As more companies move to adopt e-invoicing they often discover the complexity of invoice types and formats that they receive can not only be a hindrance, but have considerable cost implications, particularly for companies receiving large volumes of e-invoices in XML format. Despite this, XML is attractive because exceptions are highly uncommon, making straight-through processing a reality.
The XML message format for e-invoices has been used since the inception of XML in 1998, with standards in place since 2001, and yet companies receiving XML invoices still run into limitations and problems when attempting to connect to an EDI to enable XML invoice automation. Common issues include all invoices in one message must be from the same supplier and supplier site; custom code conversions must be defined as part of trading partner setup; invoices in one message are limited to one organisation and tax groups may not be supported. Also, suppliers need to generate XML invoices that comply with the relevant standards to ensure that these invoices can be received through the EDI and then processed.
As a result companies receiving XML invoices typically spend a large amount of money setting up and maintaining XML invoice automation. The cost to start up is estimated to be around £150-£200 for each supplier and may include monthly charges and/or volume-based fees.
Based on ReadSoft’s experience, for every 1,000 invoices there are approximately 200 suppliers in a typical mid-sized company, so outlay can quickly climb from £40k to more than a £1 million in a larger organisation.
In response ReadSoft has developed a more efficient and cost effective way to process complex XML invoices with multi-channel capture. Enabled for all important financial documents, ReadSoft can fully integrate straight-through processing within organisations’ existing systems. The new capabilities included in INVOICES 5-7 will help businesses achieve greater automation rates and make it even easier to adopt e-invoicing.
All e-invoices (image, PDF, and XML) are processed in the same way as paper invoices, scanned, digitized, and data automatically extracted. Attachments are processed to separate invoices within a document or sort out junk emails; critical invoice data and line-item details are quickly and accurately extracted; while first-time suppliers are identified from master data. The SmartXML technology processes any XML format and standard, including Svefaktura, Finvoice, OIOXML, OLOUBL, and E2B.
Invoice information, including barcodes, and other supplier-specific data, is captured and validated against available purchase order, goods receipt, and master data, with automated checking of sums, supplier data, dates, and tax amounts. Once validated the invoice data enters resolution workflow, where any discrepancies and missing information are flagged for user verification. Exceptions are routed to a workflow integrated within the ERP for resolution.
With enhanced self-learning technology which retains knowledge from supplier-specific invoices, the software will automatically correct recognised errors, so accounts payable staff only need to validate invoices with exceptions. But with extremely accurate data extraction there is a considerable increase in straight-through processing as most XML invoices can be processed without any human intervention.
With the expanded capability to automatically process complex XML invoices, businesses can achieve significant benefits from AP efficiency in terms of flexibility and cutting the set up and administration costs usually required for handling new invoice types and formats.
Click to learn more about INVOICES from ReadSoft.