OCFO Invoice Processing
The USDA Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) Controller Operations Division (COD) processes vendor invoices received by USDA. COD processes more than one million payment disbursement transactions each year.
The COD organization needed an enterprise-wide system to automate the processing of vendor invoices. The system needed to scan vendor invoices and electronically route them to Contracting Officers for approval or rejection. Approved invoices then needed to be routed to the Administrative Payments Branch (APB) for payment.
QFlow implemented a customized invoice processing document management and workflow application.
Paper invoices are scanned and stored as pdf files. Faxes are assembled into individual invoices and stored as pdf files. Each invoice is indexed by vendor and contract number. The system stores the invoice in a work folder and routes it through an invoice approval workflow. The system allows the Contracting Officer to define the workflow steps and users who are involved. During the approval process, Contracting Officers view receipts for items via a direct interface to USDA’s acquisition system. If a receipt is missing for a line item, the user can route the folder to a Receiver who will enter the receipt or advise that the item has not yet been received. The Contracting Officer approves or rejects the invoice. When approved, the system sends payment transaction data to the acquisition system to prepare the transaction for entry by payment specialists. The system then sends the invoice work folder to another organization to process the payment. When an invoice is rejected, the system generates a rejection letter to send to the vendor and closes the invoice work folder. Query screens allow Contracting Officers to find and view invoices and work folders for vendors or specific contracts.
Invoices are stored electronically so they can’t be lost or damaged during processing. Because invoices are routed electronically, there are no delays for mailing. The system speeds up processing so payments are made within prompt payment regulations. This helps ensure that late payment interest fees are not incurred. Because the system is web-based, users can process invoices from any USDA location. In the event of a disaster at one processing center, invoices can be processed without disruption at another location. Contracting Officers have on-line access to all invoices that have been received making it easy to determine the processing status of a specific invoice. The system maintains an audit trail of all users and actions related to the processing of each invoice.
QFlow consultants designed, developed and implemented the invoice Processing application within USDA’s ECM architecture framework. QFlow has continued to provide application enhancements, upgrades, system maintenance and technical support services.