Hoople, a shared services company set up by Herefordshire Council and Wye Valley NHS Trust, has moved a step closer towards automating mundane accounting activities for the UK’s public sector. It has implemented an invoice automation solution from V1 to deliver efficiencies in Accounts Payable processes and drive down costs. Hoople customers are set to benefit, with shareholder Herefordshire Council already reaping the rewards of automation.
Herefordshire Council has been using cognitive capture to automate the processing of 75,000 invoices per annum into its financial management system – Unit4’s Business World – and has slashed its manual processes in half. Robotic Process Automation technologies like V1 Capture, are predicted to grow by 41% year on year to 2020*. V1 Capture automates the data capture and processing of the council’s supplier invoices. The documents, of which the majority are in PDF format, are processed by the automation software, extracting and validating data with speed and precision.
Duncan Trumper, Business & Corporate Applications Manager at Hoople, says “As demand for public services grows and budgets become tighter, it’s critical our industry explores new and efficient ways of working. Technology has been our catalyst for change and Herefordshire Council is a great example of how automation can benefit the public sector. V1’s automation software processes the council’s invoices far more effectively and reduces its manned input by 50%. This subsequently reduces processing time and improves efficiency in the finance department.”
The move to add V1 Capture to Hoople’s range of back and front-office ‘shared services’ forms part of plans from Herefordshire Council and Wye Valley NHS Trust to use their experience to help other public sector organisations develop innovative approaches to working. The service was initially established to provide IT and business services to the shareholders, leveraging economies of scale so they could reduce costs in delivering back office activities like core accounting. Now, Hoople provides the same services to its customers – of which invoice processing is one. The shared services mean that, the more resources pooled with other local authorities and healthcare companies, the greater the knowledge and insight into disruptive technologies – and a greater scope for sharing costs.
Duncan adds: “V1’s software, along with the other technologies we have adopted to improve efficiencies at the council, has enabled us to manage a successful shared services partnership and improve our business offering. Hoople, which has four key service propositions, gives the wider public sector the opportunity to outsource their IT services to established experts and their systems. It makes sense as we all have a common goal – saving money and increasing efficiencies. With the addition of V1, our customers can benefit from a financial automation solution that really delivers on its promises.”
A major selling factor for V1’s solution is …
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