Village Roadshow tackles payment management with ReadSoft

Village Roadshow has moved to the next phase of its Accounts Payable (AP) automation project using ReadSoft to manage Payment Proposals in SAP.

The company automated its invoice receipt process using ReadSoft in 2007.

The current payment approval process was developed in-house and the notifications and approvals sat outside SAP, which made it difficult to monitor the life cycle of the approval process. 

Payment Proposal lists were approved via Outlook email, so AP had no visibility over whether the list had been looked at or approved. Plus, emails could get lost or deleted, and there was no way to track past approvals. 

Far from perfect, Village Roadshow’s customised process was an actual improvement from its previous hardcopy approval process, in which AP had the arduous responsibility of sorting through invoices manually, attaching relevant invoices to the correct Payment Proposal and circulating the paper to approvers. 

Considering that the entertainment company made payment from a number of bank accounts, this was time and labour intensive, and led to delays when incorrect invoices were attached or were in the incorrect sequence.

The main objectives of automating the Payment Approval process were to provide a central point of management of multiple AP processes, and a complete audit trail within Village Roadshow’s SAP ERP. 

The business was looking for pre-configured software with minimal changes, with ready-to-use functionalities, and seamless SAP integration. 

“We didn’t want the hassle or expense of any additional integration development. An out-of-the-box solution would keep complexity and consulting costs down,” explained Daniel de Silva, SAP Business Process Expert at Village Roadshow Limited.

ReadSoft’s SAP-certified payment management solution was implemented in 2013. 

“We already had ReadSoft’s Accounts Payable solution for vendor invoices, so automating the payment management process was as simple as purchasing a license for the payment management module. Within five days of testing, our Payment Approval process was automated- satisfying audit regulations and better enabling us to meet payment terms,” said de Silva.

“With ReadSoft’s solution there is no ambiguity, no lost approvals and a clear audit trail. Approvers can very easily notify AP to block or release payments in a documented way, which meets our business requirements”, explains Constancio Fernandes, Manager of Group Financial and Process Projects. 

”The centralisation and management of the proposals makes it simple to monitor the entire process and it’s very easy to navigate to all relevant transactions with direct access to the electronic copy of the invoice, other attachments and coding. The use of electronic payment approvals removed the need for AP to circulate the proposal with paper-based invoices to the approvers. Additionally, with the divisions having access to their payments and supporting documentation, they are now able to interrogate their own historical data removing the burden from AP.”

Village Roadshow is always looking for innovative ways to improve their business processes. Pleased with the results of automating vendor invoices and approving payment proposals, Village Roadshow is now considering ReadSoft’s solutions for Master Data (including Vendor, Customer & General Ledger Account) as well as a self-service portal for suppliers. Implementing ReadSoft’s supplier portal would mean suppliers could check the status of their invoices (processing status and payment details), add information and attachments to their invoices, and access purchase order information.