Accounts payable invoice automation

George Eliot Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Midlands, Acute

The problem

The accounts payable (AP) team were spending 70% of their time manually keying and uploading invoice images into the system. The aim was to improve automation to  about 90% that would then free up the AP team’s  time to work on supplier statements, emails, query resolution, supplier calls, and reduction of aged debt.

If we did not automate the invoicing process it would either require more resources or other quality work within the AP team would not be completed. It would also provide the AP team with a different mindset that was about customer service and not manual data entry.

The challenge

We started by communicating the plan to the AP team to ensure they understood what the objective was and that it was for their benefit, and it would improve their working lives and improve customer service to the trust and its suppliers.

The challenge would also mean a change to the suppliers’ process and the number of suppliers we had with the shared finance services teams.

The outputs

See attached file for monthly updates on progress and maintaining that progress.

The outcomes

The benefit for the trust was that invoices were received and processed earlier with less errors. The benefits for shared services were that we had a programme that was delivering real change and automation to the trust. The benefits to AP were immense as they went from a data entry team to being able to free up that time to deal with emails, supplier statements, queries and so on. It gave the AP team increased job satisfaction.


The Innovation

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All documents and resources relating to this innovation can be found in the downloads section at the bottom of the page.

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What the peer-reviewers said

“This initiative significantly freed up AP team resources, allowing them to focus on quality work like supplier statements, query resolution, and customer service.”

“The innovation demonstrates innovation in streamlining financial processes and enhancing organisational effectiveness.”

“Automation of the invoicing process has significantly reduced manual data entry, freeing up approximately 90% of the Accounts Payable team’s time for other value-added tasks.”

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