April 28 2021
By deploying RPA, a large educational institution has improved background operation, for example: increasing work efficiency and reduce costs; automatically performing invoice input and verification operations; simplifying the original billing process and improving the speed and accuracy of the accounts payable process (AP).
The large educational institution encountered difficulties in processing invoices.
1. Large Invoice amount
Every month, the agency processes more than 3,500 invoices for its 10 schools. These invoices cover school expenses and resources to support the agency’s global community investment program. With the increasing number and complexity of invoices, processing invoices efficiently will become a difficult task.
2. Manual process
When the invoice arrives at the organization’s headquarters, the employee manually enters the invoice data into the company’s ERP system almost all the way. This time-consuming, manual process puts a huge workload on the payables department.
“Previously, when we received a single batch of invoices, we had to read through the batch of documents, manually separate each invoice, and then enter it into the ERP system. This often took a long time.” said the accounts payable analyst.
3. Error risk
It is difficult to avoid errors or invoice fraud under existing systems and manual invoice entry processes. No agency wants to take the risk of posting delay or wrong invoices and influence relationships with relevant suppliers.
4. High cost of deploying a new system
The agency used an internal invoice management solution and integrated with Microsoft ERP applications before. However, it incurred huge costs and increased the operation and maintenance workload for the IT department of the company.
The institution found that inefficient manual invoice processing system is driving up the costs and risk of errors in its accounts payable business.
How to process invoices efficiently and accurately to achieve change in the accounting without increasing operating costs?
To improve the efficiency of the accounts payable process, the institution chose to apply RPA to replace the previous internal invoice processing solution.
Automatic invoice importing
With the automatic invoice import function, RPA replaces the manual and automatic input of invoice data into the ERP system, which simplifies the operation process, thereby reducing the workload of staff in the financial department.
"RPA helps us building stronger relationships with suppliers and pay for invoice discounts to the maximum extent possible. Higher visibility allows us to simplify the once time-consuming steps in the AP system. "
In addition to streamlining the process, RPA solutions also increase operational accuracy. RPA is equipped with a smart invoice reading function that can automatically detect and mark invoices containing errors or suspected fraud, thereby minimizing business risks. RPA also has the ability to verify and correct invoices scanned in error, providing a reliable tool for the finance department.
RPA can be seamlessly integrated with existing systems, which is faster to implement and lower to deploy.
The agency also applied RPA to IT operation and maintenance, realizing 7 × 24 hours of monitoring, reducing the workload of the IT department. "Automating invoices in the ERP system reduced errors and invoice frauds and saved costs effectively."
Since implementing RPA, this educational institution has improved the visibility of invoices and the efficiency of the AP system, while saving a lot of costs. "Now we no longer need to spend a lot of time and effort separating invoices, because RPA robots automatically detect batch invoices and separate them into a single document, which saves us a lot of time.
"RPA helps us save 10 minutes of processing time for each invoice. Considering the fact that we have to process more than 40,000 invoices each year, we can save more than 7,000 hours soon, which is equivalent to saving more than 70,000 dollars a year.” RPA not only helps organizations saving time, but also helps them reducing the overall cost of processing invoices.” Since we no longer need to install and support our own invoicing system internally, we can reduce our total cost. It has changed our AP process and helped us work more efficiently. With accurate, efficient, and automated invoice processing capabilities, we ensure that teachers and students will have the resources they need.