Electronic invoices provide an important means of reducing the costs of processing, sending, distributing and maintaining invoices, resulting in a simplification of administrative procedures and a considerable reduction in the amount of time and space consumed, as the invoices are transmitted through telematic means, accomplished by applying technical certification mechanisms (electronic signatures), which guarantee the basic elements required in any invoice (the authenticity of its origin and integrity of its content) and allow them to be maintained in digital format, which affords immediate access to them at any given moment.
Integrated retrieval _ Invoices can be retrieved from IMS at any stage, the full audit trail and a history of the workflow determines exactly where in the process each invoice is. It is also possible to retrieve invoices directly from their ERP system due to the integration with IMS. The full audit trail is vital as they have to comply with Sarbanes Oxley legislation. The IMS solution is used to assist in this compliance, with the audit trail providing a complete history of the lifecycle of each document.
How the AP department has been automated _ Paper invoices entering the AP department are now scanned into the IMS (Invoice Management Solution) system. Using Automated Data Capture technologies, the header information, such as invoice total, supplier name, etc, is automatically read from the invoice. The integration between IMS and the ERP then enables this data to be populated directly to register the invoice in the financial system, with minimal manual data entry required. If IMS does not recognise the vendor, workflow automatically sends this as a query to the business user, who can then select whether this is a new vendor to be set up in the ERP or is just a one_off vendor. The integration between IMS and the ERP triggers the creation of the appropriate vendor. This ensures that delays are not created with unknown vendors and speeds up the process of adding new vendors to the finance system. Automatic pre matching: Invoices that are associated with a Purchase Order (PO) are now matched in the ERP within a tolerance. Any invoices that fail to successfully match the PO are automatically routed to the procurer using workflow, for resolution using IMS.