The Record - Issue 16, Spring 2020

78 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om Guild Group is using Bottomline Invoice Automation for D365 to eliminate manual handling, slash invoice processing times and increase visibility and control over essential expense management data The pinnacle of efficiency P ROF I L ED : GU I L D GROUP G uild Group is a one-stop shop for insur- ance, superannuation and financing solu- tions tailored specifically to the needs of pharmacists. Owned by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, the group has provided quality financial services to pharmacies across Australia for almost 40 years. It comprises eight compa- nies and nine offices around Australia, servicing a wide range of clients from small chemist stores to large national franchises. As a large-scale financial services firm, Guild manages an enormous volume of paperwork – receiving up to 6,000 invoices a year that need to be collated, analysed, processed and stored. “Financial document management is the back- bone of what we do,” says Michael Bulanan, sen- ior business analyst at Guild Group. Previously, an accounts payable team was responsible for receiving invoices by mail or email, then processing them manually, consum- ing hundreds of hours of staff time. Even when the company moved its accounting systems online, accounts payable management remained a time-consuming process that involved scan- ning and uploading documents one by one. “There was a lot of manual intervention,” says Bulanan. “We had an incoming paper trail that needed to be coded into the system. One of the key issues was the documents would get lost in that process.” Managing a constant flow of documents slowed down payment approval and processing cycles, while increasing the risk of human error and making accurate expense management an ongo- ing challenge. “Given the manual storage, some people would hold onto those documents for some time,” says Bulanan. “We would lose track of workflow and get incorrect results.” Bottomline Invoice Automation for D365 enables accounts payable departments to digit- ise and automate the entire invoicing life cycle – from receiving invoices through to data cap- ture, matching, coding and approvals. Part of Bottomline’s 360-degree financial document automation solution, it has helped Guild achieve new levels of accuracy and visibility in accounts payable, while eliminating time-consuming paper-based processes. “The difference between the way we did things before and what we do now is like night and day,” says Bulanan. “Rather than us sending invoices, printing and scanning them, we have a solution that is entirely digital, which is both much more convenient and much faster.” By storing all documents in a centralised, cloud-based repository, Invoice Automation gives the entire team full visibility of essential financial documentation, empowering effi- ciency and collaboration. “One of the biggest pluses for us is that it makes it easier to store our documents online where the relevant people can access them – including reviewers and approvers who need to make decisions,” explains Bulanan. Importantly, Bottomline also gives the com- pany control over how and where its data is stored. “As an Australian company, we didn’t want our information to go outside of the coun- try,” says Bulanan. “The solution’s architecture design gives us the flexibility to save our data in our own cloud environment.” By eliminating paper invoices and manual pro- cesses, Invoice Automation simplifies and stream- lines administration, freeing up the accounts payable team to focus on higher-value, customer-­ facing activities. “Our aimhas always been to have