Account NI Streamlines Sales Invoicing and Gains Efficiency for Northern Ireland’s Civil Service
 
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Account NI Streamlines Sales Invoicing and Gains Efficiency for Northern Ireland’s Civil Service

  • Oracle Customer:  Account NI
    Location:  Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
    Industry:  Public Sector
    Employees:  30,000

Account NI is the shared service financial processing center for all 12 of the Northern Ireland government’s civil service departments, some of their agencies, and nondepartmental public bodies. Some of Account NI’s financial responsibilities are to manage accounts payable and accounts receivable functions for a diverse range of government departments, such as the Department of Finance and Personnel, Department for Social Development, and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Industry. These functions generate large volumes of paperwork related to invoicing, purchasing, and procurement.

The organization chose to deploy Oracle Unified Business Process Management Suite and Oracle SOA Suite, alongside its existing E-Business Suite financial system to reduce the inefficiencies associated with large volumes of paperwork, as well as to improve service to its internal and external customers.

Thanks to Oracle, Account NI is now able to provide one consolidated, shared-services environment for managing processes, from purchasing through to payment of invoices.

Using Oracle Unified Business Process Management Suite, Civil Service departmental staff can issue sales invoices, process receipts and maintain its customer database in a fraction of the original time and at a reduced cost per transaction.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from Account NI

  • “We chose Oracle Unified Business Process Management Suite and Oracle SOA Suite, based on independent analyst reports and Oracle’s track record of success within other Northern Ireland governmental departments. Our business managers have validated our choice, saying they now have far greater confidence in our self-service processes.” John Crosby, Director of Finance Shared Services, Account NI

  • Improve financial transaction processing efficiency across the Northern Ireland Civil Service
  • Accelerate repetitive, high volume, business processes, such as customer account maintenance, sales invoicing, and payment handling
  • Improve the user experience of conducting financial transactions by reducing processing timelines and removing duplication of effort, inaccuracies, and inefficiencies across a predominantly manual data workflow
  • Reduce staff required for processing financial transactions to help the government agency optimize public funds for its core social service and public safety missions
  • Eliminate errors associated with manual data entry and enhance customer satisfaction
  • Shorten the time to issue sales invoices, apply receipts, and maintain the customer database

Solutions

  • Deployed Oracle Unified Business Process Management Suite and Oracle SOA Suite for 1,100 finance users in Northern Ireland Civil Service’s 12 departments to standardize and accelerate accounts receivable transactional processing, thereby saving time and improving accuracy, efficiency, and consistency
  • Accelerated customer on boarding for accounts payable and the creation of customer records, shortening processes that took as long as three days to around one hour, on average
  • Saved time and increased accuracy by replacing the typical user process of downloading an Excel form, manual data entry, e-mail attachment, departmental approval, transfer, printing, manual verification, re-iteration, and archiving with direct keying to Oracle E-Business Suite
  • Accelerated key accounts receivable business processes, thereby reducing governmental accountable resources, staff overheads, and manually-intensive administration from approximately four days for sales invoice generation to just an average of 92-minutes, daily, using Oracle business process management (BPM), service-oriented architecture (SOA), and application developer framework (ADF) solutions
  • Enabled generating approximately 1,200 sales invoices in a typical month, peaking to just over 2,200 sales invoices for busy months, using Oracle Unified Business Process Management Suite, which take a fraction of the time it took the previous, manual system
  • Ensured all Oracle Unified Business Process Management Suite-based business is processed on the same working day when submitted to the shared service center by 4:00 p.m.
  • Reduced a team of four, full-time financial transaction process administrators to a part-time team of two, enabling reallocation of staff to more strategic initiatives
  • Eliminated manual errors by automatically verifying data in BPM and ADF forms, such comparing customer details, account codes, and open invoices against live data, resulting in quicker, fully-traceable workflows

Why Oracle

“We looked at independent analyst reports, each vendor’s track record with implementations in other governmental departments, and at their ability to meet the unique needs of a public sector organization―with an emphasis on expenditure rather than profit. We then looked at the best fit with our existing technology and the expertise of our teams and partners, particularly BT. We logically chose Oracle after taking into account all of these factors,” said John Crosby, director, finance shared services, Account NI. 

Implementation Process

Account NI and its partner BT ran a proof of concept with Oracle Unified Business Process Management Suite in early 2010. The results were positive, and after four months of design and development by BT, Account NI went live with its first business process management procedure for maintaining its customer database. New BPM processes were subsequently added and now Account NI’s accounts receivable function is serviced by three, business-critical BPM processes for sales invoice generation and accounts receivable receipting.

Looking to the future, Account NI, with the help of BT, plans to extend the BPM solution to other areas of the business, such as the accounts payable function.

Partner

  • Oracle Partner
    BT

Account NI has a strong, long-term partnership with BT, which secured a 12-year contract with Account NI in 2006.

“BT is constantly exploring better ways to help Account NI, our customer, to do business. We place a particular emphasis on reducing operational inefficiencies, improving service to all internal and external customers, while offering the best value for public money. This is particularly important in the current economic climate,” said Phil Mulhall, Oracle architect at BT. “Adopting Oracle Unified Business Process Management Suite was about realizing these benefits. Working with Account NI, we designed and built a very efficient and effective BPM/SOA solution that really delivers today and for the future. BT’s knowledge of Account NI’s business, coupled with its knowledge of industry-leading software, such as Oracle’s Unified Business Process Management Suite 11g meant that a BPM-based solution could be delivered on time and on budget without compromising the quality of the overall solution.”