Manual invoice processing has its disadvantages. It’s time consuming, unclear, and hard to control. The number of invoices processed per employee is extremely low due to the hands-on tasks, and you’re in the dark as to where invoices are in the process. But still, an overwhelming number of companies suffer through traditional invoice processing procedures.
Your Accounts Payable department consists of high-transaction volumes, multiple touch points and complex approval processes, and work needs to get done ‒ quick. By implementing invoice automation into your AP environment, your organization will dramatically reduce cycle time, allowing you to meet deadlines and ultimately improve relationships with suppliers. Benefits include:
- Fast Turnaround: A recent study by Aberdeen Group reports that those engaged in AP automation can process 4x as many invoices as those with no automation.
- Increase Productivity: Pre-defined workflows offer a comprehensive view into where a document lies in the process, allowing you to refocus your time on high-value tasks, rather than tracking people down.
- Improve Accuracy: Automating the scanning, interpreting and filing of invoice data ensures fewer human resources and prevents invoices from being lost or paid twice.
- Reduce Costs: A study by the Institute of Financial Management reports that the average cost per invoice line item is $1.30 for the top performers and $3.58 for the bottom performers. We know empirically that cost-efficiency in this instance is typically enabled by process automation.
Let’s walk through invoice processing for payments to see how automation tools can help speed up cycle time.
Capturing the Invoice
In a manual system, an employee receives an invoice and records the data needed to start the approval process. According to a study by IFO, 16 percent of respondents reported processing over 40,000 invoices per month. Imagine the tasks that could be accomplished if time wasn’t spent manually entering those invoices. There’s got to be a better way.
And there is ‒ by using optical character recognition (OCR) to automate data entry. Tools such as OCR allow you to easily capture information from documents, and in doing so, removes human error. The information becomes immediately available to everyone involved in the business process, reducing cycle time as well as the resources required to keep your business moving forward.
DocuPhase’s use of OCR and deep integration with Microsoft products makes capturing information from Dynamics GP, Outlook, Excel, Word and PowerPoint a breeze and a click. The option for Mobile Capture is especially useful for remote works who need to get a start on critical business processes. DocuPhase can also compare invoices to purchase orders and records of received goods and services, saving time on those three-way matches and ensuring vendor compliance.
Organizing and Matching Documentation
Implementing a document management tool allows your organization to easily search for, manage and modify documents.
When an invoice is scanned and indexed, all of your structured and unstructured data goes into a centralized, secure repository that allows users to view document and manage tasks accordingly. The engine also serves as an accurate way to ensure that all versions are the latest, eliminating multiple varieties of the same document, image or file.
Going paperless reduces the time it takes to track, manage and update records manually, while keeping records secure through cutting-edge encryption.
The Invoice Approval Process
Once the invoice has been captured and recorded, it’s time to start the approval process. By setting the process in which work gets done, users can ensure compliance and productivity as well as gain transparency into where an invoice is sitting in the process. Efficient invoice approval processes result in better cash management, improved vendor relationships, visible and audited payments, and labor savings in the entry and approval of invoices.
DocuPhase’s Workflow Automation core lets you design and define how work gets done. Tasks are assigned downstream, and the next step of the business process will not be assigned until all of the information needed is available. Once it is, a task will be presented ‒ via email or in their Work Queue ‒ to the next person in the business process. And by implementing Wet Signature, users can digitally sign a document and lock it to prevent any users tampering with the data.
Automating your accounting department relieves your staff of manual input of invoice data, improving the accounts payable process and allowing employees to focus on what matters most. And with faster payments, your company can improve supplier relationships and take advantage of early payment discounts. This reduces time and errors which leads to increased productivity and an improved bottom line, and better overall results.
To learn more about DocuPhase’s automation solution, visit http://docuphase.com/workflow-automation.