Nestled in the mountains and valleys, the State of Utah is one of the best-managed states in the United States of America. Division of Technology Services (DTS) of Utah government delivers innovative, convenient, secure, and cost-effective solutions that empower partners to simplify lives of Utah residents.
Invoice Management Challenges
DTS uses ServiceNow to evaluate business cases for IT related projects or purchases, including internal apps, software licenses, fixed assets, and other IT products or services. The DTS Finance team then evaluates the business case, manages purchase requisitions (PO), and invoice payments using in-house tools along with custom applications and tables built on ServiceNow.
SoU works with 600+ IT vendors that send 8000+ paper-based invoices per year with multiple invoice attachments per email or post. The manual coding and data entry of thousands of IT invoices with multiple line items and varied payment terms was very tedious and error-prone. The SoU’s ﬁnance team had one person manually matching invoice data with PO, receipts, and vendor data.
The SoU ﬁnance team had the most trouble getting a PO issued against random and ad-hoc hardware or software purchasing from 10-12 vendors. On the other hand, the receiving center could only really update receipts for hardware purchases. The purchases of software or services still had to be manually checked over the emails saying- “Hey, did you receive X services?”.
“SoU had a custom-built purchase application on ServiceNow, which runs to our expectations. However, we knew that building an AI-enabled invoice processing solution on ServiceNow and integrating it to our purchasing system was deﬁnitely going to be a time-consuming project, which would need skilled ServiceNow resources.” said Tyrel King, Financial Manager II at the SoU - DTS.
The Solution: Aavenir Accounts Payable Automation Solution for Government Sector
SoU implemented Aavenir Invoiceflow on their existing Now platform to streamline the Accounts payable for IT vendors. Now, 100% of IT vendor invoices are stored on ServiceNow on the day of receipt using Aavenir’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
AI-enabled invoice data entry and matching:
Aavenir Invoiceflow’s AI-engine learns the unique invoice patterns and automates invoice coding and data entry for thousands of invoices. Built with the latest machine learning technologies, Aavenir offers 80% accurate data entry. Aavenir automatically validates the invoice data with purchase order tables on ServiceNow and Vendor data using custom rules. SoU has implemented a custom PO-matching workflow per procurement category.
Frictionless invoice approval workflow:
After the invoice data is captured, the DTS Finance team reviews the invoice and adds header details if needed. Invoices over a certain threshold amount or specific purchase categories are then routed for faster approvals by one or more approvers using the ServiceNow-powered most advanced and easily configurable workflow engine.
Exception handling workflow:
If needed, approvers can reroute invoices for exception handling for certain cases such as invoice amount is different than PO, duplicate invoice number, and more. For non-PO invoice, Aavenir automatically initiates a request to assign a cost center. Based on the cost center and the invoice line items, Aavenir then automatically creates a purchase requisition.
After the invoice is approved, Aavenir Invoiceflow offers a way to enter invoice information in SoU’s existing payment system FiNeT. After the payment, it automatically updates the status in Aavenir Invoiceflow with the payment information.
After digitizing AP process with Aavenir, SoU consolidated end-to-end invoice processing on ServiceNow with key benefits such as:
5x faster data entry:
AI-enabled automated invoice data entry has drastically reduced time from hours to minutes. And, that’s a huge value add because it gives the finance team near real-time insight into all invoices and they can manage cash flow better.
70% faster invoice lifecycle:
SoU’s finance team took up to 10 days to process an invoice with a potential risk of late payments, duplicate payments, or lost discounts. With Aavenir, it’s been shortened to about 1 day per approver, so 2 to 3 days total in most cases – that’s a 70% reduction in the invoice lifecycle.
Better collaboration between remote teams:
Amidst COVID-19, the AP team worked remotely and began requesting electronic approvals over long email chains. Aavenir provided full control over invoice lifecycle with smart, intuitive, and actionable AP workflows that enabled frictionless communication between AP and other business departments.
Complete spend visibility:
Aavenir Invoiceflow dashboard gave a complete visibility of invoices by status (pending/overdue / or other), invoices by procurement category, by the vendor, and so forth.