Like many large organisations, Liberty Global suffered invoice processing challenges that drained human resource and risked costly errors.
Chloe Wood, Director of Payment Operations, explained how the organisation overcame AP challenges using AI-powered software to sit alongside their existing ERP and P2P systems.
Cash going out the door
Liberty Global is a Shared Service Centre focused on finance operations. The organisation processes 300,000 invoices annually for its 10 group customers, covering areas such as accounting, payment operations, and payroll.
Invoice processing had been cumbersome for Liberty’s AP team, resulting in overpayment issues. Whilst manual Excel checks and senior management reviews took place, it was hard to catch every error.
“Typically, we had duplicate payment challenges from incorrectly processed invoices. Cash was actually going out the door. It’s a situation you never want to find yourself in,” said Chloe.
Headcount saving and greater control
Chloe knew it was time to embrace new technology in AP and her search uncovered Xelix – an Accounts Payable Control Centre.
“Xelix could do what an individual couldn’t do in minutes, so it was certainly appealing to us. The headcount saving really helped the business case as we wouldn’t have to do manual checks before releasing payment runs,” she explained.
In fact, Liberty Global saw potential benefits from all three Xelix modules, choosing to implement them together:
Xelix Protect: provides daily system scans, highlighting transactions for investigation. These include duplicates, VAT issues, and duplicate vendors. Xelix prevents payment errors, prior to money leaving the door.
Xelix Statement Reconciliation: automates your reconciliation process giving you more control. Xelix automatically extracts statements and highlights anomalies. Faster processing means you can reconcile more suppliers in much less time.
Xelix Insight: delivers a consolidated view of all payables data with custom reporting. Your AP team prioritise their work using clear data insights. Liberty hadn’t had this kind of data before.
“We initially saved around £240,000.”
Liberty Global went live with Xelix in a couple of weeks – right on time, said Chloe: “We had a positive experience implementing Xelix. The implementation roadmap was super smooth. We knew exactly how long it would take and what we needed to provide them with. Xelix delivered everything in line with expectations, which is slightly incredible for a tech product.”
And it didn’t take long for the benefits to stack up. Xelix Protect initially scans your historical invoice data. That activity alone can justify the investment and provide a positive ROI from day one.
“We initially saved around £240,000 from where we’d processed duplicate invoices in the past. Because our manual checks were restrictive, we’d have taken a very long time to find all these,” said Chloe.
Using Xelix, Liberty Global uncovered £150,000 of duplicate invoices waiting for payment. They were promptly cancelled. It also found £92,000 of duplicate invoices already paid. The team raised credit notes against these.
Not only could the AP team significantly increase the volume of statements processed, when using Xelix Statement Reconciliation, everyone felt more upbeat about their role.
“Xelix changed the way our AP team worked. Now, we process almost 20 times the volume of supplier statements. Xelix does lots of the work for us.
We’re more proactive with our supplier communications too. Every month, we provide them with the information they need. It’s definitely reducing the number of queries we handle, which is great because this is really distracting for the team.
Statement reconciliation can be very tedious, so automating it has affected the team in a positive way. Whilst everyone knew Xelix would change our processes they were all bought into the project. I think that’s really important,” said Chloe.
Continual digital transformation
Like make large organisations, Liberty Global is on a digital journey, implementing tech for productivity and profitability gains. Xelix has become a successful part of that journey and its impact will only improve with further use and platform developments.
“I think technology is a key partner for the future of any finance function. You must bring your people on that journey with you, though,” concluded Chloe.
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