Getronics is developing an intranet-based electronic invoice approvals (e-IA) system for Merrill Lynch. Set to go live early next year, the system has been designed to replace an existing paper-based process and will be implemented throughout the bank's London operations, enabling managers across twelve offices to approve invoices over a secure intranet.
In the absence of a formal Purchasing System, the company currently handles more than 250,000 paper invoices per year in London. Merrill Lynch has targeted efficiency improvements in the processing of supplier invoices with the aim of delivering significant cost benefits. In particular avoiding duplicated payments, late payment fines and benefiting from early payment discounts.
Charles Kirkman, FVP and head of corporate services for Merrill Lynch in the European, Middle East and African region anticipates major improvements as a result of implementing the system. "Given the success of the London project we anticipate a wider roll-out, allowing us to better utilise our London service base across the MLEMEA region."
The full Getronics solution will incorporate project management, technical development and business analysis services and include expert support, training manuals and specialist, tailored training for selected staff.
The new e-IA system has been designed to notify the recipient via email when invoices are awaiting their attention. Managers, or their designates, will then be able to access and action invoices from a standard Web browser using customised Web pages.
Once final approval has been performed, the invoice will be routed back to Accounts Payable for final checking. Following verification, it will be automatically loaded into Oracle Accounts Payable for payment.
Getronics says it is basing the new system on an electronic archive and workflow application which will provide the mechanism for storing, retrieving and viewing images together with an automated approval system.