Invoice Processing

Automated Invoice Processsing 1

Automated Invoice Processing

Efficient payment of invoices is important for all businesses.  Many organisations have already improved the efficiency of processing of structured operational data, by implementing CRM, ERP and other business automation systems.

This does not solve the whole problem.  According to Gartner, up to 80% of business data, transactions and records are in an unstructured format – paper, fax, e-mail, productivity software documents.  Nowhere is this more prominent than within the Accounts Payable (AP) department.

Accounts Payable

In many businesses the Accounts Payable (‘AP’)  process is still largely manual, and therefore a source of costs, delays and inefficiencies.

According to research carried out by the Hackett Group, manual AP processes are costing businesses on average £2 – £4 for each invoice they process, and reduce employee productivity by at least 50%. Other research suggests that where invoices go missing or have a complex approval process, the costs can be as high as £20 per invoice.  It can cost your business £20 to pay a £10 invoice.

Regardless of the processes you have in place for approval and systems you have in place for accounting, if you are manually handling the data then there is a huge opportunity to improve efficiency and reduce costs by streamlining your AP process.

AP and your Supply Chain

Every business depends on a supply chain.  The good will of that supply chain depends on the timely and accurate payment of invoices.  Some companies habitually pay late, or pay the wrong amount, or only pay after being chased.  When the day comes that they need a favour from the supplier, this will count against them.  Why would a supplier work hard to get a delivery to you quickly, when they know they payment will be late?

Also, your suppliers may well know your clients and prospects. A deserved reputation for poor payment, inefficiency and inaccuracy could cost you business in the future.

Accounts Payable Issues

There are many problems and issues surrounding the typical accounts payable process.

  • Collating invoices that come from different suppliers or cost centres in many different layouts and delivery formats – post, fax, e-mail, EDI.
  • Labour intensive processes required to input data compounded further if linked to different costs centres and potentially involve currency conversion.
  • Errors associated with manual data entry in accounting systems.
  • Longer lead times due to manual routing, processing, and sign-off procedures involving individuals in different departments and possibly different countries.
  • Inefficiencies due to time spent gathering physical documents in order to match invoices with purchase orders, delivery notes, contracts, and accounting system records.
  • Inability to maximise financial benefits associated with payment schedules such as, discounts for early payments, or avoiding late fees for tardy payments.
  • Risk of document loss or damage, as documents are received at multiple input points and may be routed or classified incorrectly.
  • Costs associated with manual document routing, shipping, couriers, storage, etc.
  • Inability to easily audit invoice processing and payments to match up document flow with the accounting system.
  • Archive costs for compliance and accounts audits.

RPJ’s Accounts Payable Plus – The End-to-End Solution

Automated Invoice Processsing 2

Automated Invoice Processing

RPJ Document Management’s Accounts Payable Plus (AP+) is a fully automated end-to-end solution for the Accounts Payable dilemma. RPJ’s AP+ employs leading edge software to produce a real time, rules based, supplier invoice processing system which could save an organisation upwards of 75% of their current costs.

In addition RPJ”s AP+ will provide data integrity, real time reporting, right place right time approval and many other efficiency gains that will reflect throughout your business.  Plus, the extra reliability of the invoice process helps you maintain good relationships with your supply chain.

Although RPJ”s AP+ is a solution which is matched to your specific business requirements, for Accounts Payable it is based on a generic set of principles and processes that are delivered as standard. In a generic sense AP+ can be viewed as a series of stages to completion : the AP+ workflow.

The AP+ Workflow

  • Capturing purchase orders and/or delivery notes, including scanning of paper documents
  • ICR of invoices
  • Document matching
  • Exception handling
  • Approval processing
  • Updating the main accounts system
  • Document archiving