Manual invoice processing is a source of inefficiency at many organisations. Small organisations as well as their larger counterparts will often be dealing with anything between 10,000-100,000 invoices per year.
Attempting to manually process large sums of invoices is a slow and labour intensive process. Furthermore, it is prone to data entry error, misplacement of invoices, not being able to retrieve invoices quick enough, delayed or missed payments, mismatching of invoice to purchase ledger and purchase order, delays in authorising invoices amongst many other issues. The result is that the organisation is running at inefficiencies and inaccuracies that cause a waste in time and money. The knock-on effect can result in losing out to competitors in terms of supplier contracts, late payment charges and so forth.
It goes without saying that eliminating inefficiencies is important to any business, so how can invoice processing be automated?
How does it work?
Whether invoices arrive via post, fax or email, they’re scanned and digitised based on a powerful data capture tool. The tool will automate the capture of the relevant data from the invoices. The tool is based on an extracting technique named IDR, Intelligent Document Recognition. This recognition technology can automatically classify invoices on various parameters; identify country and language origins and the supplier.
Extracted data is validated to ensure it’s accurate. Further checks in an invoices legal conformity are completed and then the invoice is placed against the relevant transaction/purchase order. The next step in the journey of the invoice is further processing. The invoices are sent to the relevant departments and/or decision makers who then review and authorise the invoice. It is important to mention that for organisations that require a more flexible solution due to people working in remote sites or from home, authorisation and sign off can be done via the web using secure log-ins.
What has now been achieved is a seamless automation of invoice processing, from point of entry (email, fax, and post), extraction (no manual entry), storage (digital storage) to finally processing (sign of, authorisation) and ending with digital archiving, which are retrieved if required and is compatible with ERP and other finance systems. In addition this workflow of invoices also supports business-rule routing, costing centre splitting, escalation and exception handling. The allocation of incoming invoices can be executed more effortlessly, quickly and flexibly. After choosing the correct value or the appropriate cost centre, the calculation of the corresponding tax value is determined automatically.
What are the benefits?
Automating invoice processing will increase the accuracy of data, eliminate manual entry and ensure that payments are not missed and invoices matched correctly. Furthermore, it will give organisations greater visibility of their cash flow. To add to this, automation eliminates the need to chase manual invoices around the system or to retrieve them from a physical filing system, therefore document retrieval is much easier. Invoices are no longer pushed around the organisation. Workflows are set up that guide the now electronic version of the invoice on the appropriate path ensuring authorisation and sign off is done at a timely manner. It goes without saying that with invoices being digitised there is no issue of invoices being lost or misplaced.
Which other documents can be automated?
A workflow is simply the pathway that a document treads throughout its journey. We have just explained the seamless automation of the workflow of an invoice. A large number of documents go through similar workflows. For example, set processes are in place when a customer files a complaint at an organisation, a claim at an insurance firm, registering fraudulent activity on your back account or an application of some sort i.e. loan, mortgage application.
DCC understand the workflows (pathway of documents/data) of aforementioned processes and many more, therefore we have a firm grasp the benefits provided of automating these workflows/data paths, as can be seen in the case of invoice processing.
It is vitally important for organisations to be as efficient as possible. If you’d like further information please do not hesitate to contact us. Alternatively, book your free demo. The purpose of the demo is to enable a first-hand understanding of the solution. Furthermore, we’re able to demo the solution using your own documents as that will facilitate an even better understanding.
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