ACCOUNTS PAYABLE

An engineering company streamlines purchase invoice processing through intelligent data extraction, digital approval, and accounts integration.

Before they implemented digital invoice processing, their paper-based method of managing invoice approval was chaotic.

There were multiple staff involved in approving each invoice. Each staff member managed a yellow folder containing their invoices for approval.

 

The accounts team routinely collected all yellow folders so that approved invoices could be removed, and new invoices could be added to the folder.

A paper invoice detailing the approval status can only be in one place at one time. This made responding to supplier queries difficult and involved interrupting the relevant approver each time.

The month end reconciliation required a member of the accounts team to check every invoice in every yellow folder – a process that took two approximately two days to complete every month.

As the business was expanding, invoice volumes were rising rapidly, and purchase invoices were becoming especially difficult to manage.

The whole process was very manual, time consuming and especially difficult to manage for approvers based at their remote sites.

The new end-to-end system digitises the processing of paper and electronic invoices. In-built intelligence ensures that automation occurs wherever possible and only limited human involvement is required.

The electronic process steps documented in more detailed below provided the following:

  • Reduced data input through automatic data extraction

  • Automatically check for duplicates

  • Validation rules e.g. checking for accounting errors

  • Immediately retrieve the status of a purchase invoice

  • Month end reconciliation reporting in seconds

  • Easily approve purchase invoices from anywhere

  • Integration with accounting software

 

The proof of concept period was so successful that the Finance Director concluded the solution had paid for itself already!

SOFTWARE DEPLOYED

PRISM DocRecord

PRISM Capture

PRISM WorkPath

Altman IM digital workflows are always customised to suit the way your organisation works. The various stages required and sequence vary from customer to customer. The outline below details the flow deployed in this particular project.

PROCESS STEPS

 

1. Input

Invoices are captured via scan, email or network folder with batch invoices separated and converted to searchable PDFs ready for processing.

 

2. Data Extraction

Documents are recognised as invoice or credit note. Supplier identification is achieved via database matching their VAT number or telephone number. SMART zones are used to extract key invoice data:

 

  • Supplier

    • Supplier Code (from accounting system)

    • Default Nominal

    • Default Approver

  • Invoice Number

  • Invoice Date

  • Customer Purchase Order Number or Project Number

  • Invoice Totals (net, VAT and Gross)

3. Data Review (Verification by accounts)

Designated members of the accounts team perform the following tasks:

  • Verify extracted data is correct and amend if needed

  • Split across multiple nominals if required

  • Amend default approver if required

  • Send for approval

 

The system runs various validation/data integrity checks e.g.

  • Validate totals

  • Duplicate check

  • Empty mandatory fields

 

4. Approval

The approver accesses the invoice and has the option to Approve, Reject or Query depending on the action required. The system requires a comment if rejecting or querying the invoice e.g. incorrect approver or goods not yet received etc. The process will loop until the invoice is either approved or rejected.

Step Five: Posting

Approved invoices will return to accounts to perform final checks and then confirm they wish to post the invoice. The system performs various validation/data integrity checks again before outputting the invoice data to a CSV file.

 

Members of the accounts team run daily import to Sage 50 (they can check and edit the import file should this be required for any reason. (other integration options available e.g. API).

 

The physical invoice file is saved in an agreed folder structure with new folders creating automatically when required. Invoices can easily be retrieved through searching key index data or full text search.

5. Posting

Approved invoices will return to accounts to perform final checks and then confirm they wish to post the invoice. The system performs various validation/data integrity checks again before outputting the invoice data to a CSV file.

 

Members of the accounts team run daily import to Sage 50 (they can check and edit the import file should this be required for any reason. [Other integration options exist e.g. API].

 

The physical invoice file is saved in an agreed folder structure with new folders creating automatically when required. Invoices can easily be retrieved through searching key index data or full text search.

PRODUCTS

DATASHEETS

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ABOUT ALTMAN IM

Altman IM delivers effective, affordable and easy to use, cost-saving solutions for organisations across a broad range of industry sectors. Our objective is to provide leading-edge print management and document processing automation technology with high-quality, responsive support and professional services.

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