Founded in 2010, The Elaine Ellis Center of Health (EECH) is a not-for-profit federally qualified health center with locations in Washington, D.C. and College Park, Maryland. The Center’s goal is to provide affordable healthcare services to individuals residing in public housing and the surrounding areas, regardless of their ability to pay. Its accounting department comprises of three employees, all of whom handle the books for both facilities.
Nearly four years ago when EECH’s Controller Stewart Hughes began with the non-profit, the organization was using Financial Edge but still doing much of the data entry and invoice approval by hand. His company wanted to become “more digital,” he says, so they called Blackbaud for suggestions. PaperSave was the answer.
Prior to installing the new software, Hughes says the document approval process was unnecessarily tedious, invoices were getting misplaced during filing, and audits were a drag. “I’d have to physically go into the office and look for papers. Sometimes they could be out for a day or two getting approved,” he says. Even after getting approved, paperwork would be filed by hand in numerous cabinets. Needless to say, documents were occasionally lost or misfiled, which meant audits became especially frustrating and time consuming.
Solution Design & Project Management
PaperSave trained the accounting department all at once via Skype, taking control of EECH’s computers remotely to demonstrate all of the new software’s benefits. “I knew what I was looking for, but PaperSave exceeded my expectations,” Hughes says. “It was easier than we expected.”
Now when invoices are received a clerk immediately scans them in before sending them to Hughes for an initial review. The invoice then gets coded before optical character recognition (OCR) software “reads” the information and simultaneously posts to the general ledger, then transfers it directly to Financial Edge, where it is given a post date. The CEO reviews the file, adds comments and sends it back to Hughes for payment.
“Now I’m looking forward to our next audit,” Hughes says. “We’ll be able to retrieve invoices quickly and email them to auditors. No more printing copies and refiling.”
But the aspect Hughes swears by most is PaperSave’s new app, which allows for document management (sometimes through use of a phone’s camera), records viewing and powerful searches. He says the app makes him and his team feel empowered: “I’m not tethered to my desk. I seldom log on to my computer anymore. I’m getting so much done from the app on my phone. It’s extremely convenient. Even if my boss calls and I’m not at a computer, I can easily pull an invoice up and review it wherever I am.” He jokes, “This may become a problem in the future—I’ll have no excuse!”
Project Results & Key Success Indicators
Though EECH has had PaperSave for just a few weeks, employees are already seeing vast improvements. “The benefit we have is time,” Hughes explains. “There’s no lapse between open, review, paid. Before invoices could’ve taken a week, and that is only if someone wasn’t sick or on vacation. Now they take a day, at most.”
Soon the company will start using PaperSave in additional ways, now that they know the software is capable of so much. “My plan is to start using PaperSave to scan and attach journal entry-supporting documentation, payroll records and bank statements,” he says. “It’s only been a month but we’re extremely happy.”
- Employees can pull up, review, send and approve documents 24/7 from anywhere via their cell phones
- The approval process has been reduced from one week to one day
- No more misfiled documents in file cabinets
- Increase in staff productivity and utilization by reducing the need to file invoices
- Better record management