Solving the document headache: Using technology to process receipts

City of LethbridgeBronwyn Jesse, payroll manager and accounts payable supervisor for the City of Lethbridge in Canada, recently wrote this customer case study on how organizations can keep track on company purchases and ensure accurate reports with Perceptive Capture Solutions.

Credit card use in Canada is on the rise, with nearly 74 million Visa and MasterCard cards in circulation as of October 2012. These cards aren’t limited to personal use — employees frequently have access to corporate credit cards, as well. But increased usage brings with it a greater volume of receipts and record keeping processes for finance departments. So the question becomes, how can organizations keep track of all company purchases and ensure accurate records?

This is a challenge with which the City of Lethbridge is extremely familiar. Our department typically processes between 800 to 1,000 receipts every month. Given the nature of government many of these receipts originate with individuals out in the field or in our various locations within the city, adding an additional layer of complexity should we have questions about the details behind a particular purchase.

Our expense system requires that employees are responsible for keeping track of their monthly receipts and getting them approved by their supervisor. In order to do this, they need to print off the individual activity statement from the credit card’s website and enter in a General Ledger (GL) code and description of the purchase. From there, they must reprint the activity statement, and send to their supervisor for approval along with copies of all the relevant receipts. Following supervisor approval, the statement is forwarded to an office manager to confirm that the expenses are in line with the City’s policies. Once confirmed, the completed package is then forwarded to the accounts payable department to pull details from the credit card website and input them into our financial system.

Once this has been done, all of the receipts are scanned into Perceptive Capture, an intelligent data capture solution from Perceptive Software, a Lexmark company, which seamlessly captures receipts and links them with matching expense reports. The solution allows us to attach a GL code to all scanned receipts, so that we can easily look up the number to determine the nature of the transaction. A bit like a virtual filing cabinet, this ensures that vendor, employee and corporate receipts are all stored so that they can be easily accessible by our users, especially when they are in the field. Implementing Perceptive Capture means this access is available wherever and whenever we need it — a particularly important benefit given the city government’s various departments and locations.

We’ve been excited by the feedback we’ve received stemming from the implementation of Perceptive Capture and looking ahead, we have plans to further digitize our document management system even further.

Want to find out how Perceptive Capture can help your business. Click here to find out more information.