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AP Invoice Automation Software

Levvel Research research reveals the average cost of manually processing an invoice can be as high as $20, versus $3 for automated Accounts Payable (AP) invoice processing. The payback period for investment in an AP Automation Solution is short, ranging from 6 to 18 months on average.

0%

of AP leaders say that automating manual processes is their greatest concern.

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of AP leaders are concerned about improving processes.

Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM)  |  Benchmarking Reports

AP process automation software is a low-risk investment

Accounts Payable Invoice Automation

The vast majority of Accounts Payable invoices are still processed by routing paper invoices throughout the organization or scanning and attaching the electronic invoice to an email which is then routed around the organization. Once complete, users in AP then manually key information from the approved paper or email routed invoice into the Corporate ERP/Finance system to then process and pay. Time wasted on paper-driven and manual tasks such as data entry, manual routing, manual follow up, Excel spreadsheet tracking, filing, retrieving, faxing, copying, mailing, and looking for invoices that have been misfiled or lost typically represents more than half of the cost of invoice processing, significantly decreasing productivity levels and increasing the cost per invoice. Investing in AP invoice automation software can result in eliminating some of these processes that slow down productivity.

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Invoice Capture

StarLine

Outsourcing the automated capture of invoices means you don’t touch a piece of paper or an email attachment.

Captured invoices are managed in a secure facility and trained staff go through a quality control process that take invoices from a P.O. box or email inbox receipt and transfer them to an indexing process performed either by our team or your team.

If you choose to perform the AP invoice capture phase of the process, you have a choice of using a system implemented in your data center, a system implemented in a private Azure cloud environment (All Star provided), or a system that is a true SaaS cloud solution (software vendor provided). All three options are essentially in the cloud nowadays since even corporate data centers aren’t on-site anymore.

Eliminate Data Entry

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If you have chosen to outsource the capture of AP invoices, you now get to choose who indexes the invoices. The indexing/data entry process can be performed by our team as a continuation of the outsourced process or by your team if the capture process is all you are looking to outsource.

The elimination of data entry is a tangible, attainable and real goal. It is typical to be able to eliminate 70% – 80% of data entry when a solution is initially implemented. This means that 70% – 80% of the fields on every invoice should be correct once a system is implemented. That correctness can increase to 90% or so over time based on the diligence to ensure the invoices are being corrected appropriately by the users.

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Workflow Process Automation

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Workflow is dependent on the type of invoice being processed (PO/Non-PO, direct/indirect, merchandise/expense, goods/service, contract/recurring, etc.). Words in an AP Automation workflow that are typically heard are coding, approval, matching, and exceptions. Workflows automatically route invoices to appropriate business units/departments/users for coding (Non-PO), can auto code based on predefined preferences or past coding, perform 2-3-4 way matching (PO), and route invoices to the appropriate users for exception handling or additional approvals.

Routing can either be rules-based, where the invoice is directed by the system using the data associated with the invoice, or it can be decision-based, where the invoice is routed based on where the user chooses to send the invoice.

The ability to use a single configured workflow and make that workflow available within an email client, a mobile client, a web client, or even from within the ERP system provides the users with the chance to work from within the application they prefer.

Invoice Storage and Retrieval

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Users with appropriate access privileges will be able to search and retrieve the documents from the All Star provided solution or from within the ERP system regardless of who is currently working with the documents. Files and documents can be restricted based on the invoice type or the index data associated with the invoice. Security around the index data can include or exclude documents from a user’s result list even though they have access to the document type.

Users have the ability to search for documents based on any of the data associated with the invoice.

All of the documents relating to that PO number will then be placed in that PO folder (requisition, purchase order, invoice, delivery receipt, check, etc.). These folders can have folder templates that tell the users what document this type of transaction expects and what documents have yet to be received.

The OnBase ERP integration will allow for documents to be retrieved from within the ERP interface. This can be initiated from a form/screen in the ERP system that contains the appropriate field data required to retrieve a document.

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Analytics Process Intelligence

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All Star’s analytics solution will provide a single user interface that can provide all the metrics pertaining to an invoice from the time the invoice was received to the time the invoice was paid. This single user interface eliminates management from having to learn multiple complex tools to find data and also eliminates the need for custom reports to be written which may only provide a static view of information at one point in time.

  • Dashboards:
  • Common metrics being interacted with include:
    • People: AP Specialist workload, invoices processed, approver response times
    • Process: Number of invoices processed in a specific timeframe, time spent on exceptions
    • Invoice Tracking: Payment cycles invoice again, vendor balances
  • Key Features within the AP invoice dashboard tool include:
    • A point-and-click Dashboard Designer that allows business users to create their own dashboards
    • Dashboards that are shareable only with other OnBase users with access permissions
    • Interactive dashboard items that allow users to dynamically update, filter, and drill down data
    • Display Actions that allow users to open related documents
    • Export dashboard data to Excel for further processing and evaluation

While Accounts Payable Invoice dashboards are functional and state-of-the-art, standard document searches can be used to find invoices and indicate the status of those invoices. The data on the result list can be exported to a CSV file.

Collaboration

StarLine

Web-based tools within All Star’s invoice automation solution allow vendors to interact with documents, data, and workflow without incurring additional costs on your solution. You get the data, documents, and transactions quicker all with the proper enforcement of data validations to ensure everything that enters workflow and ERP is clean and validated.

All Star provides a web portal where vendors can come and submit new invoices and research their existing invoices. Vendors can also submit inquiries pertaining to existing invoices as well as submit vendor master updates to ensure the ERP vendor master has the most recent and correct information.

If an invoice comes in and the vendor is not yet setup in the ERP system, All Star’s workflow can identify the invoice as coming from an unknown vendor. The goal of workflow is to identify exceptions.

Another method of collaboration can be accomplished using simple email. All Star’s solution can monitor the email inbox and use the from email domain to associate the attached documents to the vendor’s invoice in the vendor setup hold queue.Users use the supporting documents to setup the vendor in the ERP system and associate the newly created vendor ID to the active invoice in workflow. This allows the invoice to proceed into the appropriate workflow in All Star’s AP solution or in the ERP system.

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Mobile Access

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Mobile applications can extend the capture, workflow, and retrieval tools to a mobile device. All Star’s mobility solution supports Windows Phone, Android, iPhone, and iPad. Mobility can capture invoices into the same process as the invoices captured via scanning or email attachment import.

The Mobility solution also supports the use of mobile devices to be used to review and approve invoices. Initiating things like a check request or quick pay can be done using an eForm either from the software eForm library or just by posting one on the intranet/extranet.

If you choose to use your ERP workflow, the Mobility solution can help eliminate spending time and resources trying to mobilize ERP.

Integration with ERP

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The All Star AP invoice automation solution can integrate with any line-of-business or ERP system. This integration will enhance your existing software investment in ERP and infrastructure and will guarantee accountability throughout your organization.

All Star has successfully integrated with ERP systems like SAP ECC, SAP S4/HANA, SAP Ariba, Oracle eBusiness Suite, Oracle JD Edwards, Oracle Peoplesoft, Workday, Infor, Microsoft Dynamics, Lawson, Sage and many more. As an integrator, All Star can provide all of the options discussed based on your preferences. You can use as much or as little of the All Star AP invoice automation solution based on what you are doing now, would like to do in the future or based on unseen circumstances like acquisitions.

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Vendor Portal

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A vendor portal is designed to offload manual effort from your AP team and provide self service capability to your vendors. Vendors can either request access to the site or can be invited to the site by your AP team. Each vendor who applies for access would go through an internal approval workflow before access is granted. These granted users would get updates at a frequency you determine to validate their email account is still active thus preventing fraudulent submissions.

Vendors accessing the portal will have access to documents, eForms, workflow status and invoice upload capabilities.

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