The Hesse city of Gießen has taken another step on its path toward digital financial management. In collaboration with software provider Axians Infoma and IT service provider ekom21, the city converted all town administration offices over to electronic invoice processing on 1/1/2017. The invoice workflow integrated into Infoma newsystem and the administration-wide intranet portal Infoma newsystem ePortal were used for the transition. The solution will be used by around 300 employees. The current implementation project is part of a comprehensive concept developed jointly by all three partners, with the goal of digitizing all budgetary law processes in financial accounting.
In response to the specifications of European directive 2014/55/EU on electronic invoicing in public procurement, the city of Gießen – which has around 84,000 residents – started examining its existing internal administrative processes back in 2014 with an eye towards digitization. The city defined four basic functions its solution needed to fulfill in relation to electronic processing for electronic received invoices, while complying with budgetary law requirements and facilitating digital archiving.
Right from the start, ensuring all internal invoice processing could be handled in a fully paperless procedure was a key concern for everyone involved. The Infoma newsystem invoice workflow provides the performance features they needed. All work steps, from the time invoices are received via mail until payment is transferred, including processing of all work required for outgoing invoices to book city receivables, are handled fully by the system.
“We’ve been newsystem users since 2006, and we chose the integrated Axians Infoma invoice workflow because it allows us to implement paperless transaction processing,” Dr. Dirk During, Head of the financial department for the city of Gießen explains. “In particular, the integration into financial accounting offers us many different advantages, such as the uniform use of financial addresses or booking parameters like general ledger accounts, cost center groups, or payers. In addition, the solution allows us to process electronic invoices in the ZUGFeRD format we were already using.”
Besides the invoice receipt process integrated into the invoice workflow, employees will also receive digital support in processing outgoing invoices. They will be using so-called eInvoice solutions based on the Infoma newsystem ePortal. These will allow invoices and fee assessments to be generated through a process-supported procedure, then handled directly in financial accounting. Access to all relevant financial accounting data is a key advantage in daily invoice processing. In the next step of the project, additional processes will be handled through the ePortal – such as approval for interfaces by departmental heads, or electronic recording and approval of orders with the help of eOrder.
Gießen received extensive support from Axians Infoma and ekom21 during the digitization project. “In making this move towards digital financial management, it makes sense to use the professional and specialist expertise of both our software provider and our service partner,” says Christian Diste, Customer and Project Management for finance and accountancy / Head of the support division at Hesse municipal regional computing center ekom21. “We didn’t just advise our long-term customer Gießen in designing their processes and handle support; we also provided all of their technical infrastructure.”
Christopher Linke, Project Manager for requirements management at Axians Infoma, adds: “The unique aspect here is the holistic approach. The city of Gießen is going far beyond invoice workflows in its planning. That’s what makes the project special.”