AP Automation at Citizens, Inc., BIAS’s latest ERP Cloud Implementation
I’m Chris Preziotti, a Principal Consultant with the Oracle Applications team at BIAS, and we recently went LIVE with our latest SaaS Cloud implementation at Citizens, Inc., an insurance holding company based out of Austin, Texas. The implementation itself consisted of both ERP Cloud and EPM Cloud, and focused on helping Citizens, Inc. achieve three goals:
- Streamline financial processing
- Improve internal controls
- Align with their overall digital strategy
In this blog post, I’ll explain how these goals were accomplished through Oracle Cloud Financials, focusing on our implementation’s Accounts Payable (AP) automation aspects.
To give some background history, Citizens, Inc. was working with a dated mainframe system, without a budgeting or reconciliation platform, and heavily relying on manual processes and Excel calculations for much of their financial operations and reporting. This led to long processing times and impacted their financial close.
That’s where the goal of streamlining financial processing came into play. This streamlining was achieved in several ways using Cloud Financials and began with integrated invoice imaging. The Oracle imaging solution allows for suppliers to email invoices to Citizens, Inc. and have Cloud Financials automatically import them as reviewable invoices in the Payables application. The invoice information (invoice number, supplier, line items, and amounts) is automatically scanned using intelligent character recognition and stored in Oracle, so no longer does the Citizens, Inc. accounting team need to spend time manually entering every invoice that comes their way.
The Oracle imaging solution also saves Citizens, Inc. time with its automatic attachment of the scanned invoice image, as well as any necessary backup or supporting documentation to the Oracle Payables invoice as soon as it’s imported. Once this happens, the invoice is automatically routed for completion and then approval, based on their defined approval rules. No more paper-pushing or signature-jockeying.
This automated approval routing functionality not only supports Citizens, Inc.’s streamlining of financial processing, but also their goal of improving internal controls as it enables enhanced audit capabilities plus provides visibility and control at each step of the approval process. Historically, all approvals at Citizens, Inc. happened offline (i.e. outside of a standard ERP system), so they took advantage of the process automation and auditing efficiencies that could be gained with Cloud Financials approvals. Citizens, Inc. leveraged the following within the Oracle imaging solution:
- AP invoices
- Vendor payments
- Supplier creation
- Supplier bank account changes
- Employee expenses
Each of the AP automation aspects mentioned above, from integrated invoice imaging to the various approvals, contributed to Citizens, Inc.’s goal of aligning with their overall digital strategy, moving their enterprise to a modern-day ERP system while decreasing overall support costs and improving user experience.
If you have any questions how BIAS can help your business with AP automation, or simply want to learn more about Oracle’s ERP and/or EPM Cloud, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following thoughts, intentions, strategies and/or solutions are those of the blog authors and do not represent the position of anyone other than the authors.