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How Cloud Native Solutions Streamline Invoice Processing

Is your AP department struggling with capturing data from supplier invoices? You aren’t alone. Invoice receipt and data capture is the biggest AP challenge caused by the shift to remote working1.

The root of the problem is that many AP departments receive physical invoices from suppliers through the mail. The smaller the business, the higher the percentage of paper invoices they’ll likely receive. This means someone from an AP team must periodically go into the office to open paper invoices, key in information, and figure out how to get the invoices to the appropriate staff for review and approval. This is no small feat, given that a majority of AP teams are still working at least somewhat remotely.2

To get around the limitations of handling paper invoices, many AP departments are urging suppliers to submit invoices via e-mail. While e-mail makes it possible for AP staff to avoid going into the office, e-mailed invoices can leave a lot to be desired.

There are a few major issues. First, it’s easy for employees to overlook or inadvertently delete e-mailed invoices. E-mailed invoices frequently can also get lost or forwarded to the wrong person for review. Plus, e-mail doesn’t automatically track actions taken on an invoice. Finally, few businesses have the technology to automatically extract data from e-mailed invoices.

AP departments can’t afford such inefficiency when receiving supplier invoices and capturing invoice data. Slow invoice approvals can result in late-payment penalties, missed early payment discounts, and supply chain disruption—not to mention plenty of calls and e-mails from frustrated suppliers.

The Benefits of Cloud Native Capture Solutions in AP

With remote working likely here to stay, AP departments must find a better way to receive, process, and approve supplier invoices. That’s where cloud-native capture solutions come in.

Cloud-native capture solutions keep AP processes moving, no matter where your staff works.

  • Aggregate. Cloud-native capture solutions aggregate all invoices—including those submitted via e-mail, spreadsheet, and fax—onto a single, pre-integrated platform. Supplier invoices sent through the mail can be digitized and effortlessly uploaded to the cloud native platform.
  • Capture. Automatically extract all header and line-item data from invoices, including the supplier’s name and number, invoice and purchase order numbers, product quantities, unit prices, invoice totals, freight and sales tax information, and due date. Machine learning limits human intervention and reduces potential errors.
  • Accelerate. Seamlessly connect with existing content management services to keep approvals moving while staff works remotely. The technology eliminates the guesswork of how to route invoices for approval. AP staff and other authorized users can quickly search invoice information from a single platform.
  • Integrate. Smart Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology uploads invoice data directly to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) or other system of record. This eliminates the need for manual keying, increasing visibility and reducing the possibility of delays or errors.
  • Scale. Cloud-native capture solutions can be scaled up or down instantly. This allows an AP department to adapt to changing business conditions and seasonal fluctuations in invoice volume without hiring additional staff. In fact, AP departments only pay for what they use.

Cloud-native capture solutions make it easy for AP departments to receive invoices and capture critical data, helping your AP stay ahead in this new world of remote working.

1. Gartner. (2017). Cloud Strategy Leadership: Gartner Insights on How and Why Leaders Must Implement Cloud Computing
2. Infor. (2015). Cloud Computing: Examining the security of cloud-based vs. on-premise deployments

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