Automated invoice and accounts payable processing

Accurate data is the foundation for efficient processes and it’s especially true when it comes to effective Accounts Payable (AP) process. Amid all the “becoming paperless” and “paperless office” trends, Accounts Payable is typically the department, that is far behind in terms of automation since the biggest part of accounting activity is still paper-based. According to Forrester Research 97% of invoices are still processed manually, while according to RS Consulting 75% of finance departments type in invoice line items into the ERP system. As a result, some organizations report a cost per transaction as high as $12 per invoice.

Manual invoice processing means high processing costs, longer processing and payment cycles, reduced overall stuff productivity, security risks and compliance issues, not to mention data entry and validation errors or lost invoices leading to missed payments. There is clearly a wasted opportunity to improve productivity and reduce costs. However, there are specific characteristics of AP and invoice processing compared to other documents, that make automation difficult:

  • There is no standard format for an invoice; every vendor delivers information in their own way.
  • Data must be validated against other enterprise data, including vendor or employee identification, purchase order or receipt information.
  • Workflows must be highly flexible to adapt to each organization’s own processes and needs.

Issues with manual processing:

  • High-cost of processing
  • Backlog/delays in processing
  • Large staff needed for processing (even more during peak periods)
  • Data entry and validation errors
  • Lost invoices, missed payments
  • Low productivity and inefficiency
  • Compliance issues

Most so-called invoice processing and AP automation solutions can’t handle these specifics so companies stick to manual processing. But, keep on reading, because the invoice processing solution from MPS is one of the rare exceptions!

  • Capture and process invoices regardless of their format or medium

    MPS provides a single, consistent process for all sources and formats capturing invoices arriving on paper or in digital format, from a variety of sources including MFPs, local scanners, fax,e-mail or other electronic systems.

  • Advanced Automated Classification

    MPS uses advanced content and visual classification to auto-classify invoices, separate them from other supporting documents or identify them to a specific vendor, without bar codes, separator sheets or any kind of manual document sorting. Advanced classification means each document can undergo its own processing within the same workflow and the business-critical data in these documents can be automatically located preparing the next step – the automated processing.

  • Automated extraction and processing

    The system automatically locates and extract critical business data from the entire invoice, including vendor name, amounts, dates, headers or footers or line-by-line items. In comparison to the traditional approach, where the system finds the data based on its fix location, MPS IntelliVector uses a combination of techniques, that resemble human processing, adapting to any varied layout. Extracted data, including line-items and complex table data is processed using market leading automated recognition engines (OCR & ICR) eliminating the need for any manual keying.

  • Multi-step result validation

The auto-recognized data is validated against pre-defined rules, logic, databases or LOB systems using database lookup.

In the exceptional case, when the automated recognition is inaccurate or the validation is unsuccessful a microtask-based human validation takes place to guarantee 100% data accuracy. The extracted and validated data is exported directly to the appropriate enterprise system or workflow.

Example validation rules:

  • Vendor look-ups
  • Mathematical reconciliations
  • PO Matching
  • 2 or 3 way Matching
  • Duplicate Invoice Detection
  • Early Pay Alerts
  • Other Customizable rules

Further benefits