In 1997 the Department of Defense (DoD) began to make the move towards a paperless invoicing environment. Starting in fiscal year 1999, the DoD achieved operational success with the Invoicing, Receipt, Acceptance, and Property Transfer (iRAPT) application. At its core, iRAPT is a secure web-based system that can be used for electronic invoicing, receipt, and acceptance. iRAPT has quickly become the system that responsible for the DoD’s ability to reach e-invoicing goals, while simultaneously reducing interest penalties that could have been accrued due to the loss or misplacement of critical documents.
Benefits of Implementing iRAPT
To date, iRAPT has had a multiplicity of benefits for the DoD and its vendors. The top eight benefits of the iRAPT application can be found in detail below.
Elimination Of Paper-Based Support Functions
The iRAPT application eliminates the manual entry of data across programs, which leads to increased labor savings. Paper-based processes require a multitude of support functions. These functions require additional management to properly succeed. iRAPT reduces the need for additional management and thus effectively removes the aforementioned support functions, so that additional monies can be saved. The electronic capture, storage, and retrieval of required documents, succinctly removes the need for the mail, file, and copy rooms, as well as the associated personnel, that a paper solution requires.
Multiple users can globally access documents on a secure network. This global connectivity will streamline processing, reduce the need for re-typing, improve accuracy, and provide real-time processing and access to document status. iRAPT users will be able to research discrepancies, history, or status related to past payment, shipment, or invoices, without having to involve individuals from other organizations during the process.
Eliminates Lost Or Misplaced Documents
All documents are securely and conveniently stored in one place that is accessible over the web. A DoD Vendor is able to submit invoices electronically, access contract payment records, and review the payment status. The iRAPT application eliminates the lead-time from the mail transit of documents. Additionally, it enhances cost efficiency by effectively eliminating the costs associated with storing paper. In layman’s terms, it is easier and cheaper to store and transfer electronic documents, than it is to handle paper documents.
Accuracy Of Documents
Current problems such as unmatched disbursements, duplicate payments, and payment delays can be alleviated through the use of iRAPT.
Secure & Auditable Transactions
The iRAPT application maintains the security of each document that passes through its network. The latter security is achieved, in part, due to the user registration process. During user registration, each user is only given access to the appropriate functions and documents. In addition, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificates are used to verify user identification, and, when required, to digitally sign documents.
Enables DoD To Take Maximum Benefit Of Discounts
iRAPT highlights Vendor-offered discounts documents first, so that government personnel can maximize their use. Documents go through extensive edit checking up front, which improves the Vendor’s ability to be paid on time. Any problems with the submitted documents are immediately flagged. In this vein, the Vendor can immediately issue a correction.
Enables Timely & Accurate Payments
DoD Vendors have experienced tremendous benefits by using iRAPT. iRAPT is capable of taking in EDI X12 files and FTP batch files. Vendors who are able to electronically connect system-to-system are seeing a decrease in the time it takes to generate a document and get it into the correct government hands for acceptance. What normally took 10 days can now be accomplished in 1 day, if not minutes.
Decreases Interest Penalties
RAPT decreases processing time by several orders of magnitude. As such, the system can greatly reduce the number of Prompt Payment Act (PPA) violations.
In conclusion, the iRAPT application has a multitude of benefits that can improve operations for the DoD and its vendors.