Easily scalable, simple cost control and no additional IT required: there are many reasons why cloud-based programs are becoming increasingly popular among companies. These software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions are today’s answer to the evolving work conditions in the era of New Work. After all, web-based working makes all participants free of spatial and time constraints and functions just as well in the office as it does at home, in a hotel or at the airport.
That’s why it makes sense to think about using a future-proof software solution right away, even when digitalizing invoice processing. In this blog post, you’ll learn about the specific benefits of a cloud-based invoice solution – we call it the Invoice Cloud – for processing incoming invoices and how companies can benefit from the cloud overall.
1. A Holistic Solution
Processing incoming invoices has an impact on many procedures and people. For example, someone has to check and reconcile data, move documents from A to B and issue approvals. All this must happen in accordance with certain rules resulting from compliance, accounting and other applicable regulations. With the Invoice Cloud, you unify the entire invoicing process holistically within a single application.
You can even use the software to control elements of invoice processing in a fine-grained way: from replacement rules and escalation management to a four or six-eye check of the invoice from a certain amount and fully automatic posting. These options also form part of an Invoice Cloud, enabling you to structure the invoice workflow specific to the cloud according to your requirements and even automate it partially or completely with further add-ons.
Automated accounts payable (AAP) processing
In this whitepaper, we show you ways to further reduce the throughput times of incoming invoices in digital incoming invoice management, while at the same time reducing the required workload to a minimum.
2. Bid Farewell to Media Disruptions
An invoice processing software solution specifically addresses one of the biggest problems that accounts payable departments in many companies still have to deal with today: heterogeneous invoice formats. After all, even if they as a company have digitalized their accounting in an exemplary manner, this smart process comes to a standstill if a supplier invoice is sent via email as a PDF or on paper by post.
The data must be cumbersomely typed or copy and pasted into the system. This requires time and becomes a stressful source of errors time and again. With the Invoice Cloud, this hassle becomes a thing of the past.
3. All Invoice Types Are Supported
By digitalizing invoice processing, you not only eliminate media discontinuities; you also create the greatest possible compatibility with all invoice formats. In addition to scanning paper-based invoices, the software also reads invoices directly from the email application and converts all relevant information into structured data for the accounting system by using intelligent self-learning algorithms: all relevant PDF formats are supported. It goes without saying that with the Invoice Cloud you’re also well equipped for the future. The software welcomes modern structured e-invoice formats such as XInvoice, ZUGFeRD and the like with open arms. After all, there’s no need to extract the data when reading these invoice formats as they are already machine-readable.
4. Better Overview of Invoice Management
Although processing incoming invoices is not a value-generating activity in and of itself, it is a compulsory task that should be completed with the highest precision and greatest efficiency. The Invoice Cloud supports you here with a tailored user experience in which different views are provided to the parties involved based on their respective roles.
Accordingly, the clerk will see different information than a department head who only has to intervene to approve your team’s invoices, or the managing director who is involved in the approval processes when the invoice amount exceeds a certain limit. By the way, all this works just as well on a company PC as it does on a laptop at home or a smartphone on a business trip.
5. Seamless Connection to Existing Systems
With the Invoice Cloud, you can seamlessly connect digitalized invoice processing to your existing IT infrastructure. This way, master data can be read into a shadow database via web services, scanned and approved documents can be transferred from the workflow into the ERP system, and workflow documents can be processed according to the respective standard logic. In the process, the Invoice Cloud gives you feedback on the progress of all processes and informs you as soon as errors or irregularities are detected.
How to find the right software solution for your invoice processing
This guide is aimed at companies facing change and looking for a suitable software solution for their invoice processing.
6. Greater Transparency
The Invoice Cloud not only simplifies collaboration for everyone involved; it also leads to greater transparency. This is because all employees involved have a simple and quick overview of all relevant information in their defined roles, e.g. the status of an invoice, its contents with items and totals, or its processing status within the created workflow. If any questions arise, everyone involved has the same level of knowledge about any issue pertaining to the incoming invoice process.
7. Automated Processes
With the help of the Invoice Cloud, you can automate processes and relieve your clerks of a great deal of work. To make this possible, simply set up the software so that the extracted invoice data is automatically checked for correctness and plausibility. In doing so, the cloud invoice program can also access data from your ERP system via an interface. This means a large proportion of the checks will run automatically in the background: from the individual line items and supplier data to checking the gross amount, the Invoice Cloud carries out many steps itself if desired.
8. Shorter Runtimes
Speaking of efficiency, the advantage of digitalizing invoice processing can also be expressed in concrete figures. While processing an incoming invoice on paper takes almost 27 minutes from receipt to approval of payment, including any necessary checks, e-invoices with a purchase order reference take an average of just 2:20 minutes. The reason? Using this advanced invoice format means only the approval and payment process steps require manual intervention.
9. Precise Mapping of Complete Workflows
By using software, you can digitalize invoice processing to fit your needs exactly. In other words, the Invoice Cloud maps the complete workflow associated with the processing of supplier invoices without carrying any baggage. This is in accordance with the motto: as much as necessary and as little as possible.
You can set up the Invoice Cloud so that it initially records and extracts the incoming invoices, taking into account your ERP system. During subsequent processing, you have the option to enter the invoice data in an invoice ledger and supplement the posting record, e.g. with missing information such as a cost center or a G/L account. The subsequent review and approval process adapts to your existing workflows, allowing you to define various parameters, such as multi-level review processes, value limits or automatic assignment, to specific users. Finally, each incoming invoice can be archived with the associated documents in an audit-proof manner.
10. Optimal Cost Control and Scalability
In the truest sense of the word, an invoice solution from the cloud is also worthwhile for you in terms of cost. This deployment model not only eliminates any follow-up costs for software maintenance; another benefit of cloud software is how easy it is to scale. With a subscription-based licensing model, you only pay when the software is actually used. This applies to both the runtime and the number of users in your company. In other words, you remain flexible at all times and have optimal cost control at the same time.
11. Well Equipped for the Future
Cloud solutions in combination with subscription models are on trend. According to the Bitkom Cloud Monitor [DE], an increasing number of companies are relying on this software model. This is because cloud software providers can adapt their products much more precisely and quickly to customers’ requirements and needs. For example, large providers such as Microsoft provide customers in Europe with cloud services hosted in local data centers in accordance with European law – and we at easy follow exactly the same approach with our cloud solutions such as easy invoice: maximum flexibility, maximum transparency, maximum security.