Accounts Payable Process: Your First Steps Toward Automation

Recently, I was with our KnowledgeLake team at the APP2P Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the conversations I conducted, almost everyone I spoke with was still inundated with paper invoices. What’s up with that? I thought we were trying to ‘go paperless”? But changing can be tricky within your accounts payable process.

I was asked how to streamline teams – make processing invoices easier and more accurate. Streamlining a team’s process could also remove some of the pain and burden, allowing them to free up their time.  (Presumably so that they can do more important work, right? Right!)

I was then flooded with even more questions: But what about those invoices we already scanned? Do we scan first? Or after we key them into our ERP system? Where do we store those documents? Do we keep them online electronically? And then do we go ahead and keep the paper – box it up and store it in a warehouse? What about when we get audited? How can I can I easily find everything I need?

This is where our years of experience can help you automate your accounts payable process.

KnowledgeLake has been working with thousands of clients over the years, helping them to capture, manage and process their documents – trying our best to free them of paper.

This is the accounts payable process we presented at APP2P that can get you “paperless” in no time:

1.) Paper invoice arrives on your desk

Yes, this will still require some work on your part. You will have to open the envelope and place the paper in the scanner – we don’t have a robot to help you with this part. (At least not yet.)

2.) Scan the document

This is where smudgy or messy invoices are cleaned up automatically by the software, but it has to be the right software, like KnowledgeLake Advanced Capture.

3.) OCR the scanned image and categorize it

In KnowledgeLake Advanced Capture, the OCR process is where the magic happens. It reads the words and differentiates an invoice from a packing slip or a purchase order from a credit memo – you get the idea.

KnowledgeLake can help you automate your accounts payable processAfter the OCR is complete, the system now has all the important data from the document: Vendor info, Invoice Number, Date, Amounts, etc.

If the vendor added your purchase order to the invoice, KnowledgeLake Advanced Capture reads it and compares it to your ERP system to determine the variance in total cost.  Any discrepancies are immediately queued up for your attention.

The system can even read the line item detail.  For example: Quantity of Widgets purchased at $X dollars each.

4.) Next, the software moves the scanned document into a work queue

This is done automatically – so you don’t have to. There are several work queues, but the idea is to automate as many of the mundane steps as possible.

5.) Once the software is done processing the invoice, it will show up in a final work queue

This work queue will notify you when it has gotten to this point so you can approve and pay the invoice. Easy, right?

Save time with our solution

By adding KnowledgeLake Advanced Capture to your AP process, you can stay organized in order to get more important work done. And it works great with emailed PDFs too! When properly implemented, our solution will keep your file cabinets trim and in great shape, that’s for sure.

I had a great time at the APP2P show in Las Vegas last week. I met some very interesting and smart people there. If we didn’t get a chance to meet, please feel free to reach out to me at randy.stroot@knowledgeLake.com.

Do you have an accounts payable process challenge? We’ve got solutions! Going paperless can be hard, so don’t go at it alone. Learn how automating the paper out of your financial transactions can be the first big win for your organization’s goal of streamlining AP with this recorded webinar, Increase Profitability and Productivity by Automating Accounts Payable.

Watch the webinar!