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Friends Life achieves 30 per cent efficiency savings using shared Advanced finance system with integrated document management; Supplier invoices are now costing up to five times less to process
[March 25, 2013]

Friends Life achieves 30 per cent efficiency savings using shared Advanced finance system with integrated document management; Supplier invoices are now costing up to five times less to process

(M2 PressWIRE Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Friends Life, which provides pensions, investments and life insurance for over five million customers, has reported 30 per cent efficiency savings in its accounts payable team as a result of implementing a shared finance system with integrated document management software.

It is also costing the company up to five times less to process an invoice. The shared Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) e5 finance system went live in the early 1990s and the integrated document management software, which is powered by V1, went live in April 2012.

Friends Life was formed when Resolution acquired three different businesses between 2009 and 2011 -- Friends Provident, most of AXA's UK life and pensions business and Bupa Health Assurance. At the time, the businesses were using distinct finance systems and their financial processes operated in silos.

To streamline financial operations, the three businesses were moved onto a shared e5 finance system from Advanced and it was decided to standardise the processing of supplier invoices using integrated document imaging and optical character recognition (OCR) technology. This technology would replace a number of manually-intensive and restrictive accounts payable (AP) solutions.

Will James, Head of Finance Systems from Friends Life, says, "We recognised that if Friends Life was to operate effectively and efficiently, it was key for us to be using a common finance system and to adopt the same processes. We now use a shared Advanced Business Solutions e5 system with integrated document management functionality which has streamlined our accounts payable processes." The integrated document management solutions are now being used by the 600- strong finance team and by invoice authorisers across the business. 15,000 supplier invoices are received into the central AP department and are scanned by two members of staff. Using the OCR technology, invoice data is automatically captured and verified before being uploaded to the e5 system, cutting manual data entry. The imaged invoices are automatically circulated for electronic authorisation, eliminating lost invoices, delivering greater AP transparency and reducing the time taken to process supplier invoices.

"Since going live with document management in April 2012, we have experienced 30 per cent efficiency savings in the accounts payable team. We are also enjoying bottom line savings as it is costing up to five times less to automatically process an invoice compared with processing an invoice manually," says James.

Friend Life is benefiting from greater control over the AP process, enabling the company to take advantage of early payment discounts. A greater volume of invoices can also be processed without having to add extra staff to the finance team.

James adds, "By harmonising accounts payable processes across our three businesses and multiple sites, we have transformed the speed in which we can pay suppliers enabling us to take advantage of early payment discounts. This would never have been possible before we had implemented Advanced's software across the business." "We are also in a very strong position for the future because the efficiency savings we are enjoying means that there is no immediate need to grow the finance team." Notes to Editor About Friends Life Friends Life provides a range of financial products and services. They focus on ways of helping people achieve greater long-term financial security for themselves and their families.

Friends Life brings together over 200 years of experience in looking after our customers and have more than five million customers worldwide. Friends Life's ambition is to lead the industry in creating a 21st-century life insurance company.

About Advanced Business Solutions Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) provides leading integrated business applications and services that enable public, private and third sector organisations to retain control, improve visibility and gain efficiencies whilst continually improving corporate performance. Advanced prides itself on getting close to its customers by understanding their businesses and responding to their evolving needs.

Advanced's software systems comprise core accounting/financial management, procurement, supply chain management, human resource and payroll systems, integrated with a range of collaborative, document management and business intelligence solutions to extend the value and effectiveness of the finance, human resource and payroll departments. Management information systems for school and academies are also provided through Advanced's subsidiary, Advanced Learning. All solutions can be delivered as a managed or bureau service.

Customers are from both the public and private sectors and include Companies House, Newcastle City Council, NHSScotland, Norfolk Constabulary, Edge Hill University, WH Smith, Royal Bank of Scotland, Aer Lingus, National Express Group, DFS and RSPB.

Advanced Business Solutions is a division of Advanced Computer Software Group plc, a leading supplier of software and IT services to the health, care and business services sectors.

Angela Mycock and Denise Wales, Advanced Computer Software Group [email protected] +44(0)1625 856 505 07887 415 232 ((M2 Communications disclaims all liability for information provided within M2 PressWIRE. Data supplied by named party/parties. Further information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at on the world wide web. Inquiries to [email protected])).


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