Canadian North Airline automates invoice processing with Palette

8 April 2014

Canadian airline company uses web-based PaletteInvoice to automate financial management and improve operational efficiencies 

Canadian North, northern Canada’s leading airline company, has deployed a web-based invoice automation solution from enterprise purchase-to-pay specialist Palette, to streamline its financial management and improve operational efficiencies.

Canadian North is using PaletteInvoice, part of the PaletteArena suite of accounts payable automation solutions, to ensure that the 40,000 supplier invoices received annually at its offices in Edmonton, Calgary and Iqaluit are processed, approved and scheduled for payment quickly and efficiently. The solution has been supplied and configured by Palette’s Toronto-based partner, EchoVera, a leader in purchase to pay solutions.

PaletteInvoice is being used in conjunction with CloudTrade, which complements Palette’s functionality by eliminating the need to scan PDF invoices.  CloudTrade extracts the data layer from a PDF file and maps it to an e-invoice structure that can then be easily input into Palette.  By removing the need to scan and OCR documents, data accuracy and automation is enhanced. 

The decision to deploy automated invoice processing was made to reduce the amount of time spent by personnel on administrative tasks involved with manual invoice processing, and minimise paper handling across the company.  Canadian North also wanted greater control over its accounts payable operations, and improved visibility of the progress of invoices through the organisation.

Jeff MacPherson, Senior Financial Analyst for Canadian North, said: “Before the deployment of Palette’s solution, invoices received as .PDF files had to be printed, approved and coded, before being passed to our Accounts Payable department for manual filing; all of which was extremely time-consuming and labour-intensive. Since the introduction of PaletteInvoice in January 2014, our processes have been significantly streamlined and are now far more efficient.

“The biggest benefit we have gained from PaletteInvoice is transparency over accounts payable activity across the entire organisation. We can see exactly where we are in terms of pending invoices, which is vital as we operate from three main offices which are located in different cities. With automated invoice processing, we also have much tighter control over operations and a greater ability to manage volumes of work.”

As PaletteInvoice is a cloud solution, it enables staff who are authorised to approve invoices to securely access their workflow from smartphones or any device with an internet connection.  This simplifies accounts payable processes and eliminates the paper-trail between offices, enabling staff to check, approve and produce reports on their invoice workflow from almost any location. 

PaletteInvoice integrates with Canadian North’s Microsoft Dynamics ERP system, providing an up-to-date and accurate view of the company’s active invoices, enabling easier financial analysis and management.  The company reports that the Palette deployment has delivered closer control of costs, and enables Accounts Payable staff to work more productively.  Future plans include the use of PaletteExpense, to speed up the processing and payment of Canadian North’s employee expense reports, and evaluation of the PaletteContract and PaletteOrder matching modules.

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