Problems with manual invoice processing
Currently, it takes less than a week to 3 weeks to process an invoice from receipt through payment approval according to a recent research report.
More than half of all invoice processing requires at least 76-100% manual input.
The figures reveal that companies are missing out on possibilities for making their finance & accounting departments more efficient. There is also higher labour cost and higher cost due to the risk of penalties for unpaid invoices.
The most significant pain in invoice processing is data capture – i.e. data from the invoice needs to be taken out and then inserted into an ERP or any accounting software. The pain comes from the non-standardised invoice formats – paper, pdf, electronic invoice, spreadsheets and other forms. So, traditionally, invoice capture and the receipt is done manually by employees or outsourced to a BPO, which also handles this flow manually.
What is invoice automation?
Invoice automation allows straight-through processing (no human interaction) most of the time for the entire invoice process. Invoice automation involves
Step1 Monitoring of invoices
Step 2 Invoice Capture
Step 3 Evaluating invoice against order records and other criteria
Step 4 Recording invoice related information in the systems
Step 5 Making the necessary Payment to settle the invoices
Benefits of invoice automation
Information related to invoices is stored in different formats and varied sources. Hence they have to be manually entered into the firms' system. Manual data entry is time-consuming, especially when the volume of transactions is high and is also prone to human errors. Traditional automation software can't automate such a complicated process. But RPA is very capable of exceptional handling, and if any missing data needs to be completed in a form, the robot can search for it and insert it.
Hence productivity is enhanced by increasing process efficiency and eliminating time consumed in error correction.
Saved time & money
While the software robots efficiently process the invoices faster and work 24 by seven tirelessly, employees can spend their time doing more value-added activities, servicing more customers and increasing profitability.
RPA helps to meet compliance regulations automatically as it records every step undertaken in a process and can be historically audited.
This enables tasks to be done in a short-term, accurate and useful manner.
Error Free Processing
Error reconciliation also causes huge issues to the level of productivity within an Accounts Payable or Accounts Receivable workflow. The errors start occurring when the suppliers start entering incorrect data on the invoice. The error is also committed when transferring data from the invoice to other systems by employees. By automating most of this manual and time-consuming work, RPA robots can reduce the amount of oversight and exception handling that this required by employees.
Enhanced Customer Service
By implementing an RPA system in your Finance & Accounting processes, you can deliver improved customer service, achieve a competitive advantage in your industry and actively scale your organisational operations at a low cost. Your employees can focus on activities with higher value add.
ROI through invoice automation can be achieved in a few weeks to a couple of months. Depending on how manual the invoice processing is currently, the ROI can be up to 90%.
Want to see this in live? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org delivering RPA solutions to SMEs for a free demo of invoice automation and a review of your company’s invoice process.