A time-consuming monthly invoice process led PCS Finance Director Gareth Floyd to seek a more automated solution for reviewing client invoices before they went out.
“We use Deltek Vision® ERP system. While it streamlines many processes, our project managers requested a tool that would make it easier to review client invoices,” Floyd explained. “Essentially, project managers wanted all the documentation they needed to approve client invoices on one screen, so they could review and make notations electronically. Our younger project managers were especially eager to find an electronic option, because they expect everything to be electronic and straightforward,” he said.
Then Floyd heard about EleVia Electronic Invoicing, an add-on product for Deltek Vision.
“We knew EleVia Software’s parent company, Central Consulting Group (CCG), as they had completed our Newforma integration, and we were very happy with that work.” PCS was equally happy when they saw a demo of EleVia Electronic Invoicing and realized it had even more benefits than they expected. “Not only does the product combine all the documentation and mark-up capabilities we need to review invoices online,” Floyd said, “it also gives us additional business insight.”
Improved business insight
“With the dashboard, PMs can look at all their projects for the month and within seconds see how they’re doing.”
EleVia Electronic Invoicing includes a dashboard that provides a snapshot of each project manager’s jobs, which at PCS can be up to 60 in any given month. Reviewers can see job-to-date billed fees, fixed fees remaining and variances. “Our two most important metrics for project managers are variance and utilization,” Floyd said. “With the dashboard, they can look at all their projects for the month and within seconds see how they’re doing across all their projects.”
Greater efficiency and financial benefitsPCS also realized the primary benefits of EleVia Electronic Invoicing: increased efficiency that leads to cost savings and faster billings.
With EleVia Electronic Invoicing, reviewers get an email notice that their draft invoices are ready to review. “They simply go into the system, click a button and can see the invoice along with billing backup,” Floyd said. “Then they use intuitive annotation tools to make mark ups online. Plus, they can review from anywhere — at home or on the road.”
PCS’ biggest payback has come from reduced staff review time, according to Floyd. “Project managers have more time to do billable work. That alone paid for the product within three months,” he said.
Processing 200 to 300 client invoices per month the old-fashioned way took PCS four days. With the automated system, invoices are turned around in one day, Floyd said, resulting in better customer service and more focus on collections.
“With the automated invoicing system, we turn invoices around in one day vs. four.”
“We’re typically a subconsultant. Our architect clients appreciate us being timely in giving them invoices. Several have told me we’re the first subconsultant invoice they receive on projects,” he said. “Unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean we get paid on time. But now that our process is more efficient, I have time to track down unpaid bills and get them in the door faster.”
PCS Structural Solutions is a single-discipline Pacific Northwest firm with a 40-year history of providing award-winning structural engineering.