Any stage in the accounts process that involves manual activity acts as a drag on efficiency and profitability so it”s no surprise that SAP users are turning their attention to extending process automation beyond core processes to traditionally paper-intensive areas such as procurement and invoice processing.
If financial data from documents such as orders, invoices and goods received notes is taken into digital form that is usable in SAP core and management systems, it”s possible to be more efficient.
So what benefits would your organisation see from automating invoice processing and what impact would it have on IT infrastructure and operations?
In a full e-invoicing environment, automation can bring about cost savings of up to 95 per cent.
Automating invoice processing helps reduce operational expenditure by reducing the need for manual intervention to a minimum, delivering tangible cost savings and measurable efficiency gains.
Another key consideration for the finance department is clarity and the ability to plan and forecast. An invoice automation solution can unlock valuable business data, giving a clear picture of events, enabling better planning and easier identification of further savings opportunities.
What”s needed is a solution that fits snugly into the SAP picture and keeps the rest of the SAP implementation in its vanilla state. There are two ways of approaching this – to use a tool installed inside SAP or to use an SAP-accredited third party tool.
Solutions that operate from within the SAP environment need to be professionally installed, integrated and maintained by SAP engineers.
The time and cost involved in implementing an internal SAP invoice processing tool is why many companies opt for a third party system that is a module of a state of the art purchase-to-pay solution.
SAP has well defined interfaces to support SAP-accredited tools and systems operating outside the SAP environment. This way, you get a focussed invoice automation solution delivering business benefits and extending automation yet operating independently from SAP, unaffected by SAP upgrades for greater operational stability.
Bernd Kosnar is a director at Basware