Traditional invoicing methods are prone to error and time-consuming. In today's agile business environment, companies that still rely on old methods and manual data entry are falling behind. Fortunately, making the switch to automated invoicing is easy. Even better, it delivers recognized ROI immediately.
Invoice automation enables enterprises to save money, time, and resources. Businesses utilizing Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solutions for invoicing are streamlining their workflow, eliminating manual data entry, easily managing billing documents, reducing errors, improving security, and matching prices rapidly.
RPA uses digital “bots” to execute repetitive, data-driven tasks through existing software systems; this helps in processing invoices faster, more accurately, and at a lower cost. Various industries rely on RPA to automate a range of business processes, including invoice processing.
An Accenture survey states that 82% of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) report quantifiable ROI in automation tools like RPA. But when it comes to leveraging RPA bots for invoice process automation, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. RPA specialists help every business create a roadmap that fits their unique processes and here’s a general model of the steps involved in automating invoice processing using RPA-
Invoice Processing With RPA
The software bots are digital applications that operate existing systems through their user interfaces, imitating a human worker. This makes hard-coded software integrations obsolete since RPA is faster and cheaper to implement. To process an invoice, RPA bots typically take the following steps:
1. Locate invoices:
Invoices are received through many paths. Invoice processing with RPA trains the bot to retrieve these invoices, whether it's through email accounts, a dedicated vendor portal, or an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
2. Extract relevant data:
After the invoices are identified by the bots, it is then scanned and organized to be copied accurately into other systems and applications (like accounting software or ERP). Data recognition often needs AI components, like Natural Language Processing (NLP) or computer vision, i.e, agile cognitive capabilities enabling bots to sort and identify prime data regardless of the invoice format.
3. Match invoices:
Bots contrast line items between related documents and invoices, like receipts of goods or purchase orders. They validate the data on both ends and send out notifications to vendors if they run into any mismatches.
4. Request approval:
Bots direct invoices to the involved manager for approval and send notifications when payment deadlines are nearing. They further process payments after approval. For routine payments, they even execute the whole process without manual intervention.
5. Payments update to ERPs:
Once the invoices are approved and paid, software bots post the payments to the ERP, providing accurate data and creating a detailed audit log at every step.
Benefits of automating your invoice process
Implementing RPA to automate invoicing offers businesses a wide range of benefits. These benefits vary depending on the type of business, but here are several that remain constant across all verticals-
- Reduced errors: Eliminating manual data entry reduces errors that can otherwise cost organizations money and jeopardize customer relations.
- Faster processing: RPA helps companies streamline the invoice process by sending and collecting payments promptly while eliminating cash flow problems.
- Reduced costs: RPA allows companies to handle high volumes of data without increasing the headcount, allowing existing employees to concentrate on value-added tasks.
- Decreased environmental impact: With invoice automation, companies achieve green goals by eliminating paper wastage, which fosters goodwill in the community.
- Improved customer relationship: In this digital era, most consumers are accustomed to doing everything online, and automating invoices allows them to view and pay the same in just a couple of steps rather than waiting to receive invoices through the mail or some other traditional method.
To automate invoice processing using RPA, bots must edge into broader workflows, which entails an automation platform such as Hyperautomation. Bots additionally need Artificial Intelligence (AI) components like Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) to perform complex tasks within the invoice processing workflows and improve performance over time.
How can Neebal help?
Neebal’s RPA capabilities have helped a leading Bank automate business processes, eliminate human-induced errors and facilitate digital transformation rapidly. We increased efficiency and productivity by automating manual business processes with bots. This helped the Bank in mitigating tedious processes and eliminating human errors while streamlining trade operations. Read the full case study here.