As we all know, we are living in unprecedented times, and the coronavirus pandemic is impacting every area of life – including the world of finance and accounts.
And at what is an extremely busy time for NHS Trusts across the UK, the Agreement of Balances Portal, and the functions it provides, are more vital than ever.
For deputy directors of finance, heads of financial services and financial controllers, there are three things we want to highlight:
1). In spite of the coronavirus pandemic we once again carried out a very successful month 12 exercise for our clients.
Over 170 individual users used the AOB Portal during the 12 month period, with 900 documents posted and around 15,000 comments made in the system. We were particularly proud that there were no critical failures and all support queries were resolved within 30 minutes or less.
2). We now have a completely automated supplier self-service function.
Clearly the next AOB exercise is some way away, but the pressure on your accounts payable team is present and real. And with people working from home it isn’t always possible to process invoices or respond to queries as easily.
We believe the Agreement of Balances Portal can really help here.
Its self-service functionality enables both NHS and commercial suppliers to obtain a free read-only login, so that they can check on the status of their existing invoices, add any comments or documents, and submit any missing or additional invoices themselves.
This functionality allows NHS Trusts to significantly reduce the burden on their accounts payable function and provide suppliers with a clear process for verifying and submitting invoices – which is particularly beneficial given the unexpected pressures arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
It’s a function that only takes a few hours to set up and will work as part of your existing accounts payable process.
And with over 100 commercial suppliers have access to the Portal so far and the feedback has been very positive.
3). We’re running a pharmacy pilot with one of our clients.
We are piloting the process of uploading pharmacy orders to the Agreement of Balances Portal. Once operational, it will provide accounts payable teams and pharma suppliers with a very clear picture on what has or hasn’t been invoiced and why. This will be a very useful bit of the functionality once it is fully up and running.