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COST INVOICE
WORKFLOW

The implementation of electronic cost invoice flow in WEBCON BPS for Microsoft SharePoint
allows companies to reduce costs, improve control of expenses and improve the quality of assignment

THE MOST COMMON PATTERN OF A COST INVOICE WORKFLOW

A properly implemented document management system allows for correct registration and processing of all types of purchase invoices, including cost and material ones, as well as suitable value and quantity adjustments.

The most common pattern of a cost invoice flow in WEBCON Business Process Suite consists of the following stages:
  • registration and scanning of an incoming cost invoice
  • selection of document owner within the company
  • automatic or manual verification of the invoice to make sure it has been legitimately issued, followed by linking it with a requisition or order document, if possible
  • invoice approval carried out in accordance with the acceptance ladder (including acceptance limit amounts) financial and accounting assignment of the invoice (according to chart of accounts analytics)
  • invoice controlling assignment (based on analytical measurements)
  • accounting checkup before entering the invoice into the financial accounting system.


The above pattern can be freely developed and modified at the system implementation and maintenance stage, also if changes in flow procedures are implemented. 
KEY BUSINESS BENEFITS

Key business benefits associated with the implementation of electronic purchase invoice flow based on WEBCON Business Process Suite result from:
  • reducing the amount of time spent by a single employee on processing purchase invoices
  • streamlining document registration and document logistics inside the company: documents are electronically verified, approved and assigned, and physical movement of documents is eliminated
  • steady monitoring of the execution of individual stages of the flow, including automatic alerts or escalation (directing tasks to the superior) if deadlines are exceeded
  • enforcing costs approval procedures, including implementation of conditional approval (e.g. the Board’s approval is required only when limit amounts or budget assigned to an organizational unit (a cost center) in a given period are exceeded)
  • enforcing document assignment procedures: assignment that is not based on the measurements used by the company prevents user from processing the document further clear distribution of responsibility in consecutive steps of the flow and full transparency of the approval and assignment process
  • possibility to analyze system performance, individual steps and persons involved, which allows you to eliminate bottlenecks while improving process efficiency.
 

INTEGRATION WITH COMPANY TRANSACTION SYSTEMS



Proper integration with company transaction systems allows to base invoice registration and assignment processes on dictionaries used by these systems. Thus, a person registering a document links it automatically with a client from the ERP (or CRM) base, and a person entering analytical measurements into the document uses the cost center dictionary or another dictionary that is identical with the financial accounting system one.

In the final step of the purchase invoice flow the document is entered into the ERP or Financial Accounting system. WEBCON Business Process Suite offers integration towards a transaction system at the level of a programming interface (API) provided by the system (e.g. as a web service).

AUTOMATIC INVOICE REGISTRATION

Our and our customers’ experiences, supported by published studies on the effectiveness of document registration, show that very often manual registration of documents based on a physical 'piece of paper' turns out to be the most effective. It is only in the next step that the paper document is scanned, attached to its electronic version and made available for viewing in the subsequent steps of the cost invoice flow.



However, in certain circumstances it may turn out that it is cheaper and faster to scan documents first and then complete the form fields automatically (based on OCR). It happens when:
  • a lot of documents are registered, for example at the end of the month, while during the rest of the month very few need registration (so it is unprofitable to hire a large number of people to handle the end-of-the-month ‘peak time’ registration, as there will be little work for them to do in the remaining time) – the way accounting offices work could be a good example here.
  • a relatively large number of documents from single suppliers are registered: if the turnover from several suppliers makes up several dozen percent of all purchasing documents, you may want to create OCR templates for them that will allow you to correctly register documents from these suppliers (it is important to note that such templates must be maintained so as to handle invoices from the supplier in case there is a change in sales invoice print on their side, etc). In this case you may want to consider switching to electronic data interchange (EDI).
     
ESSENTIAL FEATURES OF WEBCON BUSINESS PROCESS SUITE
In the context of handling invoice flows, the essential WEBCON Business Process Suite features include:
 
  • barcode and scanner support (including OCR)
  • possibility to model any invoice assignment flow, including multi-level assignment which takes into account chart of accounts analytics, analytical descriptions (measurements), CAPEX, OPEX, etc.
  • possibility to model any invoice approval flow, including a multilevel conditional flow which takes into account invoice parameters (e.g. limit amounts, cost categories, etc.)
  • effective change management, including efficient support of temporary replacements and possibility to delegate tasks
  • possibility to modify the existing flow in case of changes in business practices, including modifications made by the IT department on the client side
  • full monitoring of the registered and processed invoices, including the history of approvals and implemented changes
  • automatic alerts that notify you of an upcoming due date in case of lack of payment
  • reporting of the processes, including identification of bottlenecks (steps and persons restraining the approval and assignment process).
  • integration with company IT systems in order to use their dictionaries (e.g. ERP dictionary of external suppliers) and record cost invoices in the ERP system.
  • handling large volumes of data and large numbers of employees.
 
Do you have any questions?
Contact me:
lukas[at]webcon.com
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