Invoice Processing Automation

Invoice Processing Automation

Optimize, Generate, and Process your Invoices at Ease

Invoice processing is one of the areas where human intervention can prove to be very costly due to the high scope of errors and slower processing time. Moreover, processing the invoices too slowly will result in hefty penalties and delay in payments.

As for the accounts receivables (AR) department, the customers and vendors follow unique invoice templates forcing the employees to manually collect data and bill them, resulting in a mismatch of invoice data.

With the amalgamation of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), the bots will scan, digitize, and validate key data from the purchase orders to create invoices. RPA will help F&A professionals by automating invoices and avoiding financial penalties for late and incomplete payments.

Invoice Processing Automation

RPA improves the cycle time of invoice processing and bills customers sooner in order to maximize revenue by ensuring accuracy in every invoice dispatched.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a tailor-made solution for paper-intensive tasks like invoice processing. The software scans the invoice regardless of the format and then converts the same into an image or a text-searchable document. RPA can also capture different ranges on an invoice so that it captures the right data and keys it into the ERP system.

From The Company

We at Lab RPA provide you a complete INVOICE PROCESSING process Automator, the best automation solution which includes a step by step solution from making the business logic to orchestrate the software robots which possess the key features –

  • Logistical management
  • Payment process automation
  • Automating Invoice generation and processing
  • Email processing automation
  • Billing process automation
  • Managing an invoice generation workflow
  • A perfect solution for
    1. Invoice Data Capture
    2. Invoice Matching
    3. Invoice Approval

A full-fledged operational automated framework to manage all of your INVOICE MANAGEMENT  process and operations.

Key Challenges And Characteristics

The concept comes with its own automation challenges though. These are natural challenges, maybe every automation system cannot overcome them. Some of the most common invoice processing automation challenges are multiple integrations, dynamic product information, and frequent changes to the configuration. Multiple integrations refer to the various third-party system integrations that work on both ends of the system. Integrating all these integrations and having them work in sync with the newly induced automation process could be quite a challenge, which makes automation difficult.

There're some Key Concerns

Let's discuss them briefly!

Lack of governance and cohesiveness

Longer processing time

Nuances in the extraction of data and claim verification

Risk of manual intervention during reconciliation

Implementation Time & Cost

Delayed & Inaccurate payments to vendors

Duplicate processing of invoices and payments

Payments before receipt of goods or services & Improper record keeping

Unplanned invoice payments impacting liquidity & fraudulent payment.  

Insufficient resources to support business growth and Manual rework and follow-up

Organizational Challenge

• Lack of time commitment from local team
• Lack of leadership buy-in
• Lack of IT support
• Lack of support from Analytics/Data function
• Lack of support from HR
• Unclear responsibilities
• Company lacking a clear RPA strategy

Process Challenge

• Choosing a process that changes frequently.
• Choosing a process with insignificant business impact.
• Choosing a process where errors are disproportionately costly.
• Choosing a process that involves higher-level cognitive tasks.
• Choosing a process where better custom solutions exist.

Implementation Challenge

• Pursuing in-house RPA development with in-house teams that do not have enough capacity

Technical Challenge

• Choosing a solution that requires intensive programming.
• Not relying on RPA marketplaces and other readily available tools.
• Choosing a solution that did not demonstrate scalability.

Post-Implementation Challenge

• Not building for scalability
• Not taking maintenance needs into account
• Not securing RPA privileged credentials

The Key Characterstics

Let's discuss them briefly!
Invoice Automation Workflow
Before automation, the manual invoice processing workflow goes something like this:
  • Analyze the invoices and understand relevant data from each of them
  • Keying the data into the ERP system so that payments and system records would be complete
  • In rare circumstances, the team might find discrepancies to some extent and consult the supplier to resolve the issue.
Monitoring for Invoices

RPA bots will be able to constantly monitor emails pertaining to new invoices or an exclusive folder created by the employee where invoices are usually saved. As soon as the bots detect a new invoice, they begin to extract information from the document regardless of the format.

Invoice Capture and Evaluation
By leveraging intelligent optical character recognition (OCR) and natural language processing (NLP) capabilities, software robots can scan information from the invoices.
    • The invoices are evaluated to match certain order records and criteria such as:
    • Verifying invoice against purchase orders
    • Cross-checking for duplicity
    • Based on the pre-defined discrepancy limits, the bots decide whether to process the invoice or send feedback to the employee
    • Verifying the invoice against VAT rules
    • In order to create a record in the internal systems, the invoices are added to a general ledger account for future use.
Email Notification

In case of discrepancies, the bots trigger an email to the concerned employee to work on the corrections. After successfully processing an invoice, the bots push notifications to the vendor or the employee based on predefined rules.

Payment Notifications

RPA triggers an email to the supplier to confirm the receipt of the payment and also sends out notifications to employees if the payment nears the deadline to avoid late payment and penalties.

RPA in supply chain management

Returns Processing

Product Categorization and E-commerce content creation

Automating Merchandising Inventory Updates

And so on....

Benefits

Payment Processing

The payment processing involves many actions and all of them have to be carried out perfectly: financial filings, accounts payable and accounts receivable, account reconciliation, and much more. RPA can help businesses unite all of the payment processes in a single mechanism that seamlessly works across all the channels.

ERP Management

The Enterprise Resource Planning system helps manage all business processes and keeps them in one place. The thing is, there are hundreds of micro-processes going on within each process and they consume a significant amount of time if managed manually. RPA is able to automate the whole ERP process and free you from hours of mundane work. In addition, you can integrate your ERP with inventory and always know the status of your resources.

Scalable Technology
RPA is capable of completing pre-defined business tasks more accurately, quickly, and unceasingly than humans. The simplest form of RPA is known as web or screen scraping. It can be trained further to acquire multiple skills to handle customizable processes such as accounting and finance.
Increased Data Accuracy
Using RPA increases the reliability of data. That’s because, unlike humans, robots are unable to key in data incorrectly; nor will their “minds” wander while performing repetitive tasks. But, you must resolve bad data being received on the front end for it to work right.
Standardized Processes
A side effect of using robots is the necessary standardization of processes. In order to start using a robot, a company’s process all need to be standardized, which in turn increases worker efficiency, and then greatly increases the speed at which the robots can do their work as well.
Easy Transition
Working at the familiar desktop level, robots are easy for employees to understand and to use. They can be installed quickly (unlike traditional IT projects), and work with existing technology.

ROI Realization

One of the crucial factors in achieving high ROI is in understanding what can be achieved through RPA and selecting the right processes to automate. Automating a small process with a time-saving of few minutes per process can yield better savings over a year. For instance, RPA driven cost rationalization in horizontal processes such as HR, finance and accounting, procurement, contact center process are much faster than industry-specific processes such as claims processing.

The biggest hurdle in value realization is the complexity of processes. Process complexity can increase with stringent regulatory requirements, geographies, and numbers of exceptions that can potentially stretch development and user-acceptance testing time. While you can expect to reach break-even in six months for simple processes, it may take you as long as two years for complex ones. Cost savings can vary from 10% to 50%, once again determined by the complexity of processes.

Confidential processes where there is a high risk in involving humans merit your scrutiny for robotic process automation as well.

When there is a potential to save $2 trillion in global workforce costs through automating 45% of work activities (according to PwC), no wonder enterprises are drawn to invest in robotic process automation (RPA). RPA is believed to demonstrate value realization faster than many other automation initiatives.

RPA takes just about 25% of the time required for a business process workflow solution and 16% of the time taken for enterprise application integration to demonstrate significant value. One of the immediate perceivable benefits of RPA is cost reduction by employee optimization — freeing them from routine tasks to do jobs that demand high cognitive skills.

Calculating ROI requires a detailed analysis of parameters unique to your organization. Some of the pre-requisites to achieve significant early ROI are:

  • Identifying suitable tasks for automation
  • Carving out appropriate processes
  • Choosing the right systems

 

A typical ROI realization process takes from 6 to 9 months

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