Specsavers has its eye on the ball with new systems from Version One

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The UK's leading optician, Specsavers, is implementing Version One's document management and imaging solutions as part of the finance department's goal to become a world-class finance operation.

The solution enables the automated data entry and electronic archiving of supplier invoices. Specsavers, which provides a centralised accounting function for its 830 UK and European stores, is rapidly expanding its business internationally.  As part of its plan to keep pace with these progressive expansion plans and gain recognition as a world-class finance operation, the accounting function located at the Guernsey head-office identified the need to streamline its 'procure-to-pay' functions to provide greater efficiency for the operation.

Currently, supplier invoices are authorised at the stores as well as the head office and so the stores have to manually submit them to the central accounts office for payment.  On receipt of these invoices, the data is manually entered onto the accounting system by a full-time team as well as a twenty five-person night shift.  All paperwork is then manually filed and stored on-site.

Specsavers Director of Finance, Karen Dicks said: 'Our manual procedures for invoice processing take up huge resources both night and day, and are immensely time consuming and costly.'

'With the planned business expansion, the accounts department will soon be handling one million supplier invoices every year.  To cope with such substantial volume, improve efficiency and free up thousands of feet of storage space, we identified the need for an automated purchase invoice processing system with an electronic archiving solution.'

Specsavers selected Version One's award-winning DbArchive and DbCapture as a solution to these problems, namely the electronic storage and web-based delivery of invoice images, and advanced Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology for automated data entry. In addition, the solutions are already tightly integrated into Specsavers' accounting system and electronic workflow solution, and have the flexibility to be rolled-out to other business areas and systems.

Ultimately, the emphasis will move away from manual towards an automated data entry process, and all images will be accessible from core financial systems and across the Internet, reducing the physical storage of invoices required.

Karen Dicks adds: 'Version One's solutions should dramatically improve our financial processes, reduce our data entry effort by up to 80% and significantly reduce time and money spent on postage, storage and data entry.'

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