When Partner Engineering and Science acquired the assets of Birdsall Services Group in 2013, the firm gained more than just additional clients and employees. Partner also gained two high-performance software packages: EleVia Electronic Invoicing and EleVia Payables Approval & Tracking.
“After two months of using the new products, the head of one subsidiary called to thank me because the A/P and A/R review processes were so much easier and faster,” said Dianne Seymour, who had been Birdsall’s Director of Management Information Systems before taking on the same role at Partner. She’s overseeing implementation of the software into the various Partner businesses.
EleVia Payables Approval & Tracking (PAT) makes it easy for professional service firms to review, approve and track subcontractor invoices and other payables. After incoming paper invoices are scanned into PAT, the software notifies the appropriate approvers that they have invoices waiting. Approvers view electronic invoices for each project alongside the contract to compare actual vs. estimated costs. They can also mark-up by the payables easily and quickly with built-in mark-up tools.
EleVia Electronic Invoicing makes it easy to create, review and send client invoices. The software creates draft invoices with supporting documentation — including the appropriate payables from PAT — and notifies approvers, who can quickly review and mark up the invoices electronically.
The two products, like all of EleVIa’s software, integrate seamlessly with Deltek Vision® ERP software.
Payables insight to improve profit margin
“Before we implemented PAT, we’d get subcontractor invoices coming in after a job was already closed,” Seymour explained. “With PAT, we can see that a consultant’s fee should be X, and if it’s not all in when we’re ready to bill the client, we can request it.
“The head of one subsidiary called to thank me because the A/P and A/R review processes were so much easier and faster.
”We’re in a better position to analyze and improve gross profit margin, which is important in a partnership business model because the partners’ compensation is tied to it,” she said.
Invoice efficiency to improve cash flow
“Once we fully implemented EleVia Electronic Invoicing, it saved us a full week of processing,” Seymour said. “So we get invoices out faster to improve cash flow.” One of the time-saving features is automated approver notification for write-offs. “If a project manager wants to write off a certain amount, it requires authorization,” Seymour explained. “Our accounting staff would spend a lot of time manually tracking down approvers, who could be in a different office since we have more than 20 regional offices. With EleVia Electronic Invoicing, if a write-off reaches a certain limit, it automatically gets routed to the appropriate approver for authorization.”
Another time saver is the Final Packaging feature. “We have several public clients who require a lot of documentation with their invoices,” said Seymour. “Everything from project status reports to purchase orders to liens and waivers to expenses. In the old days, we used to have sticky notes to list what each client needed. And staff would stand at the copier for hours making copies of reimbursable expenses.
“EleVia Electronic Invoicing saved us a full week of processing, so we get invoices out faster to improve cash flow.”
“With EleVia’s software, we simply identify all the invoice documentation a client needs when we set them up in the system,” Seymour noted. “Then, EleVia Electronic Invoicing automatically pulls and packages the supporting documents when we create an invoice — including any subcontractor hours and expenses pulled from PAT.”
Long-term partnership for added value
“I’ve worked with EleVia and it’s parent company for almost a decade,” Seymour noted. “Their products are significant.These are not just toys, they add real business value. And everyone is always so responsive. I wish more vendors would be like them.”
Partner is an international engineering firm that provides environmental, energy and utility consulting; site engineering; mechanical/electrical engineering; engineering assessments; construction services; and land surveying services. It’s ranked as an Engineering-News Record 2015 Top 200 Environmental Firm and Top 500 Design Firm.