Invoice processing in many companies is often a labor-intensive process that is laden with human errors, remiss of collaboration and prone to higher risk of fraud. It is a process that leads companies to waste time and resources in fixing problems that could have been avoided with better workflows and controls.
The Stampli automated invoice processing system shifts the AP process from a series of repetitive manual tasks that are error-prone, to a process that is fully tracked and controlled with the assistance of smart technologies. Our system uses an Artificial Intelligence robot known as Billy the Bot. Billy helps streamline AP processing by automating invoice capture, coding, and approval workflows. Billy can also help companies identify potential fraud and alert the appropriate parties to investigate further. Billy continually learns your company’s accounting flows by providing smart suggestions for invoice routing, and notifies the necessary approvers of outstanding actions waiting in their queue.
This streamlines collaboration by providing a place where anyone involved in the approval process can view and comment on the same invoice (or bill). That means employees and vendors can quickly communicate to resolve issues all in one location. AP managers will also find Billy’s assistance useful when it comes to obtaining a birds-eye view of everything taking place in their department. The increased levels of visibility and control over the AP process helps foster accountability in addition to moving invoices through the process quicker. Here is more information on Billy the Bot and how this tool can help streamline your AP process.
With Stampli, invoice or bill capture is as simple as sending an email. Your company is provided its own email alias that vendors send their digital invoices to. Stampli can also support the ability to route invoices to different individuals, divisions, or groups.
Once an invoice arrives, Billy instantly extracts data from your invoice and makes it available in real-time. Billy is constantly learning your financial and managerial accounting processes, recognizing patterns and then suggesting the actions or entries that need to be made for the new invoice. Invoice processing is streamlined by automating the entry of GL codes, cost codes, and determining the necessary approvers and assigning them to the invoice. By taking on data entry, Billy eliminates human input errors and provides more accurate coding and faster decisions by identifying the right approvers.
If your company uses an accounting system or ERP (enterprise resource planning) platform for purchase orders, Billy can locate those purchase orders in your accounting system and make them easily accessible. This also assists in three-way matching efforts by establishing a clear link between what was ordered and what was billed.
Stampli captures every change on the invoices so every field update, approval or comment is tracked and can be later accessible via the advanced search.
Invoice processing collaboration is often disjointed, limited or worse yet non-existent. It is a problem that often leads to late payments as invoices sit waiting on approvals, answers to outstanding questions or verification of the information. Stampli alleviates this problem by incorporating communication right on top of the invoice. That way, anyone involved in the process can view the document, add comments, ask questions and approve from the same location.
Given the level of collaboration that may be required for AP approvals, Stampli allows for unlimited basic users. As a result, you can ensure that invoices get the level of visibility for all parties to make for a quicker turnaround time.
Stampli adapts to any dynamic approval process and identifies the right people needed for a decision, further reducing the invoice processing time. If approvers have questions or require additional information, they can do so by asking the appropriate parties on the invoice itself. Additionally, Billy takes care of the reminders by sending notifications to approvers of a pending invoice or outstanding question.
Another key feature is that Stampli connects stakeholders and vendors during the collaboration process. There are two ways vendors interact with Stampli. The first comes through an email invitation to the Stampli Vendor Portal where they can see the status of their invoices. The Vendor Portal provides visibility where they can see when invoices were received and be assured, they are being processed – reducing hours of phone calls between vendors and AP staff. The second way a vendor can interact with Stampli is through an invoice when invited to resolve a question.
Manual invoice processing places companies at a greater risk of missing the signs of fraud. Fraud schemes are becoming more sophisticated, which increases the amount of effort and knowledge required to spot it. Also, given the time constraints and the sheer number of invoices processed each day, employees simply can’t give each document the review necessary to spot the red flags. Thus, companies often go months and lose thousands of dollars on phony invoices before the problem is identified.
Billy the Bot takes a significant role in detecting fraud so that your team can focus on other items. Once an invoice arrives in the automated invoice processing system, Billy reviews the information on the invoice and compares it to a set of criteria to determine the validity of the form. For instance, Billy flags duplicate invoices and also provides access to past vendor invoices so excessive invoices or inflated bills can be easily identified.
Management Dashboards, Reports, and Inboxes
Stampli is more than an automated invoice processing system. Our powerful Management Dashboard provide key metrics to gauge the efficiencies of a company’s AP processes using intuitive graphs and reports. The Management Dashboard also provides metrics to easily see and track invoices processed, time spent by approvers, and even forecasts of payments that will be late vs on time.
Leaders within the organization can use the dashboard to monitor invoice processing timeliness of approvals and identify laggards. Furthermore, AP Processors are always in control and can recall invoices that are in the middle of being processed (i.e. being coded, being approved).
All approvers have their own inbox that gives them insight into the invoices currently awaiting their attention as well as past invoices. This level of visibility into the invoice processing workflow keeps employees aware of what is outstanding, thereby helping to reduce processing time.
When companies think of moving to automated invoice processing, there is often dread of a lengthy implementation process that involves setting up new databases, data conversion and extensive user training. Not with us. Getting setup is a quick and easy process that takes less than a day.
Companies looking to switch to automated invoice processing sometimes worry about losing their capital investment when an AP platform might not meet any processes or business requirement changes. We allow you to keep your AP process in place, even as your financial systems change as you grow. Moreover, we work alongside any existing accounting system, ERP, and even welcomes exception handling. This enables your team to keep working in a familiar way.
The Stampli interface is simple, intuitive and requires no training. Your team can quickly and easily get more done with less time spent on manual processes. Each view is customized to the user’s specific role in the process to not overwhelm them with anything they don’t need to act on. AP Processors have the most permissions where they can authorize approved invoices for payments, edit invoice fields, revise approvers, cancel invoices, and be assigned to other advanced capabilities.
Our automated invoice processing software makes a once cumbersome process quick, easy and more accurate by combing the power of collaboration with AI. By automating these tasks, Billy the Bot frees employees to focus on more strategic efforts like optimizing early payment discounts and improving AP employee satisfaction. When AP is happy, everyone is happy! Talk with one of our AP experts to learn how we can make invoice approval five times faster at your company.