Before we get down to how To-Increase can help you with your accounts payable (AP) automation goals, let me explain the importance of touchless invoice processing. The market today offers a variety of products that can help you achieve various levels of AP automation. One key element to consider when selecting the right solution is the ability to go touchless.
But what does touchless mean, and what do you need to become one?
What does touchless invoice processing mean?
The simple explanation is that there is no human intervention involved when dealing with invoices, particularly those applying to purchase orders.
The invoice information is captured via a scanning solution—i.e., Optical Character Recognition (OCR) , which then populates the required fields for the invoices in the AP solution. The role of OCR in accounts payable automation is significant in the evolution of AP from cost center to a profit center.
The solution matches the invoice to the purchase order and any required receipt information. If it matches within the set parameters, the invoice processes without manual approval and posts to the ledger.
Why is touchless invoice processing critical to your success?
According to a Business Insider Intelligence Accounts Payable Automation report, 44% of businesses are finding ways to automate their accounts payable processes to leverage its benefits of reducing costs and fraudulent activities.
A manual invoice process can be tedious and error-prone, and the 6 costs of invoice processing include: full-time employees, invoice distribution, approval and follow-up, filing and storage, payment accruals, and opportunity costs.
Let’s look at the key benefits of accounts payable automation. Touchless invoice processing offers the opportunity to save time and money by streamlining your processes. Your employees do not have to spend as much time processing invoices nor approving them. This allows your employees to focus on more strategic tasks or those that do need hands-on help. Besides, lesser human intervention also leads to minimized data-entry errors.
What do I need to become touchless?
The first step is to consider an OCR solution, which will scan and capture the data from the invoice image and populate the data. There are many options available with a variety of features. Be sure to consider language capabilities, cloud vs. on-premise, and other relevant features.
Another step is deciding upon and setting up acceptable tolerances should an invoice exceed the value of a purchase order. Examples include allowing for freight or slight rounding differences. Additionally, here are a few tactics that help you achieve a touchless invoice processing.
How can To-Increase help you go touchless?
We have a solution to meet your needs. Our To-Increase Invoice Workflow solution is embedded within D365FO.
There are also other options available in our AP automation solutions. Here are some controls available in our To-Increase Invoice Workflow solution:
- Vendors: This is a great place to set up defaults, particularly for offset accounts or basic controls like your Accounts Payable main liability account. Use posting rules to set default accounting information to include financial dimensions as an option as well.
- Deviations: Set up an acceptable deviation level (i.e., tolerance) for the net amount of an invoice allowed to be higher than the net amount of a purchase order. Any value under the deviation will be created as a charge automatically. Any value above the deviation will require manual intervention.
- OCR options: To-Increase Invoice Workflow will work with any OCR product available. Our embedded solution contains a simple process for mapping an XML file to our invoice tables.
- Workflow: Set up an auto approver and an auto-approving workflow to use for purchase order invoices.
- Invoice types: Allow for auto-approval for cost invoices as well by utilizing controls on the invoice type. Set the invoice type as a default on the vendor and select the related tick box to allow auto-approval and auto-posting of cost invoices.
Going touchless allows you to spend time addressing just those invoices having issues instead of touching each one manually. Each product we offer has its own benefits. One of the common customer questions we get is how to calculate ROI on accounts payable automation investment. You can use our To-Increase Invoice Workflow cost savings calculator To-Increase Workflow cost saving calculator to determine the savings you could get by automating your accounts payable.