More Transactions, Faster Processing, Pay the Bank on Time!

by Martine Kaiser

The problem
In order to pay the bank in a timely fashion, King County Finance and Business Operations has a standard that all Procurement Card (P-Card) transactions are approved in the department within 10 days of purchase. DCHS started using P-Cards to purchase goods and services in January 2012, but were taking an average of 13.4 days to approve transactions.

What did the team come up with?

  • Streamlined process, removing redundant reviews and reliance on hardcopy paperwork
  • Standardized process for approving P-Card transactions, removing extraneous steps and emphasizing county policies
  • Regular reporting and review of metrics for processing transactions

Key results

Average time to approve transactions dropped from 13.4 days in the first quarter of 2012 to 9.6 days in the first quarter of 2013.
DCHS now met the standard, even though the number of transactions approved more than doubled from 237 to 494.

DCHS P-CARD transactions graphic

Continuing Improvement

One year later, the time to approve continued to fall, and for the first quarter of 2014 was at 8.4 days. The number of transactions grew to 548.

Metrics on the number of transactions and time to approve are monitored by the DCHS P-Card Coordinator to ensure we continue to meet the standard. Results are distributed to P-Card holders and approvers on a quarterly basis.

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