Oracle Content Management: Is Automation Enough?

Today we have a guest post from Jamie Rancourt, Senior Product Manager at Oracle.

As part of this week's posts on automating invoice processing, let's take a look at what levels of automation are possible and how they differ.  The crux of the invoice processing problem is the handling of physical pieces of paper.  Paper introduces complexities, slows down processing, and increases the possibility of invalid data entry which all add to the cost of doing business.  You can mitigate some of those costs by employing an enterprise content management system to handle the management of paper that has been digitized, helping you decrease some risks associated with paper. 

Yet while storing digitized invoices helps with the management aspect of the accounts payable process, it does not help mitigate other risks tied to the error prone data entry often performed by accounts payable clerks.   Let's assume you've partly automated your invoice processing department by providing them access to digitized copies of invoices and making them directly accessible from their payables workbench in your financial system.  Great! Step one completed!  Now those employees can perform their duties and key in the appropriate invoice information into the payables system.  And surely you've set them up with dual monitors to make them as efficient as possible in entering the data into your ERP system.  But what happens if they enter line items incorrectly into the system, or even worse, what happens if an employee needs to take a leave of absence?  Can your business still perform efficiently when having to review data entry or having to re-assign workloads?

Now think of how more efficient an accounts payable department can be if data entry errors can be reduced dramatically and invoice processing workloads can be reduced to handling exceptions rather than the bulk of the invoices, because let's face it, for the most part there is enough technology in your ERP system to fully automate the invoices that have been properly entered in your system!  Just as a person can look at an invoice and identify the different fields of information, an intelligent forms recognition solution can do the same but since it is a fully automated process with no human intervention, the data entry aspect of that process is now removed.  You can therefore reduce overall workload and let your accounts payable clerks manage the more complex invoices, aka the exceptions, and deliver higher quality data with quicker turnaround times to better enable your accounts payable department to control when they disburse payments.

You can hear more about these perspectives from some Oracle customers in these two podcasts:

How does your organization work with invoices? Do you automate or hand key your accounts payable capture process? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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