While some businesses continue to persist with manually processing invoices that come their way via email or the post, there’s now no reason why any business shouldn’t be looking at automated invoicing.
Automating invoices helps to minimise human error and improve productivity, while also ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.While some businesses have automated parts of the invoicing process, very few have achieved a truly automated system from end-to-end.
With businesses continually under pressure to do more with less, it’s more important than ever to optimise efficiencies and maximise productivity. Invoice automation is an easy and ideal first step to take towards reducing costs.
Businesses with multiple contractors and suppliers can have thousands of invoices coming in every month. This is potentially a major business failure point. For these businesses, implementing invoicing and records management systems can significantly improve processes. Here are five reasons to automate invoicing, from Brock Sperryn at OBS.
#1. Reduce duplication and minimise human error
Automated invoicing scans emails and faxes to identify and extract invoices and send them through to the processing engine. Postal invoices can be captured by linking multifunctional devices. This eliminates manual inputting for the majority of invoices, reducing the resources required and minimising data entry errors.
#2. Automatically extract invoice information
Invoices contain important information such as invoice number, supplier code, invoice total, product codes and much more. Automation systems can identify these common elements. Where there are missing details or unusual information in the documents the automated invoicing system should identify them and handle them appropriately.
#3. Increase productivity
Automated invoicing systems can check and validate invoice details to minimise the time spent by staff on low-level tasks, such as checking address and postcode details, invoice totals or ABN numbers.
#4. Speed up approvals
For most businesses an invoice must either end up in a finance/ERP system or a document management system before payment. An invoicing system should link to these two systems, directing the invoice to the relevant approver quickly and easily.
#5. Improving compliance and data management
There are increasing compliance requirements around the collection and storage of data. It’s vital therefore to have a safe, reliable system to store invoices. But managing data is not only about storing invoices. It is equally essential to be able to easily retrieve the data. With basic storage (such as a file system) it can be difficult to find information quickly.
Have you automated invoicing in your business? If so, how has it improved your efficiency? Leave your comments below...
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