PaperSave accelerates funds disbursement, frees up space, increases efficiency, and provides easy access of source documents

West Virginia University Foundation

The West Virginia University Foundation raises in excess of $100 million in cash and in-kind donations annually for a wide range of scholarships and programs at the university. The role of the Foundation’s disbursement department is to ensure that those funds are distributed to the right people, at the right time, according to each donor’s wishes and IRS guidelines.
Before PaperSave, transactions were all paper-based, which created a lot inefficiencies that overwhelmed the three-person team tasked with reviewing each invoice. Hardcopies of invoices and supporting documents also took up too much space.
“By using PaperSave with Financial Edge, we’ve been able to shorten the cycle for reviewing and paying invoices from an average of 26 days to under 5 business days.”
The invoice payment cycle has been cut from an average of 26 days to under 5 business days, document search requests that used to take up to an hour can now be completed within a few minutes, and the amount of paper has been reduced freeing up office space.

The Project

Challenge

The disbursement department processes over 1,200 invoices and 800 credit card transactions per month. “We review every single invoice that comes in, every transaction — whether it’s one dollar or one million dollars. It all gets the same level of review,” said Renee Allison, senior director of disbursement services for the WVU Foundation.

Prior to 2005, those transactions were all paper-based, which created inefficiencies that overwhelmed the three-person team tasked with reviewing each invoice. This often resulted in delays with processing payments.

Hardcopies of invoices and supporting documents also took up a large amount of space. “At the time, we had no document imaging system whatsoever. Just one fiscal year alone would fill 20 file cabinets,” Allison recalled.

Solution

But in 2005, that began to change when the WVU Foundation transitioned to PaperSave, a document management solution that integrates seamlessly with the Foundation’s accounting software, The Financial Edge by Blackbaud.

“By using PaperSave with Financial Edge, we’ve been able to shorten the cycle for reviewing and paying invoices from an average of 26 days to under 5 business days,” said Allison. “And since our invoices are scanned into PaperSave, we’ve been able to cut down on file cabinets, freeing up space to add three offices, a conference room, and a hallway where our file room used to be.”

Results

So, how has PaperSave impacted the Foundation? Allison identified these success indicators:

  • Staff is now focused on transactions not chasing paper, increasing our efficiency and effectiveness during a period of significant growth.
  • The invoice payment cycle has been cut from an average of 26 days to under 5 business days, helping to enhance vendor relationships and service to the university.
  • Document search requests that would take anywhere from 10 minutes to over an hour to fulfill can now be completed within a few minutes, if not seconds.
  • Paperwork for one fiscal year has been reduced from filling 20 file cabinets to only two drawers, freeing up office space for more valuable purposes.