Brendan Reidy, CEOToday, the complexities of the digital economy dictate a redefinition of the finance function. Expected to assume a much more strategic leadership role, finance must not only drive down transaction costs through continuous process optimization, but also provide real-time visibility into the business and proactively anticipate changing business conditions.
Accounts Payable (AP) automation plays an integral role in this transformation. While the primary role of the AP organization is to reduce invoice processing transaction costs and cycle times, its strategic value is to realize higher returns on invested capital through improved supplier relations and working capital management by extending early payment discounts.
To empower enterprises to thrive in a digital economy, Plano, TX-based Top Image Systems (TIS) [NASDAQ: TISA] offers its comprehensive AP automation solution, eFLOW AP for SAP, which employs invoice capture and workflow automation to streamline and improve invoice management from the moment invoices enter an organization’s SAP environment.
“Our flexible solution suite is seamlessly integrated with the SAP environment AP processors are already familiar with,” commented Brendan Reidy, CEO of TIS. “eFLOW AP gives the AP function 360-degree visibility into invoices and related data— equipping them with real-time reporting and analytics to improve operational performance, optimize cash flow and ensure compliance, control, and security.”
To make it as quick and easy as possible for enterprises to get invoice information into SAP, TIS employs their best-in-class data extraction technology— eFLOW Extract. Carsten Nelk, TIS’ CTO, explained: “With eFLOW Extract, we can unlock the value of unstructured data, which, according to Gartner, represents 80 percent of an organization’s total information assets.” eFLOW Extract captures data from incoming invoices using multiple Intelligent Data Recognition techniques, then converts that data to structured information ready to be transferred to SAP. The technology is machine-learning, continually improving recognition rates and accuracy over time for invoices received via any delivery channel: paper, fax, email, web, mobile, EDI, or XML.
Carsten Nelk, CTOWith eFLOW Control and eFLOW Resolve at the heart of the automated invoice processing solution, TIS offers clients a uniform look and feel while handling tasks such as automatic posting, line-item matching and workflow routing for exception handling and approval. “There are tasks that can’t or shouldn’t be automated,” said Carsten, “but we can make them radically easier to handle.” For AP processors, this meant designing a user interface that could display all information required to resolve invoice exceptions. Carsten explained: “Processors typically have to toggle between different screens and pop-ups for those details. We built a single point of access to the entire process from within their familiar SAP environment. They have the complete context of every invoice in one screen, and can initiate any action from that screen.” For employees from other business units who need to approve invoices or provide more information to resolve an exception, eFLOW AP includes self-explanatory web and mobile access.
Our flexible solution suite works seamlessly within the familiar SAP user environment, in the exact manner that enterprises expect
TIS has collaborated with numerous globally recognized brands to expedite invoice processing activities. One example is Bosch Service Solutions, an arm of the technology and services supplier Bosch Group, for whom TIS automates the recognition of invoice data in 15 input languages on over 450,000 invoices per month, providing comprehensive field recognition capabilities. In addition to carrying out extraction and validation checks on invoices generated by over 100,000 suppliers using one of 226 Bosch company codes, Bosch has achieved tight integration with their SAP workflows and high process transparency. “Our recognition rates at individual field level have exceeded 80 percent, helping Bosch achieve streamlined processing and labor cost savings,” pointed out Brendan.