Management of financial documentation is in every organization lengthy and complex process. Basically it comes down to managing paper documents that are often copied and transcribed, resulting in great danger of misplacing or entering incorrectly same document.
Invoice entry into the system
There is an easier way to make this process more cost effective, transparent and efficient. The key is to automate business processes and deploy integrated solutions that will track financial documentation from the moment it enters the company until it is archived.
By integrating it with other systems, business process is complete - from correctly identifying all of the items on the invoice, linking the document with input/output raw materials and goods - till automatic entry into the ERP to eliminate booking errors.
Business process starts with scanning, OCR data reading from document and by pairing them with supplier information, in case that supplier already exists in ERP database. This avoids the unnecessary multiple data entry or appearance of the various partners with a similar name. Invoice data is automatically entered in the system, such as supplier, amount, payment due date, account number and other parameters necessary for processing. Given the ever more widespread usage of e-invoices, system supports the full implementation of e-business.
Since the access to the original document is required only in exceptional situations, original document can be immediately stored in an physical archive.
Except centralized scanning, system supports distributed scanning too. With it, regardless of physical location the documents are coming from, they are immediately entered in the system and sent for processing. There is no need to wait for physical document delivery since all of the documents are digitized in the central system.
Invoice control and approval
Imported documents are automatically forwarded to the user that needs to check document validity. Then, by manual or automatic selection of responsible person or organizational unit, document is sent for verification or signing by user group that is authorized to sign.
Control and process steps are:
- Validation and elaboration (responsible control staff in organizational unit) - confirms receipt of invoice (or rejects), checks invoice items, compares with accompanying documentation and, if necessary, adds documentation and attributes like place of cost. With his signature he confirms the validity of entered data and forwards the invoice to be verified to the person responsible.
- Verification - Responsible person, or more of them, verify the invoice. It is possible to add branching according to different business rules, for example, by amount (all invoices larger than certain amount require signatures from several directors).
- Liquidation (Accounting) - Every information is automatically entered in ERP system. This avoids multiple data entry and possibility of incorrect inputs.
Users use Internet browser to access application for processing incoming invoices. User interface is specially tailored. In every moment, users can see the image of the document they are working on, accompanying documentation and user comments that used to work on the same case.
The system must reflect a realistic picture of the organization of the company - client (organization and processes in company, infrastructure, location distribution, ...)
Client organization includes:
- organizational units - different offices, departments, regions and other forms of organizational units, either on one or several locations;
- user roles in the processes - regarding the organizational structure, such as a worker, foreman, boss, manager, and the role of users in particular procedure, which may or may not be associated with the position in the company;
- processes when working with individual documents;
- rights - regarding the organization, roles, users, document types, document status and other properties;
- simple administration - allows quick and simple tracking of changes in the organization of the client and the change of the roles and rights of individual users.
Adaptability toward existing information system
Clients usually have a partially computerized system for processing invoices, primarily for transactional systems and less for documentation systems.
Transactional systems process structured data taken from the invoices and other documentation.
To efficiently solve the problems with invoice liquidation, it is necessary to optimally integrate the application with existing systems.
Usually, existing system is used in its current form for entering data from incoming invoices, and then, the data is forwarded to the documentation system. Documentation system enables access to document image via transactional system.
Ease of use
Ease of use is a necessary condition for the application. If an application offers too little, it is not usable because it does not meet he needs of business users. If an application offers too much, it becomes too complex, harder to monitor its work and maintain. Also, it is harder to do user training in over complicated applications, and it usually leads to resistance to learn.
Application should be simple to use, and yet it should reflect all of the needs of the company - client. User interface should be arranged the same, for user to use it intuitively, and to result with as fewer errors it can. Ease of use is enabled by using standard programming tools based on internet/intranet technology, such as MS Internet Explorer.