“Our invoice and statement volumes have radically increased over the years. Our team has only increased by one, and we are doing roughly 490% more recons than when we implemented in 2018. Had this been the manual process, we would have had to increase the staff complement by more than 4 and a half times to complete the same number of recons being done through BEST.”

Linda Van der Merwe

Accounting Services Manager

Northam transforms vendor reconciliations with 490% volume growth using BEST

Rapid business expansion led Northam Platinum to implement BEST, resulting in a 490% increase in monthly reconciliation volumes without adding headcount, along with improved transparency and risk management.

Northam Platinum Holdings

As a rapidly scaling platinum group metals producer, Northam Platinum sought to optimise its vendor reconciliation processes to keep pace with business growth. By implementing BEST’s SAP integrated modules in 2018, Northam achieved automation, efficiency gains, and visibility across over 95% of their 760+ monthly vendor statements.

Our approach

Northam required two custom built developments:

  • Integration with OpenText, where unmatched statement invoices are checked against OpenText invoices still in processing. The OpenText status is then reflected on the unmatched statement lines.
  • The accrual report is where we check invoices and GRIR documents posted after the key date. We then find the applicable PO and check if the PO was posted before the key date. If it was, then accrue for these items. If the PO was posted after the key date, then we don’t accrue for these items.

Results

  • Northam achieved higher volumes on a monthly basis and at year-end. In a 2-week period, they covered 80% of their accounts payable values.
  • Their coverage of recons improved with BEST. With the old manual way, they weren’t able to do as many recons.
  • BEST helped them increase the rate at which they onboard new suppliers.
  • BEST allows for more transparency and visibility by showing what’s really going on with the suppliers’ statements.
  • Little room for errors. With BEST, the automatic matching is more accurate.

With seamless SAP integration and custom enhancements, BEST delivered the scalable solution Northam required. Advanced algorithms automatically match over 95% of statement lines, freeing up resources to focus on critical suppliers and risk management.

As per Linda, manual processes could not support expanded scope and “BEST allows for more transparency and visibility by showing what’s really going on.”

Beyond efficiency, BEST facilitates transparent and compliant processes. Integrated reporting and inquiry access assists both internal and external audits while approvals enforce governance controls.

For Northam, BEST propelled a 490% upswing in reconciliation volumes while empowering staff with actionable insights. Scalable, secure, and automated tools establish reconciliations as a growth and risk mitigation pillar across Northam’s finance function.