Streamlining invoice processes with Doxis4
Paper-based invoices cost companies an average of $15 each. This figure is made up of the labour costs needed for entering the data manually, checking the invoice, entering the invoice into the accounts and filing inbound invoices. At the moment, the majority of companies begin by photocopying paper-based invoices and sending them to various department for review. Any data relevant for accounting is then entered into the company's accounting and payment systems. Employees may make mistakes when entering this data, which delays the process even further.
A great deal of time is also wasted trying to obtain additional information for the invoicing party, colleagues and superiors. The long invoicing process (particularly those in place in companies with several different sites) has major repercussions for the company's eligibility for discounts. Failure to keep to payment conditions may result in long-lasting harm to your relationship with your supplier. Liquidity planning may also suffer as you are unable to accurately calculate liabilities. Considering all of these circumstances together means that accurate cash-flow planning can be very difficult to almost completely impossible.
With Doxis4 InvoiceMaster you can automatically process all inbound invoices, part invoices and collective invoices (either with or without a reference to an order) on a daily basis. A invoice may be a single one-page document or may run across several hundred pages (e.g. as in building projects). Doxis4 captures invoices in a wide range of formats from all possible inbound channels, e.g. post, fax, email and electronic exchange formats (ZUGFeRD). Depending on your company's set up, invoices can be read and reviewed separately by each site or you can organise for one department to assume responsibility for these processes on behalf of the entire company (so-called Shared Services).
As easy as 1, 2, 3, 4
Inbound invoices are processed in just four single steps:
- Inbound document is scanned,
- Name of the supplier and all accounting-relevant data is identified,
- Invoice is reviewed as part of a managed workflow
- Documents are stored in the audit-proof archive
The process starts with the document being scanned using Doxis4 Capture. This function supports a range of different scanning scenarios, from a single centralised scanning process to scanning documents at various different locations. Once the invoice has been checked and it is found to be correct, it is archived in the Doxis4 Content Repository while it is still being processed for payment at the same time. If you also use Doxis4 eRecords, the invoice will be allocated to the corresponding folder in your supplier record.
The next step identifies text in the document using OCR technology (optical character recognition). All data needed for further processing is now extracted and validated using Doxis4 InvoiceMaster Read. The text extraction process is improved on a continuous basis thanks to a combination of generic and self-learning processes. The validation process also checks the mandatory entries required under article 14 of the German Value-Added Tax Act. You can also incorporate your own corporate policies into the check. Any invoices containing errors are rejected at this point in the process. A number of pre-defined correspondence templates can be used to create automatic notifications to be sent by post, fax or email.
All accounting data detected during the OCR process is used for a number of different purposes, e.g. for classifying the supplier. It is also automatically compared to supplier data in your ERP and accounting systems. Invoices from suppliers based in another country are processed in the corresponding language and currency and in line with any applicable tax regulations. Of course, the system also supports SEPA too.
Our aim: fully automated invoice processing
Once the invoice has been checked, the invoice and order reference are then compared with the order data in your ERP system on an item-by-item basis. If all items match (i.e. there are no inconsistencies in price, quantities, etc.), all relevant data is passed on to the accounts department. Following this stage, the invoice can be entered into the accounts automatically and added to the payment system.
A special validation application is available for any follow-up work. This features highlighting functions and search functions which makes it easier for the supplier or the recipient of the invoice to search for and correct errors. Once the validation process has been completed successfully, the invoice is transferred to the invoice review workflow. Depending on which ERP system you use, you may be able to integrate the invoice review process straight into your existing system, for example if you use SAP, the process can be integrated using Doxis4 InvoiceMaster SAP Control. Alternatively, you can integrate certain parts of the process using Doxis4 InvoiceMaster Control.
The invoice review process involves checking the content and prices, clarifying any price and quantity discrepancies, allocating any invoices not related to an order, approving/rejecting invoices, and archiving the final document to meet tax requirements.
The following approval process can be adapted to your own corporate policies: beginning with the simple standard two-person review process, you can also expand the process to create several stage approval structures with parallel checks being carried out at item level. Doxis4 InvoiceMaster Control also enables you to appoint deputies as well as supporting group workbaskets.
Invoice entry book
Doxis4 InvoiceMaster Control includes an invoice entry book as standard. This book provides an overview of all invoices currently in progress “at a glance” as well as any invoices that have been registered or are already under review.
Reviewing invoices on the go
The ability to approve invoices while you are out of the office helps to speed up the process even further. In light of this, Doxis4 InvoiceMaster Control provides users with a web-based approval app that is compatible with Windows, Apple iOS, Blackberry or Android on smartphones or tablets.
Once the invoice approval process is complete, all process steps are logged and filed alongside the invoice (which had already been archived in the audit-proof repository earlier in the process). Any data and documents IDs entered into the accounts are also archived alongside the entry voucher. This ensures that the entire invoice review process can be checked and verified at any time.
Expansion of automated invoice processing
Doxis4 InvoiceMaster contains all the functions you need in a single solution. Thanks to its close integration with all leading ERP systems like SAP ERP, InforERP, MS Dynamics, NAV/AX and the Oracle E-Business Suite, this solution offers the perfect complete package.
Automatic inbound invoice processing forms the technical basis for processing all forms of media that arrive in your company's inbox. If you combine this solution with our electronic records, task & process management and our document management solution, you can create an extensive company-wide enterprise content management system that can be used to streamline paperwork-heavy business processes throughout the company.
What it has to offer
- Quick, high-quality and low-cost inbound invoice processing
- Integration of all inbound channels: post, email and fax
- Compatible with SEPA and ZUGFeRD formats
- Transparent overview provided by up-to-date invoice entry book
- Review process checks mandatory data required under article 14 of the German Value-Added Tax Act
- Approval on-the-go using your smartphone or tablet
- Seamless integration in ERP and accounting systems
Doxis4 InvoiceMaster is built on three main modules that can either be used individually or in combination with one another:
- Doxis4 InvoiceMaster Read
Highly-efficient process for extracting and validating all basic data and invoice items (pre-trained and self-learning process)
- Doxis4 InvoiceMaster Control
Review and approval of invoices across all systems throughout the entire company
- Doxis4 InvoiceMaster Control for SAP
Invoice review and approval process integrated into SAP (incl. web-based client for non-SAP users)
Features & strengths
Doxis4 InvoiceMaster processes costing invoices, supplier invoices, instalment invoices, collective invoices and corrected invoices (both with and without references to a particular order). It covers invoices in any format from any channel, be it post, fax or email. Doxis4 is also able to deal with the new electronic ZUGFeRD format for invoices. And of course it is also SEPA compatible! Doxis4 InvoiceMaster is designed for use in international companies and available in a number of different languages.
With Doxis4 InvoiceMaster, nearly every single stage of the invoice entry process can be automated, covering documentation classification, language detection, data extraction for further treatment and validation. By combining a number of analysis methods, self-learning techniques and the option to train the system to recognise new invoices, the system's identification skills improve on a continuous basis. Invoices are also validated, for example they are checked for completeness in relation to the mandatory data required under article 14 of the German Value-Added Tax Act. They are also compared with basic invoice data from the ERP system. The validation tools help to detect errors at an early stage, thus reducing work during the review and approval stages. Provided that all data is correct, invoices related to an order can be dealt with using a fully automatic process.
Doxis4 InvoiceMaster supports a wide variety of approval scenarios so that you can adapt approval processes to suit your company and its organisational structures. These scenarios range from a simple standard two-person review process all the way to several stage approval structures with parallel checks being carried out at item level. If any points need to be clarified, you also have the option of adding further employees to the review process on an ad hoc basis. Of course, Doxis4 InvoiceMaster also enables you to appoint deputies for particular tasks and supports the use of group workbaskets. If you are out of the office for any reason, you can use a special universal web app or the email system to take part in the invoice approval process no matter what time it is (Doxis4 Mobile Workflow Access).
At the touch of a button, you can use Doxis4 InvoiceMaster to draw up pre-configured specialist reports containing bar charts, pie charts, line graphs or scatter diagrams. These reports provide an up-to-date overview of the invoice process and reveal potential areas of improvement: How effective are the relevant invoice processes? Are there any bottlenecks? Which invoices are at risk of missing out on a cash discount? What proportion of invoices related to an order are processed fully automatically? By helping you to deal with individual invoices, Doxis4 can play a key role in making the entire invoice handling process even more manageable and efficient.
The respected auditing company EBNER STOLZ has confirmed that Doxis4 complies with the legal requirements for electronic invoices set out in article 14 (1) of the German Value-Added Tax Act. The auditors check that the tested software product Doxis4 enables “Doxis4 customers to process and archive inbound and outbound invoices correctly in accordance with the requirements under article 14 (1) of the German Value-Added Tax Act as per the regulations of the 2011 German Tax Act Simplification Law and the additional explanations provided on this subject in the letter issued by the German Ministry of Finance (BMF) dated 2 July 2012, assuming that the customer uses the software correctly and carries out the relevant organisational checks.” EBNER STOLZ declares that “the modules that we tested from the Doxis4 iECM Suite can therefore be deemed as suitable and functional for proper accounting.”
From automatically capturing the invoice to allocating, reviewing and entering it into the accounts, the entire process is documented in full and archived in an audit-proof manner. When combined with the Doxis4 Archive, retention periods are managed automatically so that documents that have to be retained can be stored securely in accordance with any legal, internal and industry-based compliance regulations. The Doxis4 iECM Suite's security measures have been confirmed in accordance with the German Institute of Public Auditors' standard IDW PS 880 by the internationally renowned auditing company Deloitte & Touche. The electronic archiving procedures are therefore audit-proof in accordance with the generally accepted principles of computerized accounting systems, the German Tax Code, the German Commercial Code and principles of data access and the auditability of digital records.
Introduction to automatic inbound mail processing
Inbound invoice processing is the ideal launchpad for automatic company-wide inbound mail processing. Doxis4 InvoiceMaster is based on the technology used in the universal Doxis4 Inbound Center.
The Doxis4 Inbound Centre enables companies to capture and distribute all of their incoming post, emails and faxes. Scanned paper documents and electronic documents are joined together within one single process, making sure that only one form of media is used. This solution isn't only suitable for larger corporations, an increasing number of medium-sized companies are now enjoying its benefits too.
The advantages are clear: Transportation and waiting times drop to almost nothing. All documents are made available in a standard media format almost as soon as they are entered into the system. They are then ready to edit and visible in terms of their content and process background. This helps to speed up processes. Inbound documents are assigned to a process instance which enables users to call up all further information.
What it has to offer
- Multi-channel processing, keeping all documents in a single media format
- Automation by classifying content
- Quick allocation and distribution speeds up processing and improves information channels
- Direct integration into business processes
Overview of automatic invoice processing in Doxis4
Reading invoices ( Doxis4 InvoiceMaster Read)
- Processes all incoming invoices in a variety of formats from an assortment of channels (paper-based, fax, email, ZUGFeRD)
- Processes a variety of different invoice types (invoices with or without reference to an order, instalment invoices, collective invoices)
- Supports capturing invoices at both an early and late stage in the process
- Applies OCR technology for scanned documents
- Extracts all process-relevant data (e.g. supplier, invoice recipient, header data, basic data, invoice items, etc.)
- Able to improve and monitor performance automatically
- Is fully SEPA compatible (additional fields for IBAN and BIC, review process for the supplier's account details and IBAN)
- Validates and checks data in accordance with article 14 of the German Value-Added Tax Act and other relevant regulations
- Includes a simple validation client for checking and correcting invoices
- Operates independently to the ERP and archiving systems
- Supports a number of different languages, currencies and tax rates
- Compares data with master data in the ERP system (certified SAP interface, universal interface for all other ERP systems)
Invoice review (Doxis4 InvoiceMaster Control)
- Invoices with and without a reference to an order
- Configurable approval strategies
- Single layer/multi-layer
- Automatically finds the person responsible for next stage in the process
- Approval stages and invoicing thresholds
- Detection and review of discrepancies in prices and quantities
- Four-eyes principle
- Use of group workbaskets and individual workbaskets (direct allocation of work items)
- Allocation support from proposals and search dialogs
- Separate allocation lists (individual allocation data/other allocation data)
- Use of reports and history for monitoring
- Flexible escalation structures
- Individual comments for each process stage
- Ability to create documents for supplier correspondence
- Parallel approval processes by allocating process instances to several employees at once
- Option to assign deputies
- Mobile access to process instances thanks to a state-of-the-art web interface
- Integration in Doxis4 clients: Doxis4 winCube and Doxis4 webCube
- SEPA-compatible: Supports both IBAN/BIC method and account numbers/sort codes
- Certified SAP interface
- Universal gateway for all other ERP systems (Universal ERP Connector)
- Flexible application – even in third-party archives
- Intuitive function for transferring process data into SAP GUI via Doxis4 SAP Remote Control