The Accounts Payable (AP) department is a critical business function, managing all outflows from the company, whether related to direct costs, overhead costs or capital expenditures. Mismanaging outflows from the company may impact a company’s financial stability, and vendor relationships.
The majority of AP departments continue to operate a “manual” process, receiving paper invoices (or printing emailed invoices), coding on the document, and physically handing to approvers for sign-off, prior to returning the document back to AP for data entry to ERP and payment. This process is outdated and inefficient. Based on research, the cost of processing an invoice in this manual format is $20.00 to $30.00 per invoice.
Automating AP by leveraging a fully digital end-to-end solution removes most, if not all, manual intervention and allows the AP function to operate cost-effectively, efficiently and transparently.
Automated Invoice Processing
Manual handling and data entry is incredibly time-consuming and is low value add. AP Automation with a company like Octacom allows AP to be hands off in the receipt and data entry of invoices, following the email receipt or PO Box scanning activities required to get invoices into a digital format. With Octacom, invoices go through a three-stage data capture process: (1) automated capture leveraging enhanced technology, (2) indexing and (3) quality control; the latter two steps involve human AP processors and enable more than 99.9% accuracy on invoice data capture.
Automated Logic Application
In order to achieve automation, tailored logic can be applied to invoices and invoice data to allow for automation of, for example:
Default GL Coding
Assignment of Requestor/Approver
Addition of Line Items or Miscellaneous Charges
PO Line Matching (both two-way and three-way matching)
This process ensures limited manual intervention is required in the invoice processing portion of AP, prior to entry into the AP software for workflow.
Automated Approval Workflows
Once the invoice is processed, it must go through various approval stages depending on the organization’s delegation of authority, assuming they are non-PO invoices (PO invoices that match would be straight-through processed). With Octacom’s Odiss™ AP Portal, this takes place through our Canadian cloud and eliminates invoices floating around the organization in paper form. Workflows are automated based on vendor, dollar threshold, approver level, department or other. Throughout the workflow, AP and approvers can edit GL coding, leave notes, attach supporting documents and more.
Odiss™ AP Portal’s Vendor Portal module is also available, enabling suppliers to submit invoices, track the approval and payment status, submit inquiries and update information.
Once approved, invoice data is submitted via integration to the client’s ERP and no further manual data entry is required. This integration may take place through API/web services or data file exchanges, depending on the client’s ERP requirements. Octacom has integration with SAP, SageX3, JDE, CMS and more.
AP Automation has the following core benefits:
- Achieved cost savings of 50% or more
- Enhanced transparency and visibility into AP processing
- Improved accuracy through reduced manual intervention
- Enhanced scalability
Octacom is a SOC 2, Type II Audited enterprise software and services company focused on document and data automation solutions, including automated data capture. Founded in 1976, Octacom specializes in accounts payable automation and automated invoice processing, among other digital / automated business process outsourcing services.
If your organization is looking to learn more about our solutions and services, please contact us and we would be glad to help.