bg_header

The Challenge of Accounts Payable Automation

UiPath Accounts Payable Automation Solution

GET STARTED TODAY

Start Trial
Contact Us
SCROLL TO LEARN MORE
icon-scroll-down
Optimizing the accounts payable (AP) process has been a difficult and frustrating undertaking for many companies. Despite efforts in process re-engineering and the use of technologies such as
ERP, OCR, and EDI document management and e-invoices, fundamental issues remain. Many organizations have decided to simply outsource their AP function and reduce costs through labor arbitrage.
 

Annual Invoice Volume% Requiring Manual Handling

 

 

accounts_payable_invoice.png

 

 
 
Several challenges lie at the root of this problem:
 
Non-Standard Invoicing: The vast majority of invoices (at least in the U.S.) arrive as paper documents, fax documents, or PDF email attachments. Few are alike, so manual handling is tedious. Is it from an approved vendor? Does the PO match the ERP system? The AP staff must find the answers.
Discrepancies & Approvals: The manual process extends to resolving discrepancies (Is there a bill of lading for the PO? Does the invoice price match the PO?) and also approvals (Have the required documents been assembled and queued for payment authorisation?).
 
Unstructured Data: The AP staff also manually transfers data from the various invoice formats into the company’s standard format. This repetitious task is slow and prone to errors.
 
 
 
 
What initially appears to be a series of straightforward AP activities reveals itself to be a complex and inefficient process, so the financial and organisational rewards for optimising this process would be great.

Robotic Automation, Structured Data, Digitisation

 

There is one financial obstacle to be resolved to accomplish Accounts Payable Automation, and three technology steps need to be taken. The financial obstacle is ROI - the AP area is too small to justify a large-scale software implementation investment.

The technology steps are:

Automation: software robots must replace manual actions by AP staff.

Structured Data: the influx of unstructured data must quickly become structured.

Digitisation: a highly automated flow of structured data between employees, suppliers, and third parties – supporting reporting, analytics, and decision-making – must be established.

By taking these three steps, a scope of AP work equivalent to that typically covered by a “Receipt to ERP” BPO outsourcing contract will be transformed so that automated activity outcomes, and data will be seamlessly integrated with a company’s ERP system. Furthermore, new capabilities, such as payment reviews and authorisations via mobile devices, will become possible. These three steps also provide a solid automation foundation for organisations with a highly manual procure-to-pay process (P2P) cycle, enabling them to reduce costs, improve performance, achieve regulatory compliance and gain real-time visibility into payables status.

"Volvo operates SAP and found that processing supplier invoices through the system required a number of manual interventions, in terms of reading, validating, registering and posting invoices. As part of the efficiency drive, it was decided to try out automation in one of the accounts payable (AP) teams which processes around 2,000 supplier invoices every day. Volvo managed to almost completely eliminate human intervention from the AP process. UiPath is a front-end automation software, which mimics human actions. It operates on top of the existing applications in a non-invasive way, which means there is no impact on the core applications used.
The robot logs into the necessary systems, reads the invoice image, registers the invoice in SAP, performs all the necessary validation, including cross-checking against other systems, and ultimately decides whether to post, park or block the invoice. Having the same robot following the entire process flow and communicating with all the systems involved brings much higher automation benefits than the traditional mix of humans and partial automation."
 
Read more about Volvo's RPA Case Study - Robots Lead The Way - in KPMG Strategic Visions On The Sourcing Market 2016:
 
 

The UiPath Accounts Payable Automation Solution

 

UiPath’s solution for AP optimisation is based on robotic process automation technology, and combines fast and highly intuitive

automation deployments with very precise structured data and digitisation capabilities.

 

Automated Data Capture and Data Entry

Invoice capture is processed with OCR technology to 95%+ character level accuracy from a scanning device if the invoice is paper-based, or from an electronic file, such as a PDF or email. All document actions are saved in archived log files, providing audit support and reporting for compliance purposes.

Highly Configurable Workflow Automation Rules

The accounts payable automation solution addresses the business logic that is behind complex P2P processes with highly configurable workflow rules. This enables intuitive and effective end-to-end automation for two or three-way document matching, ERP system reconciliations and branching flows for special items such as non-PO invoices.

Approval and Exception Resolution

Approval activity is streamlined in the AP solution by rules-based, auto-approved, workflow criteria that limits human involvement to specific approval situations. Exceptions are triggered by data that does not conform to automated workflow criteria for routing, matching and circulation actions. UiPath minimises exception resolution by following well-defined redistribution rules that are designed to identify and escalate exceptions to the right skill sets. The solution also uses live monitoring to flag exception points for rule reviews and fraud detection.  

Regulatory Compliance and Governance

The UiPath accounts payable automation solution embeds compliance and governance controls, such as authorised roles and the segregation of duties. In addition, archived log files that document the details of all automation activities minimise the cost and disruption of compliance audits.

 

Flexible & Adaptive

The UiPath AP solution delivers flexibility and adaptability benefits. Changes in transaction volumes from growth, acquisition or consolidation are easily accommodated without compromise to performance or accuracy. Real-time performance monitoring and documentation facilitate new analytic or predictive capabilities requirements. 

UiPath - Seamless integration, Cloud-Based or On Premise

 

Integration between different systems and applications is essential to organisations where operations are decentralised and span across multiple geographies. UiPath excels at this. It integrates with virtually any ERP system, including SAP, Oracle and any other

homegrown solution. UiPath’s robots allow you to open and close any application and read, pull, and transfer data from and into various environments (text files, applications’ user interfaces, Office files, emails etc).

 

UiPath – RPA Designed for the Needs of Global Enterprises and BPOs

 

UiPath RPA is an enterprise computing platform dedicated to automate business processes. It provides process modelling, change management, deployment management,

access control, remote execution and scheduling, execution monitoring, auditing and analytics in full compliance with the enterprise security and governance best practices. 

 

 

UiPath Studio

UiPath Studio is the highly visual productivity environment where business users can model end-to-end business processes into a process diagram with simple drag-and-drop functionality.

desktop-automation-robotics

Advanced error checking and history visibility ensure flawless execution and detailed project monitoring.

UiPath Orchestrator

UiPath Orchestrator is a scalable RPA server fully integrated and equipped with centralized instrumentality for enterprise class management, security, compliance, support and auditability.

ui-path-server-dashboard-robotic-automation

Our Orchestrator records everything the robots do through log files and transforms them into advanced analytics.

  

UiPath Front Office Robots

UiPath Front Office Robot is the agent assisted robot that shares the same workstation with human employees and assists them to automatically execute business activities.

UiPath Back Office Robots

UiPath Back Office Robot is the autonomous software robot programmed to run unattended, independent from human interaction.

With UiPath You Are in Good Company

Our Customers and Partners.png

Get Started Today

Start Trial
Contact Us