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Developments within Accounts Payable

Shared Services SA is undertaking a number of initiatives that will help reduce the payment cycle time for vendors, improve the quality of Treasurer’s Instruction 11 reporting and pilot the implementation of electronic invoicing.

In addition, operational improvements will reduce paper usage, shift more payments from cheque to Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and reduce current levels of re-work for client agencies and Shared Services SA.

Here is a summary of each initiative, highlighting how it will help gain efficiencies and improve customer experience.

Reducing payment cycle times

Shared Services SA will lead the development of a policy for the Government’s consideration aimed at reducing payment cycle times for vendors. So far, Accounts Payable has undertaken information-gathering workshops to start developing the policy in preparation for consultation with agencies and other stakeholders.

The policy will consider matters such as invoice template standards (e.g. layout, customer address details) and electronic invoicing.

Treasurer’s Instruction 11 reporting

Shared Services SA is revisiting the Treasurer’s Instruction 11 reporting currently provided to agencies. The review will seek to improve the accuracy of existing reports (e.g. exclusion of intra-government payments), provide a further breakdown of invoices paid in less than 30 days and explore options to make payment performance data available via self-service.

Electronic invoicing

Shared Services SA will pilot an electronic invoicing solution in alignment with the Federal Government Digital Business Council’s electronic invoicing standard, utilising two E-Invoice solution providers.

The purpose of this pilot is to prove the effectiveness of E-Invoicing and quantify the benefits of adoption for Shared Services SA, its client agencies and vendors.

Electronic invoicing involves vendors sending invoice data into cloud-based marketplaces that are connected directly into Basware. This avoids the need for individual invoices to be generated and emailed by vendors and the time taken to scan and capture invoice data.

Operational enhancements

The following internal process improvement initiatives are planned to enhance the efficiency of the accounts payable process for both agencies and Shared Services SA:

  • implementing three-way matching (purchase order, invoice and receipt) in Basware for SA Health - automating payments when a match is made
  • transitioning more cheque payments to EFT (focussing on invoices received from agency feed file systems) and reducing the number of cheque runs
  • undertaking a root cause analysis of the reasons why invoices are sent to the cancellations and returned queues in Basware, in order to reduce the monthly volume of rework for Shared Services SA and client agencies
  • improving the non-purchase order workflow functionality options available within Basware
  • improving the Basware sorting options available to enable further automation.

These enhancements are expected to be implemented by the end of the financial year.