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.
In order to comply with regulations and ensure that an electronic invoice has the same legal validity as a paper invoice, the corresponding electronic document must contain the same mandatory fields as any other invoice, must be signed with an electronic signature based on a recognized certificate and must be sent from one computer to another with the parties' mutual consent. This combination of factors provides a Telematic Invoice with sufficient reliability so as to indisputably guarantee its integrity and the authenticity of its origin.
One of the key strengths of the automated invoice processing operation is the tight integration between their finance system and IMS. This is based on a transfer of Shared Reference Data that happens nightly that ensures each system contains the most up to date information e.g. PO numbers, GL codes and new vendors. The outcome of automation _ The new invoice processing solution has considerably automated the AP department, this is resulting in an increase in control over the process. At the end of each month, the ERP system produces an AP Log report that lists all the invoices that are with the business users. It is expected that the slicker and faster process will lead to a considerable reduction in the number of items on this log.