How the Financial Department Digitized during the Pandemic

For the Payables & Attest Accounting Department (PAAD) and the Site Accounting Team, processing payments before the pandemic were usually done upon receipt of the hard copy of the documents from vendors.

With people on lockdown and community quarantine, the PAAD team had to work around processing vendor bills without the printed documents. The PAAD and Site Accounting teams quickly transitioned the processing of the vendor payments to paperless processing. The scanned copies of billing documents were sent by the vendors via email. In our desire to innovate and adapt to the future way of work, we introduced E-Invoicing through the Coupa platform which went live on May 10, 2021. Vendors now submit soft copies of their billing documents through Coupa.

However, since the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) still requires hard copy documents for auditing, the PAAD & Site Accounting teams had to collect the hard copies of the billing documents from the vendors that were processed since March 2020. The Document Regularization (Doc. Reg.) Squad under the Process Efficiency and Automation Track of the Finance Transformation, were tasked to regularize and collect the documents. Vendors and proponents were contacted through email, chat, and calls to follow-up the submission of hard copy documents.

The following options to gather physical documents were considered but were not pushed through due to technical, manpower and cost issues:

1. Configure approval process in Coupa where invoice will be approved only if the hard copy documents were submitted

2. Check releasing process to be handled internally, similar to the old practice—check to be released to Vendor upon submission of hard copy documents

In August 2021, the Doc. Reg. Squad formed a system where hard copies were submitted after online processing. In addition, the Check Release Advice Form (CRAF) was created and issued by PAAD and Site Accounting teams to the Vendor upon submission of the hard copy documents. It was presented to the partner bank before check issuance to the Vendor. This new process successfully resolved the major concern on how to secure the hard copy documents from Vendors and Proponents.

Prudent financial management is key to EDC’s operations. Our strong financial position is maintained through healthy cash flows from diversified contract agreements. This allows us to secure financing to expand our portfolio, upgrade power plant equipment upgrades, replace spare parts replacements, refinance maturing debts, and fund capital expenditure projects such as the natural catastrophe resiliency program. This also helps improve the profitability of our energy projects and provide regular returns to shareholders. 
We consistently evaluated and improved our treasury, financial, accounting and budget systems to tighten fiscal control, promote corporate governance, and improve risk management. Additionally, an extensive capital expenditure program was implemented to maintain optimum availability and reliability of all power-generating assets. This was accomplished through investments in climate-proofing and resiliency.
We enforced corporate governance rules and regulations in managing our economic performance and ensuring regulatory compliance, such as the submission of regular reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission and our shareholders. 
Moreover, we assessed risks through our Enterprise Risk Management Program, in alignment with ISO 31000. We also conducted an annual review of operational risks, an important step in the planning and budgeting process. Should the risks be assessed as high, EDC responds with appropriate risk treatment plans and escalates them to the appropriate Management or Board Committee. These are continuously monitored to ensure risks are managed appropriately.