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Birmingham NHS puts invoice management into the cloud

BPCSSA switches on Tradeshift tool

A new cloud computing-based system from Tradeshift, designed to deal with supplier invoices more effectively, has been introduced at a Birmingham NHS agency.

Birmingham Primary Care Shared Service Agency (BPCSSA), the financial services directorate that provides finance and procurement to three primary care trusts and one NHS Trust across Birmingham, will be using a new e-invoicing tool to transform how it interacts with over 6,000 suppliers.

BPCSSA brought in Tradeshift for the supply of the e-invoicing tool, which will help deliver cost-savings and address the government's prompt payment drive for public sector suppliers.

All suppliers can now start submitting invoices electronically via the secure Tradeshift social network. With built-in validation, suppliers will be automatically alerted to any inaccuracies in each invoice, ensuring all documents are correctly formatted and reducing the risk of errors.

The Tradeshift network also provides a tracking service to give suppliers a clear view of exactly where the invoice is in the system, whether it has been accepted and when payment is due.

Jennie Grant, chief financial officer CFO at BPCSSA, said: "Processing up to 140,000 paper invoices per year was proving a logistical challenge. With Tradeshift, suppliers can access the status of an invoice throughout its journey and contact us in real time if they have any questions. This new process will provide time and resources savings for all involved."

BPCSSA will initially be bringing 2,500 suppliers onto the Tradeshift network in November, and is working towards all 6,000 suppliers being on board by next March.

Meanwhile, a recent European Commission report revealed that the UK's progress in developing e-businesses is well below the European average. In some cases, the UK is only ahead of a few countries including Cyprus, Lithuania and Hungary.

Overall on e-business indicators, the UK came in at 28th out of 31 countries, according to the report published by the EC, which shows the performance of countries against the agreed targets of the Digital Agenda for Europe.

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