7 Reasons to Use a Cloud Invoice Automation SolutionNick Scarff
Cloud invoice automation solutions now provide organisations with a number of key benefits that previous on-premise systems were not able to offer.
Automated cloud invoice processing solutions help organisations to:
- Achieve high levels of automated data extraction from day 1
- Reduce infrastructure and other capital costs
- Minimise implementation times
- Benefit from new features when released
- Have a flexible cost model
- Pre-built invoice processing integration connectors for ERP / Finance systems
- Rapid ROI
Automated Data Extraction
Kofax ReadSoft Online offers leading cognitive capture capabilities for automatically extracting data from invoices. Machine learning and artificial intelligence helps to ensure the application is constantly learning to enhance processing speed and accuracy.
Best of all though, organisations benefit from the learning that has been adopted from the millions of other invoices from other users that have passed through the system. This helps to reduce implementation effort as well as guaranteeing very high levels of accuracy. It also means it is very simple to benchmark invoice recognition rates and offer cloud invoice management trials and proof of concepts to reduce unknowns and the associated risks of adopting a new system.
Reduced Infrastructure Costs
As a cloud solution, there are no capital costs for internal costs for servers, maintenance contracts, upgrades and management. This helps with business cases where costs for deploying a new solution can be directly compared with current OPEX (Operating Expenses) as opposed to the CAPEX (Capital Expenses) of purchasing physical infrastructure. The allows organisations to achieve a much faster ROI (Return on Investment)
Hosted in secure, fully certified Microsoft Azure datacentres, it also means that organisations can have confidence in the protection of their documents and data.
Fast Implementation Times
Adding new clients onto the Kofax ReadSoft Online platform is quick and simple. A point and click interface for setup allows rapid configuration of standard extraction and workflow rules. The pre-built cognitive capture engines ensure high levels of ‘out of the box’ data extraction and the cloud platform allows swift deployment of new instances.
Fast implementation times ensure that organisations see a return on their investment in invoice processing at previously unattainable speeds.
As a cloud platform, when new features are released, they automatically become available to all users. This ensures that organisations are not dependent on heavy upgrade programmes to stay up to pace with the latest version.
Flexible Cost Model
The Kofax ReadSoft Online solution ensures organisations only pay for the what they use. With a charge model based on volumes of transactions and tiered levels of features, organisations can select the most appropriate combination for their business. This helps to ensure there is flexibility for when volumes change as well as for when more features may benefit internal processes.
In addition, having a flexible licencing model, makes it simple for organisations to incrementally roll out automated invoice processing. Perhaps starting with one area of the organisation or group first and based on the initial success rolling out other parts. This makes it simple to run ‘real-life’ proof of concepts, that not only prove the concept, but also act as proof of value.
In deploying a cloud invoice automation solution it is clearly imperative to have a robust method of integrating to the core ERP application. Kofax ReadSoft Online has pre-built integrations with applications like Oracle Financial Cloud, Oracle NetSuite, Oracle Fusion, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations and Coupa.
The pre-built integrations help to not only ensure a rapid rollout, but that the implementation is based on well-used, maintained and supported components as opposed to custom code. In effect, this ensures that the organisation is not building up a legacy debt of technical code that becomes difficult to maintain and support in the medium to long term.
Cloud invoice automation represents one of the most straight forward and compelling business processes to digitise and automate. Its not a new solution to this particular problem in accounts payable / purchase ledger, so the tangible benefits are clear. However, the method of deployment is a game changer for organisations wanting to transform their processes.
Hard costs such as time spent manually keying invoice data, time spent chasing invoices and approval are easily measured before and after implementation and can be equated directly back to freeing up employees for more productive activities.
In addition, there are a substantial number of less visible benefits that become apparent from using a cloud invoice processing solution. Arguably these benefits are at least as valuable if not more than the hard savings of time.
Automated Invoice Processing Benefits:
- Fewer Errors
- Reduced Invoice Processing Time
- Greater Employee Productivity and Engagement
- Improved Supplier Relations
- Greater Process Oversight and Control
By automating manual processes, data entry and processing errors can be addressed. With the addition of business rules and logic, pre-baked into the platform, process data accuracy can be greatly increased.
Reduced Invoice Processing Time
By digitising and automating the process, the time to process an invoice can be greatly reduced. Automated notifications, alerts and escalations can be generated to notify teams when invoices are approaching their payment date but have not been processed fully. In some instances, this may allow the organisation to take advantage of early settlement discounts offered by the supplier. Importantly though this may just be important to ensure that critical suppliers in the supply chain don’t put accounts on hold and stop shipping goods that may affect other areas of the business.
Greater Employee Productivity & Engagement
Attracting and retaining staff is difficult enough. Having leading edge systems and processes ensures that people are engaged and high levels of engagement has a direct correlation to productivity; teams who score in the top 20% in engagement realise a 41% reduction in absenteeism, and 59% less turnover (Source: Gallup).
Improved Supplier Relations
By streamlining the process and ensuring payments are made on time, this can lead to heightened engagement level with suppliers. They spend less time chasing your organisation for progress reports on the approval status of transactions. This is good for both parties as it reduces the need for costly manual query and resolution activities on both sides.
Improving supplier relations is not just a good thing in helping to ensure the organisation receives the products and services from suppliers in the way that they want, but it can also help when it comes to supplier contract negotiation time. If your organisation is seen as hard to deal with or a bad payer, its likely the supplier will factor this into their future dealings.
Greater Process Oversight and Control
Finally, and arguably most importantly, digitising and automating the processing of invoices, allows organisations to grab control of the process and have the oversight necessary to make continual improvements in activities performed.
People in different parts of the organisation want different things in terms of oversight. A finance director might want to be able see outstanding liability at a given point or identify large invoices which could be negotiated with suppliers for early settlement. Accounts payable managers might want visibility of the whole process, whether invoices are likely to go past payment terms and the team productivity. AP Teams will want to have visibility of queues of work and early notification of individual invoices that are slow to be processed / approved and transactions under query waiting for resolution.
To discover how your organisation could benefit from a cloud invoice processing solution you contact us here and one of our experts will be in touch.