- Significant headcount savings in AP workflow
- Increased visibility of transactions through entire workflow
- Automated approval rules give confidence they are correctly applied
- Remote access to AP processes allowed suppliers to continue to be paid on time, despite the impact of COVID-19 national lockdowns on working practices
About the client
Saga is a British company with over 2m customers, focused on serving the needs of those aged 50 and over. Based in Kent in the UK, it has over 2,000 employees. Its separate trading divisions offer a wide range of holidays, insurance products, and financial services. Saga also operate their own cruise ships, with two ocean cruise ships, Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure, and their new river cruise ships, Spirit of the Rhine and Spirit of the Danube.
The largely autonomous divisions of Saga have historically operated their own support functions, such as finance, independently of each other. Investment in technology was difficult to justify for each division, so systems remained basic and significant manual effort was required for processes such as purchasing, invoice validation and payment approvals. Until recently, many of these processes were paper based, limiting management’s visibility of the workflow and increasing the possibility of errors from re-keying of data. Controls over spend and payments were heavily manual in nature and relied on the correct routing of internal documents, with the consequent risk of noncompliance and delays to supplier payments.
Senior management recognised the need for a transformation of the finance function and the consolidation of functions such as financial reporting, accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) across the group to justify the investment and gain economies of scale. When this exercise was completed in 2019, AP was chosen to be the first area for the finance transformation programme to address.
Saga undertook a formal procurement process and selected the cloud-based Coupa P2P solution. In addition to the core product, Saga also opted to implement Coupa Pay, partly to avoid the necessity of integrating the purchase leger with the legacy general ledger system.
The solution went live at the start of 2020 and now supports the AP function across the group. Paper processes are a thing of the past and standard, best practice workflows have been introduced, from raising requisitions and purchase orders, through to invoice receipts and payments.
“Xoomworks brought many professional tools to the implementation, including detailed planning, a structured approach and wide experience of implementing the Coupa solution”David Moore, Finance Director at Saga
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