Q: We receive an increasing number of invoices via email as attachments, do we have to print these and then scan – it sounds like a lot of work?
No, FIS/fci can take the attachments and process them without the need for scanning. This is an ideal solution because invoice data can be extracted without any human intervention. In addition, the invoices are normally created directly from an ERP system and this makes the reading of the invoice data easier as fidelity and accuracy is not lost through the scanning process.
Q: What about recognition rates, how many invoices need manual corrections?
There can be a large variance in recognition rates and this is largely down to factors such as whether header (i.e. supplier, PO number, invoice number, total net etc) or lines (description, unit cost, number of units, net cost of line etc) are required. Typically rates of 90% + are common. The knowledge database always improves the recognition rates from the initial free-form recognition methods. FIS/fci uses a form of machine learning – becoming more accurate at reading data as the number of invoices increases.
Q: This sounds good but some invoices are in handwriting, how does the system cope?
If the software cannot identify any field, it passes the invoice to an operator. With handwritten invoices the software can normally find the supplier details but generally is not able to extract the data accurately when not in printed text.
Q: Do I have to draw templates for every supplier; I have thousands of active suppliers?
No, this will take forever and is dated technology. The free-form recognition technology means that this manual intensive operation is not needed. The software works from day one.
Q: How do I know if the invoice matches with what we ordered?
The FIS/fci process is only really concerned with accurate and rapid extraction of the data from the invoice. FIS have additional solutions for line level matching and exception handling – such as the SAP integrated software invoice processing software, FIS/edc (invoice monitor).
Q:Which other documents can be read?
Any semi-structured document can be read using this type of technology – sales orders, delivery notes from suppliers, vendor statements, payment advice notes etc. For organisations with SAP there is a corresponding “monitor” to ensure rapid posting and identify exceptions – which are processed with a powerful tool set.
Q: We were told that we need to put a barcode on every invoice for identification processes?
No, this is not necessary. It also takes up more time, cost and effort.
Q: What happens when we move from SAP ECC6 to SAP S/4HANA?
FIS have two parallel developments – FIS/edc (invoice monitor) for SAP ECC6 and FIS/edc (invoice monitor) for S/4HANA. The latter is sometimes referred to as FIS/edc (NextGeneration). The two softwares are virtually identical in appearance but the code itself is very different. When you upgrade to S/4HANA you will also need new licenses from FIS. Professional Services will be needed to install the new FIS/edc version.
Q: What is a typical return on investment (ROI) for the technology?
Obviously all instances are different but ROI’s of 6 months are not uncommon – particularly if there is a high level of emailed attachments.
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