The automation of the Accounts Payable process has been steadily becoming the norm over the last few years. Many organisations have implemented capture technology that automatically extracts, validates and matches data from invoices, and seamlessly feeds the results into the AP workflow, ERP system or line-of-business application.
It’s all well and good making sure money goes out of the business on time but how do you ensure that payments coming into your organisation are processed as efficiently and effectively? This is where the focus now lies for a lot of businesses and the forward-thinking who adopted the automation of AP are already implementing solutions to automatically capture incoming Sales Orders, regardless of the format or medium, and have them queued for immediate processing.
Previously, orders have been more complicated to automate than invoices partly because the business rules behind them tend not to be as strong as invoices. Yet, with advances in capture technology, the extraction and validation of orders has become a much more viable solution.
Incoming orders can be automatically captured and data extracted without a user needing to key the data into a sales order processing system. Business rules can then be applied to the orders, for example, carriage charges can be automatically calculated and added based on predefined rules and account checks can be made and discounts applied, all saving user intervention, eliminating mistakes and greatly reducing the time needed to process orders. In fact, the first a user knows about the order could be an email from the system to alert them that an order has not only been received, but that is has also been successfully processed!
Advancements in capture technology really open the door for any incoming document to be successfully captured, data extracted and to be quickly routed. If you are capturing invoices and validating them against a purchase order why not also automatically capture the supplier delivery note for a three-way match? Traditionally, to capture supplier delivery notes to extract the data, a template would have been needed to be designed for each supplier; very time consuming and inefficient and a task that would need to be repeated every time a new supplier came on board or changed the layout of their delivery notes. Now, a single project can be quickly deployed to successfully capture delivery notes from a range of suppliers without the need for continual configuration and maintenance, greatly reducing overheads.
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