So you want to process invoices
Invoices are one of the highest demanded documents to automate. Lets talk a little about what it takes to be successful in invoice processing. Data Capture is the technology used for invoices, this is where you extract field-by-field the information you want from the invoice in field order. In order to automate invoices with the high accuracy and utilize a boxed invoice solution you need to do some preparation. Here are 4 MUST have steps:
- Separate your commercial invoices from any specialized invoice types such as legal, manufacturing, telecommunication, etc. The reason you do this is because the low hanging fruit when automating invoices is commercial invoices. Software packages have put the most amount of effort in these documents. By working with them first you are ensuring your success on a large population of your invoices and then can tackle the remainder.
- Know how many vendors you have. Understanding the makeup of your invoices is very important. Your focus should be determined by those invoices that are easiest to automate and make up the greatest portion of your entire volume. So make a list of all your vendors and what paper volume percentage each makes up of the whole.
- Know if you want to collect line-item data or not. At first glance majority of companies say they want line-items, only later to change their mind. Find that business process that mandates you collect line items. In your current process are you having line items entered? What database of existing information will you use to support your line-item extraction? Most companies in the end choose against line-items or choose to extract them for limited critical vendors.
- Know how you are going to check the quality of extraction. Quality assurance happens with human review, and business rules. Know before hand how you want those to work. For example a business rule simply could be all line-items must add up to total amount, if they don’t you have someone look at the entire invoice.
These four steps are not the end-all in proving you invoice processing accuracy, but they are necessary and all steps to consider before you look and purchasing a boxed invoice processing solution.
Chris Riley – Sr. Solutions Architect