The client has embarked on a journey to review opportunities for automation, develop an in-house centre of excellence and expertise, implement a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) POC and pilot for their Accounting processes.
The POC and Pilot are focused on A/P invoice processing. The A/P processes are repetitive, time-consuming, and typically require high levels of involvement from employees. As such, RPA is an excellent fit for the automation of A/P processes.
Account Payable Invoice Process
A high percentage of invoices are received electronically either by e-mail (approx. 90%) or saved directly to SharePoint (approx. 10%). E-mailed invoices are received through an AP Group address (approx. 35%) or individual employee addresses (approx. 65%).
Invoices received electronically are then scanned and manually entered into SAP along with any paper copy invoices (Records Management scans paper invoices, with an AP clerk then attaching a document number to each scanned file).
Non-standard invoicing, errors and exceptions, and missing data.
The accounts payable process was manual and cumbersome which involves capturing information from PDF invoice that is received by email and post it in SAP based on business rules.
6-5 Total # of FTEs supporting this activity
PO invoices constitute approx. 60% of all invoice processing
Around 7500 invoices per month resulting in ongoing backlogs
Over 2500 different vendors
Invoice format and data (invoice number) is highly unstructured
PDF contains multiple invoices
Invalid pages – pages that are not invoiced
Besides using code stage, Cloudworks optimized the existing invoice posting process and to make it more suitable for an RPA implementation.
Using ABBYY Flexicapture OCR, The UiPath Robot extracted data from incoming invoice via Microsoft Outlook email (vendor and internal SharePoint). It validated the PO number, the number of items, and the cost per item against the purchase order and goods received and post accordingly in SAP. This allowed employees to focus on higher-value processes that involved more critical thinking.
60 % ROI
80 % increase in efficiency
100% of efforts automated
90% reduction in processing time
Immediate reduction in the backlog of invoice processing
Having seen the benefits of RPA, the client is planning to automate other use cases in the finance and accounting department
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