At Arval Schweiz AG, the focus this year was on automation. Specifically, an outsourcing of the digital inbox took place.
Accounts Payable Workflow – Automatisieren & Digitalisieren
Human – Process – Technology
Often the classic project approach, as known in IT projects, leads to a dead end. This is where we come in with our services and solutions. Because in projects that are about «the document», sufficient attention must be paid to the three pillars – «people – process – technology».
Where there is a business process involving documents and people, there is always an opportunity for automation!
Accounts Payable Workflow: Automate & Digitize
Pistor AG is the leading independent trading and service company for the bakery, confectionery, catering and care industries. Its headquarters are located in Rothenburg. With a total of 545 employees, the company is actively committed to serving its customers as an independent partner. As a result, their primary goals are to focus optimally on the needs of their customers, to increase sales and to continuously minimize expenses. To achieve this, Pistor offers a comprehensive range of products, innovative services and a large network of specialists. Accordingly, the company offers exactly what makes its customers more successful in these three areas with modular individual solutions.
Initial situation: Project – Accounts Payable Workflow
The set goal of Pistor: “The digitalization of the existing visa and release process of the operating cost accounting.” For this, the following aspects and requirements had to be considered by the customer and redIT in order to evaluate the best solution:
- Integration into the existing system landscape of
Pistor AG (Kofax Capture 10.2, SAP, archiving system enaio)
- OCR recognition / master data matching
- User friendliness / system complexity
- Scalability / expansion possibilities
- Project / operating and license costs
The software should also be suitable for future expansions in the digital inbox. Accordingly, this means that the flexibility of the solution must be guaranteed. After all, a change or a switch to possible peripheral systems should not cause any problems.
Challenge: Must-have automation
The process of operating cost invoices at Pistor used to be manual: Initially, the responsible departments (cost center managers, orderers, finance + controlling) distributed the incoming documents (paper) physically, checked them, visually inspected them, and released them. Then they forwarded them for scanning after posting in SAP. Finally, the scanning process archived the documents in a legally compliant manner on the enaio archiving system. In addition, invoice documents with a payment slip were captured with a corresponding reader. This led to late or inefficient archiving of the receipts. – Consequently, it was essential to definitely address the issue and profitably optimize it.
In any case, the project results include the digitalization of the core processes, flexible & modern working, but also the increase in efficiency within the company.
Accounts Payable Workflow: Two Solution Variants
Our solution included two variants:
Variant 1: The release workflow runs outside the ERP system SAP
Variant 2: The release process is completely integrated in SAP.
Since Pistor wants to release invoices not only independent of location, time and person, but also independent of SAP, variant 1 is implemented. Accordingly, invoices (whether still analog or digital) are converted to the same digital format in a first step, full texts (OCR) are generated, read out and the content is compared with the master data from SAP. If the information on the invoice is correct (amount, VAT, …), the check is completed and the release process is started. Based on predefined rules (e.g. dual control principle, amount limits, …) the invoice is assigned to different approvers one after the other. This means that each approver is informed by mail when a new invoice is available for approval. Finally, he can then approve the invoice, forward it to other persons for factual verification or reject it. If an invoice has been approved by all approvers, the extracted invoice data is transferred to SAP so that the invoice can be posted automatically. Consequently, the invoice is simultaneously forwarded to enaio for archiving. Instead, if a release for an invoice has not been granted, or the invoice cannot be posted automatically, then the workflow is also terminated. Depending on this, then:
- the master data are corrected and the invoice is then imported again
- the supplier is informed that the invoice is not correct, information is missing, etc.
Conclusion: Introduction of Accounts Payable Workflow
Finally, the project goals were achieved with the implemented solution. On the one hand, the approval process is completely digital thanks to the new solution and can therefore be carried out remotely (e.g. in the home office). On the other hand, Pistor has gained a better overview of the invoices in circulation and increased their throughput speed.
«For Pistor AG, the accounts payable workflow is an important and indispensable step towards digitizing the accounting system.»
Head of Finance + Controlling, Pistor AG
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