Invoice Processing using a Smart RDA solution
The Accounts Payable team of a leading Nutrition company headquartered in Europe had the following challenges while processing their inward invoices:
- The Accounts Payable department required multiple approvals before initiating payments, with the nature of these approvals determined based on the data within the invoices.
- There was no clear system to identify the current invoice status.
- Manual processing of high volumes of invoices.
- Invoices are heterogeneous and with unstructured formats from multiple vendors..
- Invoices are received daily through various channels, including email, paper, courier, and other electronic data streams.
- High manual errors in processing invoices, segregating duplicate invoices, extended processing time, and high cost of operations.
The customer wanted a seamless solution without changing their existing process, thereby not burdening their employees to learn new tools and technologies. The required solution should achieve the following objectives.
- Streamline the invoice approval system.
- Provide a better tracking mechanism for vendors to track their invoices.
- Provide faster response to vendors and thus improve vendor relations.
- Reduce manual errors.
- Improve staff productivity by reducing their mundane boredom tasks.
- Reduce operation costs by decreasing resources needed for manual processes.
A solution incorporating RDA (Robotic Desktop Automation) was implemented to optimize their invoice processing workflow. This solution engaged relevant stakeholders using BPA (Business Process Automation) principles. It introduced RPA (Robotic Process Automation) bots to manage the substantial influx of invoices efficiently and employed AI to extract data from digitalized invoices. The RPA bots played a pivotal role in validating and verifying invoice data, expediting the review process for approvers who could swiftly decide on invoice approval or rejection. Additionally, these bots were seamlessly integrated with their existing ERP system. The solution was meticulously designed, defining the invoice processing workflow through the IntelliBuddies Workflow Designer. It harnessed the power of IntelliBuddies® Smart Buddy to automate various tasks and utilized IntelliBuddies® Invoice Extractor Cognitive Services to extract data from digital invoices accurately. In summary, the solution achieved the following objectives:
- Streamlined the entire workflow, from initial invoice receipt to the final stages of payment and archiving.
- Facilitated the processing of invoices received through email or other specified channels.
- Leveraged IntelliInvoice Cognitive Services provided by IntelliBuddies® for efficient invoice data extraction.
- Initiated approval workflows for each invoice processed, seamlessly integrating them into the Tracker system.
- Enhanced stakeholder communication by delivering task-specific email notifications from IntelliBuddies®, containing links to corresponding tasks and associated invoices.
- Upon receiving approvals from all stakeholders, the Buddy component submitted the invoice into the existing ERP system for payment release.
- Effectively routed exceptions to human agents for resolution, with the system learning from their actions for continuous improvement.
The solution not only met all the objectives set but also further provided insights on streamlining their existing process for optimization.
- An end-to-end streamlined and standardized Invoice Processing system.
- Significant reduction in the number of FTEs needed in the process.
- Reduction in the amount of incorrect data generated due to human errors.
- Significant improvement in terms of process accuracy.
- Reduction in the number of helpdesk queries from their Vendors.
The implementation of RPA and BPA workflows for invoice processing has had a profound impact on our productivity. By automating the repetitive and time-consuming tasks involved in data entry and verification, our team can now process invoices at a much faster rate, leading to a significant reduction in processing time. Moreover, the decreased reliance on manual data entry has minimized the occurrence of human errors, resulting in a more accurate and reliable invoicing process. This efficiency has allowed our team members to redirect their focus towards more strategic initiatives, fostering a culture of innovation and growth within our organization