”