The collaboration on invoice production activity was part of a broader program review of the full end-to-end billing process. This redesign addressed the growing volume of documents being produced, the increasing manual transaction and resource requirements, slow document production speeds and data quality issues. It involved a fundamental rethinking of the process, empowering Accenture business executives to create simpler invoices for themselves.
Within the existing invoicing process, many client executives relied on a centralized billing team’s processing of Excel request templates, received through shared e-mailboxes. Approving the documents and getting to a final invoice involved significant manual data entry into templates, data rekeying and interaction through a series of e-mail communications pre- and post-production. Manual entry on Excel templates caused data quality issues with up to 30 percent of requests not being processed in their first iteration. On average the process took three days.
With a proposed “Digital Service Model,” the project team redesigned the process leveraging knowledge gained from global IT’s experience with the ServiceNow platform and a collaboration of relevant skills and experience from across Finance. The team developed a digital, self-service, online request form that retrieves live contract data directly from Accenture’s SAP S/4HANA® enterprise system and applies all necessary validation to ensure a billing document is complete and compliant with Accenture policies. The goal was to create a simple, fast, accurate and experience-driven invoice production request and retrieval process for both business and finance users.
The outcome today is a digital automated billing production solution leveraging ServiceNow’s enterprise-grade workflow functionality to support billing production requests and fulfillment in a single, cohesive flow across Accenture platforms. ServiceNow interacts with Accenture’s enterprise system to post and produce the final document. Finance and non-Finance people can now produce invoices and credit notes in a matter of minutes rather than days.
This billing solution has been deployed across multiple Accenture geographies with the final goal of global implementation in every country where Accenture operates. In the 15 months since deployment started, more than 150,000 invoices totaling $20 billion have been generated. The solution continues to evolve, incorporating local country requirements and adding a “mass invoice” upload solution to support large client accounts that need to create high volumes of invoice documents in a single transaction.