You may have noticed our trademark phrase “Capture. Manage. Automate™” in our logo. These three words hold a lot of power once you understand the substance behind each word.
In an AP environment, the first capture step is converting paper documents into electronic documents. Unless all your suppliers provide e-invoices, someone must scan each paper invoice that comes in. Extra equipment and personnel, along with quality control processes are essential to ensure that each invoice is captured accurately and can be used as the primary document going forward.
The next step involves capturing the data from each electronic invoice, such as, date, invoice number, invoice amount, etc. Typically, this is done by manually keying each field. Ensuring this information is correct is crucial for proper payment, payment verification, workflow routing, and future retrieval of documents.
There are a few ways AP departments, both large and small, can make the capture process more cost and time effective. Buying or leasing scanning equipment can be a quick and easy way to get your AP department moving towards a paperless environment. We recommend scanning the documents that are being used today – the incoming invoices. Have your electronic invoices working for you immediately and worry about scanning the archived invoices later, this will help maximize your ROI. If buying equipment is too much of a cost burden for your AP department, consider leasing or sharing the equipment (and cost) with other departments.
Once you have converted your day forward invoices to electronic invoices, consider using technology such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to reduce manual data entry. OCR is a type of technology that identifies text and inputs that text into the appropriate field. OCR is not 100 percent accurate, but will still significantly reduce indexing costs. We recommend reviewing each index field and make any necessary corrections before processing each invoice.
Many of our customers choose to outsource the entire capture process by using our mailroom automation service. We receive both paper and electronic invoices daily that we scan, index, review for quality and accuracy, and return to our client within 24 hours of receipt. This eliminates the purchase of extra equipment and hiring of extra staff allowing AP departments to focus on the bottom line.
Capture is just one piece of the Capture. Manage. Automate.™ process but if not done accurately or efficiently it can lead to problems with the entire process, ultimately affecting your bottom line.
If you would like to learn more about how to make your capture process more manageable, call us or send us an email.
Read part two in this blog series: Capture. Manage. Automate.™ How it applies to Accounts Payable. Part 2: Automate