Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) of document-based processes ensures easy data availability to ERPs and line-of-business applications. IPA software applies digital transformation technologies like AI and Machine Learning to capture, extract, classify, validate, and verify data from unstructured documents like vendor invoices and customer sales orders, before sending the approved data to ERPs and other business applications.
The first step in intelligent process automation, which is capture or intelligent data capture, supports multichannel uploading of documents into the IPA workflows including from emails, FTPs, fax, scan, etc. Of these, the capture process by scanning digitally transforms paper documents and paper-based processes. This step is highly transformative as it changes the way workflows and work processes are done. Manual paperwork is highly error-prone and slow. Scanning eliminates the process latency and errors typical of manual paperwork, enabling businesses to mobilize the highly labor-intensive document-based processes into efficient, value-based functions.
We discuss the capabilities scanning brings to businesses including the fact that it is one of the first steps needed to initiate digital transformation in any sector. Digitization precedes digital transformation, and one of the best and easiest ways to digitize is by scanning.
Scanning mobilizes business processes that have traditionally been implemented manually. Take the case of accounts payable function. Companies receiving paper invoices from vendors would typically have had to perform manual data entry work to get data logged in them into the company spreadsheets. The data on the .csv files will then have to be diligently tabulated and validated against the company’s master files or records to make sure they have the right vendor details on record, while also matching the invoice against the right purchase order and receiving report. Data validation is an important step that can take a long time if you are dealing with paper invoices and physical files. A verification manager will also have to confirm the details of the purchase before giving the approval for making payments. But the manual effort does not end here — an employee will have to, yet again, manually import the .csv file to an accounting software or the company’s ERP system for further business use and record. This more or less means double manual data-entry work as spreadsheet details are rarely transported and mapped into an ERP system neatly upon uploading.
Scan paper invoices and turn them digital, what you have are numerous opportunities for digital transformation and automation. A digital invoice, obtained after scanning, can be simply uploaded into an automation system like an invoice processing software. From there on, intelligent automation takes over and what you have is straight-through processing of vendor invoices from capture, data extraction, validation, verification, and finally, export to an ERP system, needing little to no manual intervention throughout the process.
In essence, scanning initiates digital transformation and automation across document-dependent processes. There is real possibility to unlock hidden intelligence and value from automating document-based processes as we note below and it all begins with scanning:
Scanning triggers intelligent automation of document-based processes, converting the traditionally manually-driven functions into intelligence-specific workflows. This enables businesses to not just streamline and be in control of processes, but also extract hidden value and insights like taking advantage of early payment discounts or gauging the viability of a vendor, based on data obtained from such automation.
Looking to digitally transform your AP department? Contact Artsyl.