In our personal lives, we have become accustomed to the easy-to-use and on-demand services that we enjoy with smartphones, tablets, cloud apps and streaming services. The result of this is an increased expectation for the same level of service and efficiency in our working lives.
Better efficiencies can significantly improve the operational processes of organisations. This is particularly important in the finance department; the backbone of any organisation. A recent Sage report* found that the average small business spends 120 days a year carrying out admin and that processing invoices received makes up 15% of all administrative tasks.
Large quantities of paper come into and out of the accounts department and the ability to capture documents and process information is crucial for effective management, decision making and efficient processes. Within the area of the purchase ledger, also known as accounts payable, manually processing supplier invoices can be time consuming and mistakes can be costly.
Invoice automation software can significantly increase productivity, minimise errors, reduce costs and save time. This can be achieved with OCR (optical character recognition) technology that can ‘read’ and recognise incoming purchase invoices and automatically post the invoice data into the accounting system.
Top three benefits of automating purchase invoice processes
1) It reduces costs
Research from Gartner* has found that the typical cost of processing an invoice in the UK averages between £4 and £25. In general, the costs of manually processing invoices can cost up to 20 times more than automated invoice processing. With the more laborious administration tasks taken care of, staff can work more productively on other tasks and ultimately help to generate more output for the business.
2) It saves time
Not only should accounts payable automation be intuitive and simple to use, it should help to speed up invoicing processing times and reduce the need for manual data input. Having purchase invoice data automatically posted into your accounting system is a huge time saver, even more so when it is matched up at line-item level against the related purchase order, whether fully or partially. Also, archiving and linking documents to the account and/or transaction makes them easily retrievable and saves time searching for files.
3) It minimises human error
With automated 2-way or 3-way matching in place, the system matches up Purchase Invoices against Goods Received Notes (GRNs) and/or Purchase Orders (POs). This ensures a high-level of accuracy by verifying that invoices match at line-item level as it appears on the PO as well as confirming that invoices match what was received as recorded on the GRN. All this can be done with minimal human interaction, meaning that data is accurately matched without the risk of human error.
Why choose automated Purchase Invoice recognition?
Spindle Document Management from Draycir now offers an IDR (intelligent document recognition) module for Sage 200cloud using advanced OCR with in-built approvals and workflow management. Users can take advantage of all the benefits of cloud-based technology to enhance their business processes making it easy to use and implement, access updates automatically and reduce costs.
Thousands of users in the UK are already benefiting from this complete document management system to distribute outbound documents (such as sales invoices, statement, remittance advices etc) and capture inbound documents (such as purchase invoices, order confirmations, delivery notes). The Spindle Document Management suite can now be extended to automate the data entry of Purchase Invoices into Sage 200 with Spindle Purchase Invoice Recognition. With seamless integration, once the Purchase Invoices are created in Sage 200, the original Purchase Invoice documents will also be archived and available to view from within Sage 200.
Spindle Purchase Invoice Recognition has been developed in collaboration with market leader IRIS (A Canon Company) to bring an enterprise level solution to the SME market. Included in Draycir's intelligent document recognition solution are many essential requirements for organisations to benefit from:
- An intuitive and user-friendly system
- Ability to quickly drag-and-drop, scan or browse files to capture documents
- Ability to view all related documents in Sage 200
- In-built Approvals / Workflow management view, review and approve documents outside of Sage 200
- Approvals mobile app
- Automated 2-way and 3-way matching against PO and/or GRN
- Reduce tax errors by taking VAT value directly from purchase invoice
- Cloud-based technology delivering automatic updates
- Cloud hosting removes need for additional hardware purchases
- Developer API coming soon to allow the IDR engine to be integrated with other platforms
Kelly Park, Finance Manager of Tennyson Insurance was set the task of automating processes in the Finance Department and has found Spindle Purchase Invoice Recognition to be invaluable. Kelly said:
“From receiving an invoice, we can post this directly into Sage, saving hours of time and improving our efficiencies. The time saved can now be used on more value-added tasks which in turn is having vast advantages for our business.”
Automating purchase invoice processes using a solution such as Spindle Purchase Invoice Recognition can help small to medium businesses achieve a more streamlined and efficient document management process. Users can have the peace of mind that invoices are sent to the right place, that the right people are notified at the right time and have instant access to data and documents at any time. At the same time as reducing admin and freeing up staff for other tasks, invoices are processed faster which improves cash flow visibility and offers a significant return on investment for the business.
For more information about Spindle Document Management and the Spindle Purchase Invoice Recognition module, contact Draycir or your Sage 200 IT partner.
Sweating the Small Stuff: a study for Sage, September 2017