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The Best Practices in Invoice Processing

The world over, companies are seeking out ways that they can increase the efficiency within administrative functions while also reducing their costs. Automating invoice processing is a strong step towards saving precious time and the ability to redirect your employees on to more pressing, useful tasks.

Purchase Invoices

Usually, invoices arrive via paper form through the postal service or via email as an attachment. However, the quality can be lower than required for scanning. Most invoice processing systems employ optical character recognition, so it is absolutely necessary that you’re receiving quality invoices that are easily read in order to avoid misread invoices. It’s also imperative that you use quality scanning devices when inputting paper invoices in order to insure completely reliable optical character recognition. If a supplier is able to send digital invoices via email, that is the best route to take. This will save your business significant time.

How to Scan Multi-page Invoices

If your invoices arrive via snail-mail and you’re looking to scan them in a singular batch, there are multiple ways to achieve this. First, you could employ a separator sheet that’s either a blank sheet or barcoded and place it between every invoice. Otherwise, you could use a barcode sticker on the first page of each invoice to differentiate, or you may set the scanning software up in a way that separates the invoices based on certain keywords. While it can be a bit of trial and error to determine what works best for your business, but the final option will be the most time-efficient overall if you’re willing to put in the initial effort. However, if your invoices are digital, then this process will be simpler because every file can be identified as an individual new invoice.

Data That Needs to be Captured

This will depend on what exactly you’re planning to use the data for. If it’s solely to store the data for later, then you’ll simply need search data such as the invoice number, date, purchase order, etc.. If it will be imported directly into the accounting system, then you need to add all notable financial data and any data retrieved from external systems. This will include the cost code, VAT code and supplier reference. It is absolutely necessary that the invoice processing system also has the ability to auto-extract line item data if and when necessary.

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