Terrassa City Council has put into operation the new system of validation and payment of invoices. This project is framed within the program of digitalization and automation of the processes that are carrying out the City Council. Specifically, this new improvement becomes a second phase of project of the digitalization of all the tasks to put out of contract of works, and services that began a year ago with the establishment of the system of procedures of the files of contracts.

Through this project continues with the commitment to technology as a strategic tool and necessary to achieve an effective and efficient administration, to facilitate the access of citizens and companies in administrative or economic information generated in their relationship with the City Council.

Why is this project important?

Managing manually the existing information on the invoices that come to the City Council represents a high consumption of time, money and resources and the challenge is that the tasks associated with the management of invoices are less laborious, faster and less expensive.

Workers of Administrative, Financial and Shopping services of the City Council devote between 30% and 40% of its time in transactions based on manually processed information contained in paper documents. The payment to a supplier requires completing a set from previous operations. Its reception, registration and classification, its distribution, verification and approval, accountancy and filed…. are own processing tasks of hand out of the invoice involving an accumulated time of basically between 20 and 30 minutes medium term. There are also additional costs which refer to filed material, photocopies, physical space to store paper documents… and above all, there is a very important spending concept: the time-out that the invoices wait at a table to be moved manually which disable far and know exactly where you are within the invoice process so transparent to everyone. All these expenses amount to 2,5€ per invoice filed in the best of cases.

How does it work?

This new system of validation and payment of invoices makes it possible the documental management, the electronic signature and the automation of the whole process and life cycle of the invoice and associated documents and has been totally linked with electronic booking record and fully integrating with the economic-financial system.

One of the most important aspects is that speeds up the entry and treatment of invoices, whether they are received on paper as if sent in electronic format (factura-e). In case of suppliers to submit invoices on paper, just arrived in the City Council are digitalized by a system authorized by the Ministry of Finance (following the order of April 10th, EHA9622007, published in the BOE of 14th April 2007 by Ministry of Economy and Finances), which allows the destruction of the invoice once it has been digitalized. In this way, all the invoices are processed 100% in digital format, eliminating completely paper.

Is the own system that says at each moment which task has to do everyone in an invoice or invoices listing. The process has been previously conceived, designed and optimized and the own system is in charge of the circuit is always to follow the same, it is to say, the most optimal. Also, in addition, we must emphasize the use of electronic signatures using digital certificates in all documents requiring a signature.

With regards to accessibility to information, invoices and documents associated with the procedure are accessible at all times to the municipal network to any employee or elected charge. With two clicks we have the invoice in front and all the documentation of the transcript that generated. In addition, any time you can know who has the work pending and since when.

This way you get a very important paper saving, transparency in the life cycle of the invoice and documents that justify and accessibility to information and traceability with electronic records.

Quantitative data

The immediate effects that this new method produces within the municipal organization are reducing the processing days thanks to the electronic signature, since it avoids the «physical movement» of invoices and «it accelerates» the signature of those responsible, as well as increasing the guarantees of control.

The different municipal services of the City Council receive about 20,000 invoices during the year. «In order to achieve the legal deadlines in payment to suppliers and to improve the management and treatment of the invoices presented in the City Council, it should be convenient to dispose of a tool that speeds up both the procedure as well as an efficient control and ensures compliance with deadlines». The criticality of the process is manifested when you look at the numbers: 20,000 invoices each year, 60,000 documents associated annually to the process, 25,000 electronic annual signatures and more than 130 people between technicians and elected charges involved at some point in any moment of the process.

From the data generated from the management of the first 1,000 invoices managed through the system, we can confirm that the new system saves between 65% and 90% the expense associated. If we calculate the management time savings is much more spectacular due to the fact that allows to do the same job with 85% of the time spent before automation.

At present time the City Council is paying underneath the 40 days, as it marks the Law against late payment (Law 15/2010, July 5th, of modification of the Law 3/2004, December 29th, by which are established measures against the late payments in the commercial operations) and prepares to pay from 2013 within 30 days. Only with the application of technology and automation and revision processes can help to achieve these goals with total guarantee of compliance.

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