How to improve efficiency in AP and AR functions | Transalis Blog

Categories

AP and AR functions are commonly plagued with inefficiencies due to the lack of investment in digital transformation and automation technology.

One particular aspect that can benefit from automation is the processing of invoice documents.

There is a growing need for invoice automation. In fact, according to Billentis’s report*, the volume of automated processed invoices will quadruple by 2023. Hence businesses need to ensure they stay ahead of their competitors by taking advantage of digital transformation solutions for their AP and AR functions.

Accounts teams that have automated solutions in place for this purpose benefit from greater efficiency and productivity. This can be achieved with solutions that focus on the standardisation and processing of incoming invoice documents (Accounts Payable), or the automatic issuance and routing of invoice information to required parties (Accounts Receivable).

Transform your AP and AR processes for your business

Ensure accuracy and compliance within your accounts functions with an invoice automation solution

In this blog, we will be exploring how automation can enhance the productivity and efficiency of these two functions of the Accounts department…

Accounts Payable: Accuracy

As touched on in the intro, a key benefit of automation technology is that it can ensure accuracy.

Businesses that rely on the manual processing of inbound invoices in their Accounts Payable (AP) function requires data rekeying. This is not only a slower process, but dramatically increases the risks of errors. Consequently, this means having to identify and rectify these mistakes, also manually.

However, with the help of automation solutions that are enhanced by Artificial Intelligence (AI), this process can easily be improved.

For instance, Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) utilises AI and Machine Learning (ML) to interpret data. This is irrespective of whether the data is structured, semi-structured, or unstructured. Whilst processing invoice data, IDP can make contextual choices about the content just as a human can, only faster. Therefore removing the need for manual data entry.

Choosing technology: OCR vs IDP

Although automation improves the invoicing process, it is important for businesses to understand and carefully compare the technology available to ensure the most effective choice is being made.

For example, Optical Character Recognition, or OCR, is a technology traditionally used by businesses for invoice processing. This technology, similarly to IDP, is used to extract data from documents such as PDFs and text files.

On the other hand, the main difference is that OCR simply identifies and extracts the data. It does not interpret the data to determine errors or make corrections – both of which IDP can do, as explained above.

For example, if the positioning of the Purchase Order number changes on an invoice document OCR cannot identify this change therefore incorrectly processes without flagging for manual review.

In contrast, IDP is properly observing the invoices by comparing them to previous formats. This leads to the identification and notification of changes, so the business can review the adjustments.

Overall Transalis recommends IDP. In fact, we have a solution, AP Automation which utilises this technology rather than OCR. This offers a more robust solution with greater benefits. AP Automation can flag format changes as an exception for review by alerting via email. Using our online exceptions tool, these changes can be reviewed and learned by the intelligent system if they occur again in future.

Accounts Receivable: Compliance

It is important to keep up to date with the changes in regards to tax compliance.

In fact, many territories across the globe are introducing eInvoice mandates for the purpose of tax reporting and Continuous Transaction Controls (CTC). One of the reasons tax authorities are doing this is to close the “VAT gap”. This is the difference between VAT revenue forecasts and what is actually collected.

As a result, businesses across Europe and beyond are discovering how complex it can be to comply with these new rules and requirements. In some cases they can manage this themselves and utilise the manual report upload functionality of some government eInvoice platforms. However, for larger organisations this is a significant problem.

To illustrate the growing need for compliance, below is an overview of the European countries that have made mandate announcements:

Country B2G/B2B/B2C Year implemented
Austria B2G 2014
Belgium B2G 2022-23
Croatia B2G 2019
Denmark B2G, B2B 2005, TBA
France B2G, domestic B2B & B2C 2017-20, 2024-26
Germany B2G & B2B 2020-24
Greece All 2020-2021
Hungary All domestic 2020
Italy B2G, B2B & domestic B2C 2015, 2019-2022
Norway B2G 2019
Poland B2G & B2B 2024
Portugal B2G 2021
Spain B2G, B2B 2015, 2023-2025
Sweden B2G 2019
Turkey B2B, B2G 2014, 2021

Understandably, to tackle this requirement, automation is becoming a necessity.

Here at Transalis, we understand the importance of compliance. That is why we provide an invoice automation solution, AR Automation that can digitise the issuance of invoices as well as address compliance with Real-Time Reporting (RTR) functionality and the option to include PEPPOL connections. Thus, we comply with the highest EU standards for European trade with the private and public sectors. Our simple-to-use calculator allows you to build a solution entirely tailored to your specific business needs.


eInvoice Software

Want to advance your AP and AR functions? Take a look at our eInvoice solutions. Alternatively, contact us at 0845 123 3746 (UK callers) or +44 1978 369 343 (international callers), or email our Customer Success team via sales@transalis.com.

References:

*The e-invoicing journey 2019-2025. Billentis.


Sign up to our newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest reports, blogs, news and client stories from Transalis

Address

Transalis Ltd,
Portsmouth Technopole,
Kingston Crescent,
Portsmouth,
PO2 8FA
UK

Registered Address

C/O Blakelaw Secretaries Limited,
New Kings Court, Tollgate,
Chandler’s Ford,
Eastleigh,
Hampshire,
SO53 3LG
UK

UK Sales
International Sales
UK Helpdesk
International Helpdesk

Privacy Preference Center