Many companies have already partially digitalized and automated their operational processes in purchasing and accounting. Processes that are only performed manually and on paper are now few and far between. It‘s now easy to find examples of how digitalization and automation work in practice, especially in the area of invoice processing. When invoices arrive at a company, information from invoice documents is no longer typed in. Rather, it is extracted by OCR and then automatically transferred to the ERP system. In a process that starts this way, the steps for checking and release then proceed by way of a workflow.
These measures mean a significant reduction of the effort required for processing inbound invoices. They also mean that the lead time, i.e., the time span from the receipt of an invoice at a company up to the time it is posted in the ERP system, is considerably reduced. In fact, it is quite realistic to assume that lead times will be cut in half.
When a company has successfully introduced a solution for automating its invoice processing, questions often come up:
• What is the next step?
• How can we further automate processes?
• How can we bring down effort even more and simultaneously reduce lead time?
Which brings us to the primary question addressed in this white paper: How can we bring automation of invoice processing to the next level — and is it even possible to bring it to the point of full automation, i.e., to the point of posting invoices in the background?
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