FIS EDC invoice processing diagram

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Key OCR invoice reading technologies and functionality

A combination of advanced technologies work in combination ensuring that invoice data is read accurately. FIS / fci uses validation and feasibility checks prior to the data export to SAP or Financials.

Introduction
The video highlights some of the advanced technologies that are applied to the task of automated invoice data extraction.
The technologies ensure that invoices are correctly classified and the data quality is maintained, prior to transfer to SAP / ERP.
The technologies free-up time for the AP team by eliminating or significantly reducing labour intensive tasks.
Who is it for?
For organisations with SAP ERP (ECC 6 or S/4 HANA) who wish to:
  • Replace time consuming tasks such as processing invoices received via emailed attachments
  • Improve the invoice data quality in SAP  by utilising reference tables from SAP for company code identification, PO validation, current tax values, and supplier identification
  • Relieve the AP Team from mundane tasks such as data entry and bar-code additions to invoices
  • Make savings by reducing invoice processing costs whilst making a significant improvement in SAP invoice data quality
  • Improve the task quality and workload volume for the AP team
Key Information:
Functions of OCR Reader and Integrated Invoice Processing
Emailed Invoices automatically forwarded to FIS / fci , the invoice reading component, and then archived for retrieval in SAP / ERP - no need for manual tasks such as printing, scanning and keying in invoice data
Multiple OCR engines are used and the data read is compared against all engines to support the data quality -  ensures data quality by highlighting data that could have errors
Invoice classification confirmed against standard tables in SAP / ERP to confirm or highlight potential errors in the invoice data
"Fuzzy logic" is used for comparing invoice data (i.e. supplier recognition) with reference data to compensate for inexact data on the invoice or within the SAP master data
Freeform recognition technology – automatically hunts for data in the vicinity of keywords to extract the key invoice data from day-one
Intelligent Knowledge Base – is used to extract the key invoice data by statistical analysis of the co-ordinates of previous successfully read invoices for each supplier.
 

 

 

 
schematic diagram working from home with FIS

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Automated Invoice reading from day one

FIS invoice recognition software checks data for potential errors prior to the export to SAP/Financials. The OCR reading includes an intelligent knowledge-base function so that new invoices are read correctly without intervention.

Introduction
By introducing technology to automate manual tasks and check for potential errors, the invoice reading process becomes more efficient and the quality of the key invoice data is improved. Accounts Payable Teams will benefit from the reduced number of mundane tasks such as manual data keying and pre-SAP classification of invoices.
FIS invoice reading technology (FIS / fci) is a stand alone or hosted application and although designed to work with SAP (ECC 6 or S/4HANA) can also be configured for other ERPs or Financials software.
Who is it for?
For organisations who wish to:
  • Replace the mundane, manual tasks of their accounts payable teams and replace them with technologies that automate the reading of invoice data
  • Remove labour intensive and expensive stages of invoice classification by eliminating the need for bar-code label additions to invoices
  • Make savings by capturing invoices at the first stage (early invoicing) rather than scanning invoices (or using a bureau service) retrospectively
  • Free-up time and make savings by removing all manual invoice classifications – no need for pre-sorting invoices
  • Support the accounts payable team working from home (i.e. coronavirus restrictions) by recommending that suppliers send invoices electronically via email or EDI
  • Improve data quality by installing technologies with validation and feasibility checks
Key Information : Replacing Manual Tasks
The FIS invoice reading technology (FIS / fci) is designed to model the way in which a human would interact with an invoice – reviewing the key invoice data (using multiple OCR engines) and searching for the data in the vicinity of familiar words and phrases.
Data is validated and against SAP/ERP tables where applicable and there are checks for arithmetic agreements between net, tax and gross values. The data from each supplier is learnt automatically as a knowledge-base gains experience with each supplier invoice.
Tasks that are replaced include:
  • Significant reduction and in some instances elimination of data-entry work by the accounts payable team
  • No requirement for bar-code labels to be added to each invoice
  • No requirement for emailed invoices to be printed and then labeled with a bar-code
  • No retrospective scanning of invoices or using a bureau service for "late archiving"
  • No need for manual invoice classification into categories such as company codes, currencies, invoice type (PO or PO-exempt)
Working From Home and Hybrid Working

schematic diagram working from home with FIS

FIS / fci  is an ideal technology for accounts teams that work remotely.
AP departments were not unduly hampered by the restrictions caused by the pandemic if the number of physical invoices (i.e. paper) are reduced.
The technology works automatically with emailed invoices or invoices sent electronically via EDI.
 

 

 
FIS EDC invoice processing diagram

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Make savings by automating invoice postings in SAP

FIS invoice processing technology automates data-entry, freeing up accounts payable resource. Invoices are processed in any layout, in different languages and currencies. The technology assists with supporting colleagues working from home.

Introduction

FIS are one of the leading software developers of applications that improve business processes in SAP ERP. The invoice processing solution provides time, effort and financial savings for organisations by:

  • Reducing manual data-entry tasks and additional human involvement
  • Positing a high proportion of invoice automatically into SAP (no touch processing)
  • Automatically forwarding FI (PO-exempt) invoices to individuals or groups
  • Providing a familiar SAP environment for invoice queries and approval workflow

Automated Invoice Data Extraction (FIS / fci)

FIS have developed one of the most effective technologies used for extracting supplier invoice data from a scanned or emailed attachment. By introducing technologies into the invoice data extraction process there is less manual keying and improved invoice data quality. Key invoice data can now be read from invoices with different formats, languages or currencies.

SAP Integrated Invoice Matching and Posting (FIS / edc)

As an integrated add-on to standard SAP, the invoice monitor technology enables invoices to be posted automatically or alternatively routes them to designated approvers or groups.

FIS / edc complements SAP ERP, creating new functions for the accounts payable team and approvers. The invoice monitor referencing real-time SAP data and enables incoming invoices to be identified as either payable or parked.

In addition workflows are incorporated into the invoice monitor to manage approvals. Additional functions are aimed at invoice assignments and complex invoice coding tasks.

In combination, FIS offer an enhanced process that releases accounts payable teams from mundane tasks. A high proportion of invoices are posted to SAP without any manual intervention

Functions of OCR Reader and Integrated Invoice Processing

Key Benefits

Reduced Effort for AP Team and Machine Learning. Invoice content is read automatically from day-one, so manual data-entry tasks are reduced. In time, the  data extraction technology "learns" the zones where the key data on an invoice resides for each supplier in a "knowledge database" - resulting in automatic reading of the invoice data.

(MM) Invoices that agree with the original PO and GRN in SAP could be posted automatically. (FI) Invoices can be assigned to accounts and forwarded automatically to individuals or departments.
Improved data quality. In the invoice data extraction component, invoice data is checked against SAP tables for vendor, company code and PO recognition. Net, tax and gross values are calculated to ensure that the data has been read correctly. Furthermore, the document can be classified (invoice, credit-note.. etc.) and assigned to the correct company code automatically.
 Rapid Adoption. As with all FIS add-on technologies, FIS / edc complements and works with standard SAP ERP presenting data from SAP transactions and new FIS transactions to assist with invoice queries.
Accounts Payable teams work within standard SAP GUI display formats and approvers use FIS / edc approval workflows using SAP Web Dynpro and Fiori App standards. By developing proprietary technologies using SAP platforms means that FIS applications are easy to adopt for organisations already familiar with standard SAP.
Deep integration with SAP standard. FIS / edc harnesses the intrinsic power and of SAP with no modifications to SAP standard being necessary. The processing technology presents information in real-time from the SAP database - so no data exchanges. SAP add-ons are easier to maintain when SAP upgrades and enhancement packs are introduced.
Diagram illustrating remote working for Accounts Payable Teams
Working from home and Hybrid working
Many customers have adapted to the change in working practices brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Firstly, most customers have worked with their suppliers to further increased the proportion of invoices received via email - and reduced the volume received in paper format.
In this way, invoices are read automatically and manual completions, if required, can be actioned remotely. FIS / edc is also able to accommodate electronic invoices (EDI) and checks their credentials before posting.
Adopting an electronic method of invoice recognition means that organisations are not unduly hindered by the accounts payable team working from home.

 

 
reconciliation balances

Automated Statement Reconciliations

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Automated Statement Processing with SAP 

The FIS statement monitor highlights differences between SAP and vendor statements balances. The SAP integrated application may also be used to process payment advice notes from customers.

coins on a weighing scale balance

FIS / edc (statement monitor) is an integrated SAP technology that reduces the level of manual work required when processing vendor statements or customer payment advice notes (remittances).

The automated vendor statement reconciliation process can be then be achieved in less time and more economically than with SAP alone.

Accounts teams can then focus only on the invoices discrepencies between the statement data and SAP invoice data.

Releases of the technology run with both SAP ECC 6 and SAP S/4HANA. The application is able to process both vendor statements and customer payment advice notes in a single SAP add-in technology.

The integrated software in normally paired with the FIS OCR reading technology. This key data reading application automates the process of manual data entry. Statements can be accepted via email attachments.

a) Vendor Statements

Vendor Statements usually take a lot of time to manually review. In most instances - all statements are compared with the vendor account balance on SAP.

The statement monitor  is focused on identifying vendors with unequal reconciliation balances compared to SAP. The solution’s main advantages include:

  • Accounts Payable team only view accounts with unequal balances
  • Ability to identify specific invoices from vendors that could potentially not have been received or could have been misplaced
  • Improving the efficiency of the accounts payable team - who now only review reconciliation exceptions identified by the statement monitor
  • Statement data is automatically compared with the vendor balances in SAP on the date of the statement

Summary

For organisations who wish to make savings by automating the process of reviewing vendor statement balances.

The statement monitor filters exceptions - statements that do not reconcile against vendor balances in SAP on the date displayed on the statement.

An alternative to:

  • Manually comparing all statements against SAP vendor records
  • Spending time identifying which invoices from the statement are not in agreement with SAP

Technology highlights and key benefits:

  • Automatic OCR reading of vendor reconciliation contents from an emailed attachment or scanned image 
  • Automatic comparison of data from the vendor data within SAP, filtering statements with non-zero balances
  • Identifies invoices potentially in dispute or lost invoices
  • Manual comparison of data now diminished - AP staff directed to reconciliations where assistance is required
  • Vendor data from the document is compared with data in SAP in familiar a SAP GUI

b) Payment Advice Note Processing

FIS / edc (statement monitor) can also be utilised to increase the level of automation and decrease the level of manual tasks required when processing customer payment advice notes (remittance advice notes). Using the statement monitor, customer remittances can be matched and subtracted automatically from the outstanding invoices records in SAP ERP prior to the payment reconciliation's with the bank. Therefore the automated process creates savings and improves matching accuracy.

The payment advice note monitor is often implemented as an addition technology for FIS clients who already work with FIS / edc (invoice monitor).

Technology Highlights and key benefits include:

  • Identifies invoices sent to customers that have not been received or acknowledged
  • Improves the efficiency of the accounts receivable team - who now only review reconciliation exceptions
  • Fewer manual comparisons of data required 
  • Customer data from the document is compared with data in SAP within a familiar SAP environment GUI  and therefore easier and quicker to adopt

 

 

 

Automated Data Entry from Day One

 

 

calendar day one

Automated Invoice Content Extraction

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Automated Invoice Data Entry

Automated data entry from day one. The OCR (optical character recognition) technology extracts the key information from invoices irrespective of the layout. Advanced machine learning technology is applied for improved recognition rates

rtificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

FIS / fci

FIS OCR document reading software (FIS / fci) is a world leading, innovative technology that is used to automatically examine a digital invoice (or other semi-structured document) and extract the required data with minimal or no human intervention.

The technology generates financial and time savings compared to manual data entry and increases data quality prior to importing into SAP or other ERP/Financials software.

Using the technology means more automated data entry and therefore minimises the administrative burden on accounts departments.

The is installed on its own separate server (outside of SAP ERP) and reads the content of documents that are captured as a digital scan or are received as an emailed attachment.

The software offers unmatched recognition rates for invoices, extracting both the header and line-item (position) content.

The OCR technology is normally paired with the FIS/edc (invoice monitor) to post a high percentage of invoice data automatically in SAP without the need for human intervention (no touch processing).

The solution is also normally enhanced with the FIS email reader and means that there is no need for printing and scanning of invoice attachments.

Reading Invoices on Day One

The OCR reading software is pre-programmed to identify specific information fields on an invoice and then extract the relevant data within close vicinity. The ‘freeform’ recognition technology automatically finds the invoice data irrespective of invoice design and layout.

  • Supplier details and invoice receiver checks are validated against the latest SAP data.
  • Invoice financial values are checked for feasibility by checking arithmetic agreement between net, tax and gross values.
  • Fuzzy technology compensates for incomplete or inaccurate data or poor quality invoice scans.
  • Several OCR engines are utilised to increase data reading accuracy.
  • Machine learning, any manual confirmations or checks are stored in an intelligent knowledge base for each vendor to build up a statistical probability of the key data locations.
  • Automated data entry means that the cost of processing invoices is reduced and savings are generated by the technology.
Reporting

Detailed reports illustrate vendor invoice volumes and data extraction rates for specific fields to identify issues with suppliers. FCI report recognition rates

Summary

For organisations who wish to:

Make savings by introducing automated data entry processes and significantly reducing the degree manual tasks.

Improve data quality by introducing automated validation and feasibility checks  against SAP data.

Alternative to:
  • The printing and manually keying in data from a physical document
  • The slow process of data-entry of key invoice data with inherent errors
Key Technologies:
  • Multiple OCR engines - working in agreement.
  • Automatic recognition of suppliers,  company codes and order numbers
  • Automatic forwarding of emailed invoices.
  • Machine learning by storing key invoice data from previous invoice completions
  • Freeform recognition, FIS / fci is pre-conditioned out-of-the box to search for key financial document data.
  • Intelligent knowledge base which stores data co-ordinates for all successfully read invoices and therefore reduces the number of corrections in the future.
  • FIS / fci reads header and line items automatically
  • Contributes to no-touch processing when combined with FIS / edc (invoice monitor)
  • Ability to read any semi-structured document such as sales orders, payment advice notes or vendor statements

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