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Business-critical improvements for a university’s finance function

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Business-critical improvements for a university’s finance function

I really like it – it’s simpler and cleaner.

The new process seems good – easy to use and certainly better than the previous approach.
System users on the improved finance processes

A growing university with a strong academic reputation needed support to improve its finance department’s internal business processes.

The finance department was not keeping up with the rate of transactions

The university had grown considerably over the past 10 years but internal finance processes and teams had struggled to keep pace. The finance department needed a solution to substantially improve processing times and service standards in its procure-to-pay process.

Nous improved service by helping the university outsource a key operational process

Nous worked with the university to map its procure-to-pay process, identifying the invoice capture portion of the process as a bottleneck and inhibitor of efficient processing. We embedded a Nous consultant in the finance department to manage the procurement and implementation of an outsourced solution.

Our approach brought together resources from the finance and IT departments to implement the outsourced solution and integrate it with the university’s finance software. This outsourcing was implemented as part of a suite of related improvements to finance processes, documents and systems.

Processing times and data accuracy were dramatically improved

The university’s invoice processing time reduced from an average of six weeks to as little as two days from receipt to payment. Data accuracy also improved substantially.

Consequently, fewer university staff members were required to manage the new process and more responsibilities were given to more junior staff. This reduced pressure on the finance team and provided assurance of the university’s ability to support continued growth.

Moreover, Nous’ approach for managing a team from different departments created a replicable model the university can use in other cross-functional projects.

What other organisations can learn from this university:

  • Identifying bottlenecks in operational processes enables targeted intervention to improve service standards.
  • Outsourcing transactional processes can be a cost- and time-efficient solution to achieve rapid turnaround and high quality service.
  • Good project management is critical to ensure projects are not derailed by inter-departmental or external partner issues.

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