It’s a typical day for an Accounts Payable Manager. Papers are stacked high with paper invoices that seem to replace themselves in unending supply.

Your boss wants you to assure that the company can access discounts with vendors, but after hours of trying to figure out which vendors provide discounts and what they are, current processes make that goal seem unlikely. The Accounts Payable Specialists are in revolt after another week of overtime spent chasing documents and manually processing stacks of invoices high enough to challenge a mountain climber. To make matters worse, the head of Operations just transferred a call from her most important production supplier who is threatening to stop vital shipments due to late payments.

If that scenario seems like a normal Tuesday in Accounts Payable, it is time to learn “The ABCs of Invoice Processing Software” by Ephesoft.

Ephesoft Transact software uses patented, smart document capture technology that can make you the hero of your company by automating processes and reducing costs. (Check out this link to see how Ephesoft Transact promotes you to cape-wearing corporate savior.) Ephesoft Transact’s robust functionality and supervised machine learning capability reduces or eliminates the top efficiency-killers of any Accounts Payable department:

  • manual data entry;
  • manual invoice approval;
  • lost or missing invoices;
  • loss of prompt payment discounts;
  • duplicate payments;
  • paper invoices;
  • storage space; and,
  • the inability to capture valuable data.

In fact, with streamlined processes, a recent case study shows that Ephesoft’s solutions can contribute to innovative payment methods which convert Accounts Payable into a revenue-generating department.

That sounds better than Ice Cream Fridays, right?

Moving from concept to reality in the implementation of invoice processing software can be a challenge, but with Ephesoft’s unmatched support, better processes are closer than you think. Let’s consider the ABCs – the fundamentals of preparing and deploying your Ephesoft strategy.

Assess your needs. Before moving forward with any new software, it is important to consider the impact on resources and operations. Here are some initial questions to consider:

  • What is the budgetary impact and ROI?
  • What volume of invoices does your company receive a year?
  • Will the software integrate with your ERP?
  • Is the software scalable for a growing organization and for use in other departments?

Preparation and timing are everything. While Ephesoft is poised to help immediately, the move to Ephesoft Transact will take some research and thoughtful planning on your part. Leadership teams want to know how invoice processing software will hit the bottom line and reduce costs, so be prepared to present them with facts about the software and what it can do in the cause of higher margins and efficiency. The Information Technology department will want to know how the purchase impacts their budget and may need to push the schedule for implementation to fit with other projects. Depending on the preferred method of deployment for your business, it may take time to incorporate Ephesoft Transact in the overall financial picture as either a capital expense or as a web-based subscription service with costs distributed in operational budgets.    

In the meantime, gather a project team from departments like Finance, Accounts Payable and Operations who can help build the case for invoice processing software. Start by examining the current flow of invoices coming from each department to learn how they arrive and who handles them. Where are the holes in the process that invoice processing software may fill? How many payroll hours could be saved in Accounts Payable and company-wide by using Ephesoft’s smart document capture platform?

Consider the data that must be extracted from the documents that regularly come to Accounts Payable, like Invoice Number and Purchase Order Number, but also consider the data that could be extracted from the documents that are regularly submitted. Ephesoft Transact can capture structured and unstructured content contained in your documents. It can “learn” to recognize different types of documents with different layouts, classify them and extract data. Chances are, the data that is in the unstructured or unused portions of the documents can populate reports that shed light on cash flow, possible discounts, timely payment and more.

Ephesoft’s invoice processing software can be housed on-premise or deployed as a cloud-based application. That is great information if you are John over in IT, but what does that mean in layman’s terms? That means that depending on the preferences of your organization, the software and images can be stored on computers within your walls or kept remotely at a server farm or other secure data center that replaces the need for your organization to provide money and personnel to manage IT infrastructure.

Ephesoft’s solution accepts invoices from multiple sources, including:

  • scanners;
  • multi-function peripherals (MFPs);
  • faxes;
  • email; and,
  • mobile devices

Expedited processing from electronic sources eliminates the need for paper invoice tracking, processing through a company mailroom, or routing from other company locations. Whether your enterprise has a single location or multiple locations, the scalable workflow will make a positive impact on processes.

Build support. The introduction of new software requires changes to established processes and routines in multiple business units. People need to have time to consider and accept the ways that the software will make them better at their jobs. You will need to build support from the executive offices down to the mailroom. Transition planning (how and when you plan to implement the project and train staff on the new process) and projected cost savings would be key points to make when meeting with these groups. Ephesoft’s Sales team (you can contact them here) can help by providing a demo of the software to key stakeholders.

While you and I may know that the software delivers on streamlined document processing and Transact’s scalability means it can handle any volume thrown at it, take the advice of a certified project manager who has implemented invoice processing software in the past: introduce the changes in closely managed phases that provide both data-driven results as well as the comfort-level needed to build consensus among leaders and employees alike. In other words, choosing the largest or smallest volumes and sources within your company may not be the best idea. Instead, choose a segment of your business that produces enough invoices to have credible results, but whose inclusion in the pilot will not disrupt other areas of the business.

Once you have published the results of the early phases of implementation and have been given the green light to roll on more invoices into the Ephesoft Transact platform, it is time to prove to let the simplicity of workflow complete its magic.

Capture your documents. Ephesoft workflow has only six steps:

  • Ingestion
  • Image Processing
  • Classification
  • Extraction
  • Validation
  • Export and Deliver

The software automatically moves documents from Ingestion to Export with little or no human intervention. Touchpoints for your company include the method of delivery to the software (Ingestion) and review of documents that have been flagged with exceptions (Validation). You can set confidence levels in the software that cause certain pieces of information to be validated by staff to avoid errors that could get transferred to your downstream systems. Setting itself apart from other similar software solutions, your team can even click on a structured section of the document to replace the missing or “exception” data with what appears in the image!

Yes, it really is that simple.

Are you ready to improve that view at your desk? By working the ABCs of Invoice Processing Software by Ephesoft into your plans for automation of your Accounts Payable processes, your boss will be eyeing you for promotion before you know it.