Insights from DCS

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The Time is Now: How to Simply Remove the Challenge of Manual Invoice Capture

By James Howlett - 6 Aug 2019
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An invoice capture service can be a very smart move for busy Accounts Payable departments. The time savings alone make a compelling argument. Cutting in half the amount of time it takes for an invoice to be ingested, validated and made ready for authorisation is a valuable proposition for any organisation that is serious about process efficiency. Could now be the right time for you?

Track invoices from receipt to approval

The task of invoice data capture can be underestimated in its demands on time and resources. There’s a lot of manual admin, so keying-in errors is a perennial problem. Plenty of invoices arrive without correct information on them, and these require individual investigation.

Many organisations are forced to accommodate these challenges by dedicating extra admin time to them, and work less efficiently as a result. If there’s an increase in arriving invoices, this lengthens the process and takes more staff hours to deal with. If invoices are frequently falling overdue, this has implications for supplier relationships.

Data Capture Solutions (DCS) clients Notcutts have smoothed out and redefined their electronic purchase invoice capture process enabling much faster capture, distribution and fully automated approvals that tightly integrates with their financial system.

What does an efficient invoice capture service look like?

Notcutts’ paper-based supplier invoices are received at our ISO 27001 accredited UK-based facility. A dedicated email address is also created which the organisation can share with its clients so that emailed invoices arrive securely with us. Then in accordance with agreed service levels, invoices are scanned and captured with each daily arrival of paper and emailed invoices. Invoices are also classified according to the organisation’s specification, with any exceptions or non-invoices dealt with separately.

Captured data and documents are routed by FTP, so that Notcutts can retain the control of when and how invoices are introduced to their systems for approval. Invoices are securely managed via a document management system (DCS FileStore) a central repository for all inbound and outbound communication. All invoices and documents collected have enhanced security and compliance procedures that are utilised in decision making and interactions by the organisation.

What are the benefits?

There’s a huge reduction of risk. Having the scanning and data capture done by a trusted capture service ensures against both error and loss.

Notcutts enjoyed an improvement in supplier relationships underpinned by a 60% reduction in invoice processing time – just by entrusting the very start of the process to a capture service. In terms of cost, they also reported that the project would be self-fulfilling within 18 months.

Invoice capture services are an excellent way to relieve AP teams of the manual demands of invoice processing. It allows staff to accomplish increased efficiency with the same numbers of staff, who can turn to a more strategic business focus.

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