Companies have long recognized the opportunities in using digital processes. With incoming invoices it’s no wonder, because the volume of invoices is increasing steadily. To put it plainly, what advantages does an incoming invoice solution like this offer? What factors do companies need to consider when introducing it? Read more about it from the practical experience of a small to mid-sized company.
1. What advantages can be expected from a digital invoice workflow adapted to meet company needs?
Today, invoices arrive in a company in a wide variety of types. Whether paper or as a PDF attached to an email. Recording these incoming invoices by hand not only means an enormous expenditure of time, but also high costs. Both are reduced to a minimum by an incoming invoice solution.
2.What role does observing the legal GoBD play?
The GoBD (German Principles of Orderly Accounting and Storage of Accounts, Drawings and Documents in Electronic Form and for Data Access) directs that all correspondence that a company prepares, processes, transacts, or rescinds must also be archived. The workflow for digital incoming invoices must take this point into consideration and also offer an interface for a legally compliant archiving solution.
3. In what regard can a company benefit from the digitization of the incoming invoice process?
Thanks to the increased efficiency of the cycle and processing times, it is possible to develop resources and free space in all participating departments. This time could be used to realize new ideas and optimize processes. This will significantly increase a company’s agility.
4. Costs for recurring processes can be significantly reduced by an incoming invoice workflow. What other processes in a company are relevant in this regard?
An example of another relevant process is the Intrastat message with the transmission of the data to FORMAT software. Incoming invoices can often be automatically or manually enhanced with Intrastat-respective data and transmitted to the software as a dataset. In that case, a manual creation would be unnecessary. That saves time.
Purchase requisitions. This process can also be represented as a workflow. Procurement requests for goods or even office supplies are recorded in the EASY workflow and forwarded to the appropriate department manager or cost center administrator for approval. After successful approval, an order is then generated and the requester is informed. The digitization of this process reduces the cycle times and the processing time in accounts payable overall.
The greater transparency in the approval and release process enables the participating departments to retrace at any time who currently has an invoice and what its processing status is.
5. What functionalities should an incoming invoice solution ideally have?
The solution should record all incoming invoices and extract all relevant data. Invoices which do not comply with §14 UStG must be automatically rejected by the system. The sender is automatically informed of this.
The approval and release process controls the system transparently, but an intervention in the workflow must be possible at any time. The process in which an invoice is currently in must also be apparent; a cockpit should provide information at any time which invoices are currently in which process step. An analysis of open posts, actual cash discount days, and invoice cycle times is also necessary.
DATEV: It is also advantageous if the invoice solution is able to call up creditor master data from a DATEV system. These data must be compared with the invoice and then transmitted with the information from the workflow to the bookkeeping system as a posting record. Finally, all of this must be able to be stored in a revision-proof form.
6. Since the invoice volume is constantly increasing and further information also enhances the process, is it a good idea for a company to provide the information digitally?
The digitization of this information is a very good idea for many reasons. For one thing, the search for information in these documents is significantly simplified. A physical trip to the invoice archive is no longer necessary, and all the information is available at the touch of a button. For another, this saves significant space and resources – employees can devote their time to more productive things, and file folders, file cabinets, and file rooms are not needed.