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Automating accounts payable using robotic process automation and cognitive solutions

Automating accounts payable using robotic process automating and cognitive solutions

Automating accounts payable using robotic process automation and cognitive solutions

Overview
Processing a large volume of invoices is a time-consuming and labor-intensive activity. Although most of the fields on invoices/bills from any supplier have the same or similar fields, the format often varies significantly from supplier to supplier. The accounts payable executive has to manually open each invoice, read the data and enter it into the system.

Business scenario
QX Finance & Accounts outsourcing offers accounts payable (AP) services to several large clients, processing a large volume of AP invoices as a part of the service. The day-to-day work requires extraction of data from PDFs and images (not handwritten) into an excel format for process.‚Äč

As a part of our efforts to further enhance productivity and deliver efficiency gains to our clients, QX automated the supplier invoicing process using robotic process automation and cognitive technology. Working closely with the AP teams, we identified the key requirements for the automation the solution:

  • Rapidly and accurately process payments against large volumes of purchase invoices, which also include direct debits.
  • Read and extract data from supplier invoices, in varying formats, and have them simultaneously uploaded onto the clients accounting solution.
  • Match the data from the invoices to the relevant fields in the Purchase Orders .
  • Create an end to end automation solution, all the way from extracting supplier invoices from the central mailbox to uploading it into the client's accounting solution.

QX solution
Our primary objective was to deliver the benefits of automation to our clients, while respecting their concerns in regards to information security and IT infrastructure. In line with this vision, we worked closely with the operational teams to understand the process and built virtual workers, named ADAM (Advanced Automation Driven Machine) and EVE (Extraordinary Virtual Engine).

These automation solutions leveraged robotic process automation and cognitive technologies to automate the supplier invoicing activities. Instead of a human operator opening emails, checking the invoices, comparing the data with the purchase order data, entering the data into Excel sheet, and then finally uploading it to the accounting solution, we designed an end-to-end automation solution. Here is what it the process looks like:

Benefits

  • 50% improvement in productivity
  • ~80% straight-through processing
  • 85-99% accuracy in processing, progressing over a period with learning curve
  • Non-intrusive solution automates the process with minimal impact on the IT landscape
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