Lauri Reilly, accounts payable manager at the Chancellor’s Office for California State University (CSU), distinctly recalls the moment she fell in love—with Laserfiche, that is. One of the first tasks she tackled upon her arrival to the office four years ago was preparing 1099 forms for vendors.
“In the past, reconciling differences between the 1099 and total payments to a vendor took forever,” she says. “It was just amazing to me that I could sit at my desk and actually see the images in Laserfiche, and make an immediate determination whether or not a particular invoice was reportable without having to get up and search through files.”
The Laserfiche ECM tool was already in place when Reilly landed at the Chancellor’s Office, brought on by her predecessor who was looking for ways to save paper. Prior to implementing Laserfiche, AP processes were handled manually, generating reams of documents that required storing. The department would hold files onsite for three years, every year moving the oldest files to offsite storage where they were held for an additional four years.
Now, someone scans a document into Laserfiche and a second person checks to ensure all the information was captured and is readable. The paper is held for three years at the office and is then destroyed rather than stored offsite, a process that will in time, save thousands in storage fees.
But the additional benefits that came out of this tool went well beyond their initial space-saving/paper-reduction expectations, says Reilly. Consider document retrieval. The Chancellor’s Office houses numerous departments, all of which order things and have ledgers that need reconciling. Before Laserfiche, if folks had a question about their order history or needed copies of something, they would have to contact AP. Now, they can go directly into Laserfiche, obtaining this information on their own.
Then there’s the integration between PeopleSoft and Laserfiche, which has done away with the manual entry of metadata fields.
“Details like dates and vendor and invoice numbers are held in PeopleSoft, but we can go into Laserfiche and look up documents by these details; Laserfiche Workflow automatically puts this information into Laserfiche,” says Reilly.
They’re also using Workflow to automate document approval. An invoice is scanned into the system and routed to an approver, who is alerted by email that a document is waiting. Once action is taken, Laserfiche “stamps” the document, detailing who has taken action and when. It’s then routed back to an AP technician. Laserfiche Quick Fields extracts index field data from the invoice, entering it into PeopleSoft. This has speeded up the approval process and eliminated the potential of misplaced documents, says Reilly.
“For me, Laserfiche really saves on research time,” Reilly adds. “We have to provide documents all the time and now I can say to someone, ‘oh, no problem, let me get this for you’. Laserfiche takes a real time-intensive process and puts it at my fingertips.”’