Details have reached of us of an intriguing example of the power of digital finance in one of Britain’s most successful economic sectors, the creative industries
EASY Software UK has just shared some insights into a very successful recent customer win with LW Theatres, a British company that operates a group of seven of London’s busiest London theatres, from the Adelphi and Cambridge Theatre to the London Palladium.
Up until as recently as two years ago, all invoicing was handled manually, which could lead to occasional losses of documentation. For purchasing teams that had established strong relationships with regular suppliers over many years, this could mean a bit of an awkward conversation if they had to chase for a late or missing payment, LW Theatres’ Financial Controller Sabrina Kraslova points out. In parallel, the theatre group, which hosts some of the most beloved West End musicals, including The Phantom of the Opera, Matilda and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, bore the mounting cost of paper storage, as it archived physical invoices.
“We typically process between 100-150 invoices each week, amounting to more than 6,000 a year. And that’s a lot of paper folders to file,” she states. Another complication was that, once processed, boxes of files were sent to off-site storage to be kept for the mandatory six years dictated by HMRC. However when processing tax returns or performing audits her Finance team might sometimes have to call back some of those files to check invoice details against accounting entries.
In addition, over-reliance on paper – which was sloshing around internally between the seven individual theatres and head office – was not really lining up with LW Theatres’ overall environmental goals.
To address her efficiency and environmental targets, Kraslova has led a project to extend the functionality of the group’s existing Infor SunSystems accounting software with paperless invoicing.
Implemented by EASY after Sabrina was put in touch with the company via her implementation partner Touchstone Financial Management Solutions, LW Theatres now has an electronic, workflow-driven solution to invoice management that integrates directly with its accounts software.
Now, LW Theatres has at-a-glance visibility of where invoices are at any given time, so if there is a bottleneck, the Finance team can locate it immediately. “We can also view invoices even if they are currently ‘with’ someone else,” she enthuses, “which means we can still progress with other things, such as querying why a certain code has been assigned to an invoice, or reviewing spending with a particular supplier.”
Even better, the purchase ledger team can call up and filter all of the payments due by a particular date, knowing this record will be consistent with the information in the Sun system, so they only ever need to consult one report.
And with the EASY system providing document scanning and archiving with intelligent workflow, her new integrated process routes and tracks the electronic invoices for approval and processing. “The authorisation time from receipt of the invoice has improved considerably, and the fact that we have visibility of invoices at any time is highly welcomed”, she confirms.
Commenting on her experience, Sabrina says, “EASY Software’s document management and workflow solution has been transformational. Everything is much more efficient now, and no one has to worry about mislaid or lost invoices – and our suppliers are happier, too.”
Sounds like a great deployment – and we’re so glad for the LW Theatres team… sounds like a ‘technicolour dream’ come true!
Let us know if you have an inspiring example of document management success we can also share with the rest of the thedmcollaborators.