International Speedway Corporation (ISC) purchased Perceptive Content (ImageNow) to streamline burdensome paper based processes throughout the enterprise. Like many businesses, ISC quickly realized their business needs were unique, especially in the area of Accounts Payable, and that a standard solution would not be adequate.
According to Chris Tozier, Director of Information Technology, ISC found RPI to have a unique combination of product and industry experience that helped to build a customized solution that still met enterprise goals and objectives. He later explained “We understood we required a robust, customized solution. RPI not only had the product expertise, they listened to our needs to make sure the project was a success.”
Client and Solution Background
Prior to the implementation of Perceptive Content, Accounts Payable (AP) and invoice processing was decentralized with individual departments for each of the 13 racetrack locations – plus several more for other corporate entities. Personnel resources for each AP department manually entered invoice data directly into a shared instance of PeopleSoft.
This situation presented a strong case for AP centralization. Activity at each racetrack is highly seasonal, yet each location was staffed full time at the level required for peak season workload. Centralizing AP and invoice processing would not only eliminate the duplication of function, it would enable ISC to spread the peak workload over the course of the year.
While there was organizational buy-in for centralization, each location entity also had unique procedures, controls, and processes that were integral to its individual operation. The result was a carefully designed standardized model that maintained some flexibility to honor and accommodate ISC’s organizational complexity.
“We understood we required a robust, customized solution. RPI not only had the product expertise, they listened to our needs to make sure the project was a success.”
-Chris Tozier, Director of Information Technology
Centralization, with some Flexibility
In order to effectively centralize Accounts Payable, ISC required a robust tool to electronically route invoices for approval at the department level. Perceptive Content was an obvious choice, but that was just a beginning. Customized enhancements would be required to accommodate each location while maintaining a centralized process. To accomplish this, RPI leveraged Perceptive eForms to replace invoice entry in PeopleSoft, automated data validation and business logic. After combining business rules with an automated approval matrix, adapting custom triggers at the invoice type level, the need for local oversight and manual intervention was eliminated.
Under the new system, all invoices are received centrally at the AP department in Daytona via email or as a traditional paper invoice. Paper invoices are scanned upon receipt, and from that point forward the process is entirely paperless. AP processors first enter header invoice data, and then invoices are automatically sent to the approvers based on department and invoice type. GL coding from the approvers is validated immediately against PeopleSoft, and automated business rules determine whether further levels of approval are required. Once the invoice is completely approved, it is uploaded directly into PeopleSoft without further intervention by AP staff.
“RPI successfully led us through our most far-reaching implementation to date.”
– Greg Motto, Managing Director, Controller for ISC
The Magic is in the Details
Considering the unique organizational structure and complexity of ISC, RPI realized it was important to document and understand the business’s detailed requirements.
AP should only have to touch each invoice once.
Approved invoices are uploaded directly into PeopleSoft.
The solution should support the process.
The solution is customized for ISC, not vice versa.
Invoice coding should reflect complex business needs.
The solution provides complex header and approval coding.
Business rules should live within the solution.
AP users do not need to know approval rules or workflow.
The authorization workflow should be flexible.
Automated workflow adapts to customized approval matrix.
There should be greater visibility for invoice status.
Invoices are now available through PeopleSoft Self-Service.
Data integrity is paramount.
Automated and manual validations ensure data integrity.
ISC has successfully leveraged this solution to overcome the challenges inherent with centralizing Accounts Payable. The results have been immediate:
- Business controls are being enforced company-wide
- Excited users adopted the tool with minimal ramp up
- Improved visibility, portability, and predictability of financial operations
- Efficiency and consolidation of AP processing has saved eight FTEs, reallocating resources to value added functions
- ROI was just over one year
Interested in Accounts Payable Automation?
RPI Consultants has helped hundreds of clients across nearly every industry implement Accounts Payable Automation solutions, combining the industry’s leading technology products and functional best practices. If you’d like to learn more about how RPI Consultants can help save you time and money in Accounts Payable and Invoice Processing, Contact Us!