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2016 Invoice Workflow Automation Report

The Case for Holistic Invoice Management Automation

November 22, 2016      

Underwritten in part by:
ChromeRiver, Invocus, MineralTree, and OnBase.

Featuring insights on:

  • Current Market Trends in Invoice Management Among North American Organizations
  • The Benefits of Invoice Workflow Automation (IWA) Software
  • Features and Functionalities of IWA Software
  • A Few Leading IWA Software Providers

Contents

Introduction
Invoice Management Trends
IWA Features and Functionality
Top IWA Goals
Chrome River 
Invocus by Zycus
MineralTree 
OnBase by Hyland

Introduction

Over the last few years, organizations have shown an increasing interest in back-office technology—an interest that can be attributed in part to increasing globalization in business operations and growing pressure from executives to reduce costs while improving productivity. Automation adoption looks different for every back-office department, but each shares the same goals of reduced costs and more strategic control over spend. In the AP department, automation often begins with managing supplier invoices in a completely paperless environment.

Eliminating paper is one of organizations’ top goals in AP process improvement, and the use of data capture tools to scan paper invoices has become a common method to accomplish this goal. However, adoption of more holistic AP automation tools, like invoice approval workflow (IWA) software, has not substantially increased in recent years. PayStream believes that many companies rely too much on their own efforts to improve processes, such as using email to send invoices for approval. Unfortunately, when organizations do not continue automation efforts beyond reducing paper, they miss the benefits that come from fully automated invoice management.

This report shows the difference between trying to improve processes with existing tools and fully automating invoice management with a dynamic invoice approval workflow solution. IWA not only helps to route invoices in a controlled environment, it also speeds up processing times, removes non-value-added tasks from AP staff’s workload, and helps to complete supplier payments in as little as one day. Also included in this report is a look at current AP management trends among North American businesses and a high level guide to the services and features offered by leading IWA solutions.

Invoice Management Trends

In order to identify invoice management trends among North American organizations, PayStream surveyed over 200 back-office employees across several industries and market segments. Research shows that while interest in IWA solutions has increased, IWA adoption itself remains steady, see Figure 1.

Figure 1: IWA Adoption Remains Steady
“Are you currently using or planning to implement an automated workflow solution in the next 12 months?”

2016_Invoice_Workflow_and_Automation_Report_Figure_1

PayStream attributes slow adoption momentum to several factors, including economic pressures and resistance to technology investment. Budget concerns have had an increasing impact on North American businesses, resulting in the greater desire to control costs in the back office. When organizations were asked about their main barriers to IWA adoption, most reported lack of budget and the belief that the current processes are working, see Figure 2.

Figure 2: Most Organizations Cite Budget Concerns as Their Primary Barrier to Adoption
“What is the greatest barrier to adoption?”

2016_Invoice_Workflow_and_Automation_Report_Figure_2

Adoption barriers can vary based on the size of the company—not only are smaller companies more unlikely to adopt IWA tools, they are also more likely to report a lack of budget as their main concern. For all market segments, however, this research indicates that many organizations are trying to make do with what they have, attempting to improve processes and reduce costs without a considerable investment in software.

This hesitation to adopt IWA software does not mean that organizations are not embracing technology at all—in fact, the current adoption barriers are in line with trends towards partial AP automation among businesses. Email plays a significant role in partial automation; when organizations were asked about their primary methods for routing invoices for approval, and about how managers remind approvers of outstanding invoices, email led in both categories, see Figures 3 and 4.

Figure 3: Most Companies Use Email-Based Invoice Routing
“How do you typically route invoices for approval in your organization?”

2016_Invoice_Workflow_and_Automation_Report_Figure_3

Figure 4: Most Companies Use Email to Speed Up Approvals
“What is your company’s typical strategy/policy for speeding up overdue approvals?”

2016_Invoice_Workflow_and_Automation_Report_Figure_4

Compared to paper-based processes, email is a fairly progressive way to manage business documents, and it does tend to result in more efficiency than using only paper or manual routing. However, email can’t fix all the problems of manual processes; it leaves many gaps in AP automation, such as integration with the ERP or the ability to handle complex approval workflows. Using existing tools like email to improve manual processes is only a temporary remedy—it is not a sustainable solution, and it does not solve all process pains. For example, Figure 5 shows that companies without an IWA solution experience more approval workflow delays than those using an IWA tool.

Figure 5: IWA Automation Reduces Approval Delays
“How often does an invoice get stuck on one approver for longer than a week after it has been routed?”

2016_Invoice_Workflow_and_Automation_Report_Figure_5

Another indication that manual methods are not sufficient is reflected in Figure 6; when organizations were asked about their top three workflow challenges, most reported problems with manual processes. This shows that although many companies attempt to get by with current tools, those tools are not adequate for improving efficiency and lowering costs.

Figure 6: The Lack of IWA Causes Manual Process Challenges
“What are the top three biggest pain points you experience in your workflow process?”

2016_Invoice_Workflow_and_Automation_Report_Figure_6

Issues related to manual processes create a variety of process inefficiencies. They can cause approval delays and late payments, which lead to supplier inquiries and invoice disputes. When organizations were asked how much time they spent each week handling AP process issues, most report between one and eight hours, see Figure 7.

Figure 7: Two-Thirds of Companies Spend Between 1 and 8 Hours a Week Resolving AP Issues
“How many hours each week do you estimate you spend on resolving AP process issues? (invoice errors, duplicate invoices/payments, supplier calls, etc.)”
2016_Invoice_Workflow_and_Automation_Report_Figure_7

When adding up the costs of resolving AP process issues, it becomes clear that organizations are spending a large amount of money each year solely on damage control. Table 1 contains calculations of organizations’ labor costs for dispute management, assuming an average annual salary of $45,000 per AP staff member, three weeks of PTO, two weeks of combined holiday and sick leave, and 20 percent overhead calculation.

Table 1: Annual AP Issue Resolution Costs

Hours Spent

Annual Costs Per Employee

1-3

$1,350 – $4,050

4-8

$5,400 – $10,800

9-20

$12,150 – $27,000

The only successful way to reduce costs and improve AP management is through the adoption of a holistic IWA solution. When organizations adopt this software, they not only experience cost reduction—they also gain improvements in approval times, employee productivity, and visibility into liabilities, see Figure 8.

Figure 8: Organizations Experience Quicker Approval Times and Increased Productivity with IWA Automation
“What are the greatest improvements you have seen since implementing a IWA solution? (Select top 3)”

2016_Invoice_Workflow_and_Automation_Report_Figure_8

In order to properly educate organizations about the benefits of IWA automation, the following section explores the features and services of leading IWA automation software.

IWA Features and Functionality

An IWA solution is designed to adapt to existing business structures, diverse supplier bases, and complicated approval hierarchies. In order to meet these requirements, the software must address the entire invoice lifecycle and be highly advanced, customizable, and versatile. This section highlights the basic and leading features of advanced IWA solutions.

Invoice Receipt

Before an approval workflow solution can operate successfully, invoices must be entered into the organization’s system in an efficient, timely, and accurate manner. There are two primary ways to input invoices electronically into a workflow system—through the use of a scanning and OCR data capture process or via an eInvoicing network.

  • OCR Data Capture – Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is the electronic conversion of scanned images or text to a machine-encoded document. OCR extracts the relevant data from scanned paper or PDF invoices and sends it through validation and routing. OCR technology can be used in several invoice receipt methods, including mailroom services, email extraction, and online portals.

    After invoice data is extracted, the OCR-converted documents are verified against a set of validation rules; the solution compares specific fields against the information held in the appropriate back-end system (e.g., purchase order numbers against the purchasing system). Validation technology is a second round of checks and balances for invoice consistency and compliance—after the initial capture of data, it re-affirms the integrity of business documents before they are assimilated into the main workflow system.

    The use of advanced OCR technology ensures a high level of precision, consistency, and compliance. Advanced OCR technology provides capture capabilities that have excellent pass-through rates when scanning paper documents, and some technologies can extract data from the subject and body of emails rather than the attachments only. In all, the more advanced the OCR software, the more streamlined the routing process becomes down the line.

  • eInvoicing – The electronic submission of invoices eliminates all manual data entry by the buyer. There are three methods of electronic invoicing:

1. Traditional direct integration with the supplier’s back-end AR system, typically done via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) of XML files.

2. Online fillable forms (usually as part of a supplier portal), which ensure that a uniform invoice is submitted every time.

3. A print-to-cloud solution that validates PDF elements instantly and notifies suppliers in real time if their invoice is missing necessary elements.

Advanced eInvoicing solutions are free for suppliers, and many feature advanced global capabilities for complex invoice requirements in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. The greatest advantage of eInvoicing is the ability to send invoices straight to the approver and then straight to payment (i.e., straight-through processing).

Matching and Routing

Workflow solutions enable AP departments to define how different types of invoices are processed. Invoice matching and routing involves linking invoices to purchase orders and other receiving documents, then sending them through the appropriate approval chain based on terms identified within the invoice (such as PO number). PO-based invoices can be matched against PO and receipt documents automatically, while non-PO invoices are routed to the appropriate approvers.

All invoices are routed based on predefined business rules, and user roles and access rights can be set to match the organization’s existing approval hierarchy. Many solutions give client administrators control over individual user access rights. Those administrators can then delegate the types of approvals for each employee, their level of visibility, and their authorized dollar thresholds.

Advanced technologies provide field-level matching, meaning that they match specific characters in invoice line items with their counterparts in POs. Some solutions create notifications or workflows driven by fields with invalid or missing data, and some feature the ability to dictate workflows for non-PO invoices based on invoice contents. Users may also assign non-PO invoices to categories within the general ledger, and advanced solutions allow specific line items to be assigned to multiple cost centers or multiple POs.

The accuracy of rules-based matching engines, in combination with eInvoicing, allows many companies to automatically pay invoices that meet all validation rules shortly after receipt, letting AP staff focus only on exceptions. This pass-through feature can be used for low-value or recurring invoices (such as utility bills).

Invoices that fail validation and matching undergo a pre-established workflow and routing procedure, also called exception management. Invoice exceptions could be a discrepancy between an invoice and a PO or missing information such as PO number, approver’s name, or location code. The exception management process lets users re-route invoices and fix errors by viewing the original invoice to identify handwritten, printer, or OCR errors. Advanced exception management software allows for the creation of custom workflows depending on the type of exception present. These solutions also enable users to set thresholds for non-PO invoices to identify potential errors or fraud, such as an invoice for snowplow services in July. In addition, many systems put the responsibility of exception and discrepancy resolution back on suppliers, returning the document to them for correction before allowing it to enter the main workflow system.

Approval

Once invoices have been validated, matched, and routed into the appropriate queue, a variety of approval workflow capabilities ensure that those invoices are approved in a timely manner. Most invoice workflow solutions are highly configurable; they are built to adapt to an organization’s existing approval hierarchies and enable more complex routing (e.g., between different departments and cost centers). During and after initial setup of a solution, organizations can easily adjust workflows according to their own business rules, legal requirements, and the invoice type, amount, or other content. Advanced solutions facilitate this customization through visual workflow editors with detailed process flows and drag-and-drop functionality.

When invoices require review, approvers can typically be notified via email or mobile alerts. Most solutions come bundled with alerts and reminders for approvers, out-of-office delegation rules, and escalation procedures for overdue invoices. Prioritization capabilities allow organizations to move invoices with discounts to the top of the processing queue, ensuring that they are approved in a timely manner. In addition, some solutions feature workload-balancing features that redistribute the invoices in an approver’s queue to different employees if that approver’s workload exceeds a certain number of invoices.

AP interfaces make approvals easier and more transparent. Dashboards allow users to navigate in-progress invoices, providing complete histories of the documents. Supervisors can track the status of individual invoices or approvers, reorganize and prioritize unapproved invoices, and access audit trails at any time.

Some solutions offer approval capability directly from within emailed notifications; in other situations, users can click on a hyperlink in the email and log in to a system to view, code, and approve invoices online. Many solutions also offer mobile approval capability through native and/or responsive web-based apps. Offering multiple methods for approval keeps invoices moving through the system when approvers are on the go.

Payment and Reconciliation

After an invoice has been approved, it is automatically sent forward to payment. Basic solutions create a payment file that is sent to the ERP (which then initiates payment or sends a message to AP). These solutions also facilitate the input of ACH information and integration with back-end AR systems.

To completely automate the invoice lifecycle, leading solution providers offer an in-house or partner-provided electronic payments solution. For advanced solutions, this entails integration with virtual card solutions and active supplier onboarding services. Some solution providers even cut checks on behalf of the buyer if they fail to onboard suppliers to virtual cards or ACH.

Some IWA providers offer a web-pay portal for vendors to log in and view invoice and payment transaction status in real time. These portals can also support different payment types and automatic formatting of remittance information based on supplier preferences.

Reporting and Analytics

Most IWA solutions combine process transparency with robust reporting and analytics tools, greatly improving an organization’s ability to audit, analyze, and improve procedures. Basic reports can be exported to a spreadsheet tool, and can include first-pass success rates, exception rates, and open invoices for any defined period of time. Advanced solutions feature internal benchmarking, allowing users to review how their organization compares to other end-users of the solution. Leading solutions also offer a drag-and-drop functionality and exceptional drilldown capabilities from within a reporting dashboard.

Many IWA systems additionally offer sophisticated invoice and payment audit technologies. Audit solutions can integrate seamlessly with numerous accounting applications, and can flag potential duplicates. Clients have the option of configuring the business logic that will be applied to identify erroneous payments, and the solutions generate reports on a periodic basis highlighting potential payment errors for resolution.

Figure 9: Organizations’ Top Goals Include Gaining Supplier Participation and Achieving Same-Day Approvals
“Which of the following workplace goals/achievements are most important to you? (Select top 3)”

2016_Invoice_Workflow_and_Automation_Report_Figure_9

Top IWA Goals

Although IWA software is an effective way to improve efficiency, many organizations have more to consider than simply reducing costs and speeding up approvals, see Figure 9. Fortunately, leading IWA tools provide features and services that enable organizations to accomplish these goals.

Organizations that adopt IWA can trust leading solutions to accomplish the following goals:

Paperless AP

Leading IWA providers offer a variety of tools and services to help organizations eliminate paper in their AP departments as quickly and seamlessly as possible. They also work with clients according to the organizations’ own structural and business requirements. For example, smaller organizations with many different offices and decentralized invoice receipt would benefit from an in-house scanning tool that could be installed in each invoice receipt center or AP office. However, this same scenario would not be as effective for a large multi-billion dollar company, for which an outsourced mailroom service would be a more viable option. In some cases, an organization might need a combination of both tools. Fortunately, leading IWA providers have the ability to accommodate an organization’s invoice receipt needs according to its size and industry.

Supplier Participation and Enablement

One of the most important ways to increase supplier participation is to work with a provider that offers proactive onboarding strategies, and to choose a solution with a robust supplier benefits. Many IWA software providers proactively engage their clients’ supplier communities in order to gain as much participation as possible. Some providers run large-scale onboarding campaigns, reaching out to suppliers via phone, email, and/or mail with invitations to join their network. These provider onboarding teams may also help the buying organization create invitation templates for its own outreach campaigns, as well as helping configure registration landing pages on the organization’s website.

Suppliers are also more likely to participate in automation when the solution is supplier focused—many of these tools offer valuable supplier self-service capabilities that speed up and streamline invoice processing. Basic supplier portals allow suppliers to upload invoices, check on the status of invoices, and communicate with buyers about exceptions and errors. Advanced solutions permit buyers to create custom business rules at the point of supplier portal invoice upload. These rules create instant error notifications and allow PO flip from within the portal. Solution leaders also enable suppliers to input payment preferences, upload payment information, and verify payment information in real time. These portals also facilitate better supplier-buyer communication and dispute resolution.

Same-Day Approvals

IWA solutions greatly improve approval times through intelligent invoice routing and workflows, and through approval reminders and escalations. Today’s leading solutions also enable organizations to further speed up approvals by segmenting out some of the lower-value or recurring invoices for automatic approval. This is very useful for invoices like utility bills or recurring orders from trusted suppliers. AP managers can also easily customize business rules and approval routes to separate high-priority invoices, such as those from a special supplier, ensuring that these are pushed to the top of approval queues.

Working Capital Management

Leading workflow solutions give organizations access to additional working capital management tools such as dynamic discounting, supply chain financing, and electronic payments such as virtual card. These tools all increase companies’ savings and bottom line, either through sliding scale discounts, third-party financing, or payment rebates. Moreover, working capital management tools benefit the supplier through fast invoice payments, thus improving business relationships.

Mobility

Leading AP automation solutions provide their clients with dynamic mobile applications, allowing users to access business software tools from anywhere, at any time. Mobile access includes invoice verification and approvals, as well as communication with the suppliers on invoices and payments. These applications are typically available in through a responsive web app or a native application for mobile operating systems.

In order to help organizations select an IWA solution that will help them accomplish their AP goals, the following section explores the features and services of a few leading IWA automation software providers.

Chrome River

Chrome River is a provider of expense management and invoice management enterprise software. It works for customers worldwide spanning many industries, and its application framework is designed as a scalable solution that can meet the unique needs of all customers— small businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike. Chrome River offers an AP platform suite that includes EXPENSE, INVOICE, PO, CAPTURE, AUDIT, and ANALYTICS. Chrome River’s invoice automation solution is based on business rules engine technology that automates workflow and policy adherence, and includes full financial system integration and an intuitive user interface.

Founded

2007

Headquarters

Los Angeles, California

Other Locations

Colorado, New York, United Kingdom, Australia

Number of Employees

285

Target Verticals

Legal, Professional Services, Financial Services, Technology, Pharmaceuticals, Manufacturing, Non-Profit, Higher Education, and many others

Partners / Resellers

BMO Financial Group, GetThere/Sabre, US Bank, Vendorin

Awards / Recognitions

Ranked four consecutive years on the Inc. 500|5000 list; ranked two consecutive years on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500; ranked three consecutive years on LA Business Journal’s list of fastest growing private companies

Solution Overview

Chrome River is a SaaS solution that is hosted through partnerships with Amazon Web Services and Rackspace Managed Hosting. Chrome River interfaces with ERP, financial, and Legacy systems through secure file exchange (delimited data via an SFTP server) or via web services. Chrome River is designed for organizations worldwide, offering support for currency translation, multiple languages, global taxation (VAT, GST, PST, HST), and local requirements such as German Per Diem.

Chrome River applications are subject to security and vulnerability testing by Sikich, with monthly scans done by machine and a comprehensive annual test that includes human testing. Chrome River is ISO 27001 and SSAE SOC 1 Type II certified. The solution’s data center environments are both ISO 27001 and SSAE 16 SOC1 Type II compliant. In addition, the data center providers monitor all system level software for security updates and apply them in accordance with secure procedures.

Invoice Receipt

Chrome River’s solution offers multiple invoice submission options, including scan and upload, Chrome River CAPTURE, and eInvoicing. Chrome River CAPTURE receives invoices that are mailed or emailed to a shared services environment, where they are then converted to PDFs, with OCR and human verification of 9 key data attributes. The resulting image and data are imported into Chrome River and can typically bypass AP data entry.

Chrome River offers eInvoice support through the use of customer-created mapping templates native to Chrome River, or integration with third-party supplier eInvoicing networks (e.g., Transcepta). Chrome River eInvoicing imports structured data files containing multiple invoices and line items. It provides a mapping utility so that the client can map the vendor format into the standardized Chrome River format and save the conversion as a supplier template. This allows for the import of a wide range of external data files.

Chrome River validates invoices at the time of OCR, before the invoice record is created, and the solution offers field-level matching based
on business rules. When there is no data match for the invoice in the system, the solution will create a new record of the invoice and route it to a correction team at the customer’s organization.

Chrome River also allows suppliers to email invoices to the customer’s email address, at which point they are redirected to Chrome River’s solution or CAPTURE service. Chrome River’s mapping utility initiates eInvoicing and transforms the standard export file provided by the supplier.

Approval Workflow

Chrome River employs a highly configurable Business Rules Engine to drive approval workflow, policy compliance, tax rules, and more. The system uses conditional, multi-layer, “if-then” logic, and can be configured to handle complex invoice workflow scenarios. Approvers can approve or return invoices directly from the Chrome River mobile app, email, or the web application.

Chrome River offers electronic payments functionality through partnerships with both Western Union Business Services (WUBS), Global Exchange,
and Vendorin. The system imports and exports data (employees, GL, suppliers, approved invoices, and payment data) using either delimited files via a Secure FTP server, or via web services.

Data movement can occur as a scheduled batch process, or as a real-time process. Chrome River is currently integrated with nearly 70 different ERP/ financial systems.

Chrome River retains all images and data for the entire lifespan of the customer relationship. It does not archive or deactivate data, so information is always available for management reporting within the ANALYTICS module.

Reporting and Analytics

Chrome River includes two types of reporting: inquiry (an end-user specific inquiry on their activities) and analytics (a full-featured BI tool delivered via the ANALYTICS module). These reports are highly configurable, and Chrome River provides a set of data manipulation tools that help users perform advanced functions against data, such as sorting, filtering, calculations, charting, roll-ups, and more. This feature allows for a wide array of reports so that users can get the specific information they need.

Implementation and Pricing

Implementation time can vary based on a variety of factors, such as scope (countries, currencies, languages, taxation) and complexity of the desired invoice business process. Average projects are approximately 16 weeks in duration from kickoff call to pilot go-live. Chrome River assigns a dedicated Project Manager and configuration team to each new client.

Chrome River provides both training for administrative users and “Train the Trainer” training. The company also provides various forms of optional end-user training, including online classes through Chrome River University (CRU). Chrome River offers both standard support and “premium” support, in addition to technical/system support.

Pricing for the solution is based on the use of the service (transactional volume) or a fixed fee for unlimited use based on the size of the organization.

Invocus by Zycus

Invocus is the eInvoicing product division of Zycus (founded in 1998), a global provider of Source-to-Pay software. Invocus’ eInvoicing and touchless processing solution enables companies to make the transition from paper-based accounts payable processes to electronic invoicing. It is a SaaS-based AP automation tool which includes eInvoicing via a self-service supplier portal, supplier information management, touchless invoice validation and matching, invoice approval workflow, and AP reporting and analytics. Invocus also has a partnership with TrustWeaver to ensure global eInvoicing compliance for its customers. The Invocus AP Automation solution may be deployed stand-alone or bundled with Zycus’ other P2P and S2S products.

Founded

1998

Headquarters

Princeton, NJ

Other Locations

Chicago, Atlanta, London, Melbourne

Number of Employees

650+

Number of Customers

250+ companies

Target Verticals

Vertical agnostic

Partners / Resellers

Truespend, Bareki Management Consulting, Protiviti, Syntel

Awards / Recognitions

A leader in Gartner MQ 2015 and 2013 for Strategic Sourcing Application Suites

Solution Overview

The Invocus solution integrates with clients’ ERPs through the Invocus iConsole middleware, and all client data is secured through Zycus’ SSAE 16 SOC1 certified data centers. Invocus is fully operable on mobile devices; both buyers and suppliers can conduct all invoicing activities from the app. The solution currently supports English, and will soon also support French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, and Dutch languages.

Invoice Receipt

Invocus accepts invoices and other transaction-related documents through a supplier self-service portal. Suppliers can use the portal to submit invoices in a variety of formats, including cXML, PO Flip, eForms, images, PDF, and EDI. Suppliers can also submit invoices through the mobile app, mobile image upload, email, or web upload of invoice files (such as PDF and JPEG). Emailed invoice files are redirected to the centralized invoice receiving inbox and then analyzed with OCR technology for data extraction, while cXML and EDI invoices are taken directly from suppliers’ AR systems.

Invocus also partners with third-party vendors to provide scanning services for paper invoices during a client’s transition to eInvoicing. The company simultaneously conducts an ongoing supplier adoption program to shift lagging suppliers from paper invoices to true electronic invoicing.

Approval Workflow

Invocus’ centralized inbox is a repository for all inbound invoices. The touchless processing module empowers AP professionals to confirm, reject, and delegate invoices. Invocus’ 2- and 3-way matching engine performs automated field-level validations and matching based on pre-configured business rules and tolerances. It also supports automatic re-routing of invoices back to suppliers in the event of errors.

The Invocus workflow engine is highly customizable and easy to deploy. Workflows can be created with simple drag-and-drop functionality, and users can easily delegate approvals, change approvers, or add an ad-hoc approver in special circumstances. Approvers can approve or reject invoices from their mobile devices through the invoicing buyer app or directly from their email. The solution provides role-based visibility into invoice statuses and audit trails, and users can remind managers of pending approvals using a one-click email and mobile notification feature. After invoice approval, the solution allows organizations to create OK-to-Pay batches in line with payment terms, and the solution automatically posts approved transactions to the general ledger.

The Invocus solution maintains a comprehensive database of all invoice images, associated files, and captured invoice data. This list is easily retrievable and searchable by a variety of parameters, including invoice number, supplier name, issue date, amount, and due date. Moreover, complete audit trails are maintained in the solution to track changes made to invoices.

Reporting and Analytics

Invocus’ self-service reporting functionality allows a user to quickly create custom reports by selecting specific data fields. Custom reports can be named, saved, reused, and updated for future reference. Users can also quickly set up a schedule to run and email their reports automatically. Users that prefer to work with data in a spreadsheet format can take advantage of Excel download functionality. The solution provides some pre-configured reports that have been built based on frequently accessed data by AP /Finance users, and users can add charts and diagrams to reports.

Implementation and Pricing

An average Invocus implementation is between 4 and 6 months, depending on the size and complexity of the project. Zycus also provides a supplier adoption package and supplier enablement strategy that guarantees a certain amount of suppliers (those constituting 80 percent of invoiced spend) will be onboarded in the first 90 days.

Invocus offers various types of training modules, including train-the-trainer, classroom and online training, and videos and user manuals. Zycus also provides 24/5 support to customers. Zycus’ pricing structure for Invocus is based on scale and size of operations (supplier volume and invoice volume), along with a one-time implementation fee.

MineralTree

MineralTree is a provider of AP lifecycle automation software that includes invoice management and electronic payment solutions. The company has been offering IWA automation since 2011, and primarily serves growing middle-market companies. Its solution includes automation for invoice receipt, scan and capture, invoice routing and exception management, and invoice approval workflow.

Founded

2010

Headquarters

Cambridge, MA

Number of Employees

40

Number of Customers

~1000

Target Verticals

N/A

Partners / Resellers

NetSuite, IQ BackOffice, Intacct, RSM

Awards / Recognitions

Mass TLC Fintech Leadership Award, FinXtech Award (Bank Director) MITX – Best B2B tech, AlwaysOn

Solution Overview

MineralTree system integrates seamlessly with many leading mid-market ERPs, including QuickBooks, Netsuite, Intacct, and Microsoft GP, and is able to sync all AP data, including vendor lists, bills, and payments. The MineralTree security controls include PCI compliance, SSO, two-factor authentication, and two-factor payment approvals. MineralTree also provides extra security and protection for clients’ data, guaranteeing online payment security with SilverGuard—an insurance policy that protects against online payment fraud up to $100,000 a year.

Invoice Receipt

Organizations can submit their invoices in a variety of ways. They can mail or email invoices to MineralTree to be manually input using a combination of OCR and human review. MineralTree reports a 99 percent accuracy rate during this process, and offers unlimited document storage for invoices after submission. Organizations can also submit invoice files themselves in PDF, DOC, XLS, and image formats. The solution also supports PO flip on validated invoices for NetSuite.

Approval Workflow

Once invoices are input into the system, the solution matches by header and line level. Invoices are routed based on pre-configured business rules or manually on an ad-hoc basis. Up to four levels of approval can be defined for a given invoice, and rules can be assigned based on characteristics such as vendor name, department, class, location, and project.

Approvers can review invoices from the solution interface or from an email, as well as from their mobile devices. When approving through the solution, approvers have access to additional information such as invoice coding, and can approve multiple invoices at once. Approvers can also be granted either read-only or editing abilities. The solution offers automatic reminders to approvers three days after invoices are routed.

To complete the invoice-to-pay lifecycle, MineralTree offers ACH, virtual card, and commercial card payment solutions that provide security controls and rebate programs. In addition, MineralTree offers check automation for suppliers that will not accept card payments. MineralTree prints and mails checks on behalf of its clients, and automatically updates payment statuses. Bills and payments created in MineralTree are posted to the ERP via API-level integration, and any bill or payment information created in the ERP syncs to MineralTree automatically, so that both systems are up to date at all times.

Reporting and Analytics

MineralTree offers out of the box reports, and custom reports can be requested via MineralTree’s support portal. The solution also provides archival and search and retrieval functionality for captured invoice images and data.

Implementation and Pricing

Average implementation lasts 2 weeks. MineralTree offers both introductory and advanced training for accounting managers and payment authorizers, and additional training for new employees is available as needed. Users are also given access to online video tutorials and help articles. Phone and email support is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST. MineralTree prices its solution according to a blended rate, based on the client’s number of documents and number of payments.

OnBase by Hyland

For over 25 years, Hyland, creator of OnBase, has helped organizations streamline everyday business challenges. Hyland’s document management solution, OnBase, is a single enterprise information platform for managing content, processes, and cases. OnBase provides enterprise content management (ECM), case management, business process management, data capture, and enterprise file sync and share—all on one platform. The solution is highly configurable and can be easily applied to invoice management processes to create transparent and secure invoice approvals.

Founded

1991

Headquarters

Westlake, Ohio

Other Locations

Irvine, California; Sao Paulo, Brazil; London, United Kingdom; Tokyo, Japan

Number of Employees

2,050

Number of Customers

15,025

Target Verticals

Manufacturing, Transportation and Warehousing, Professional Services, Real Estate, Rental and Leasing, Accommodation and Food Service, Healthcare, Higher Education, Insurance, Financial Services, Government

Partners / Resellers

DataBank, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, KeyMark Inc., Requordit

Awards / Recognitions

Leader, Gartner Magic Quadrant for ECM, seven consecutive years; Leader, Forrester Wave: Transactional Content Management Services, Q2 2015; Strong Performer in the Forrester Wave: Dynamic Case Management, Q1 2016; Ranked #48 on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2016.

Solution Overview

OnBase can be deployed as an on-premise or hosted solution. The solution provides no-code integration capabilities with multiple ERP systems including SAP, Oracle, and others. OnBase also has a complete set of API-level libraries available in COM/.NET, Java, and SOAP/Web Services, which allow programmers to leverage OnBase functionality from custom-built applications.

OnBase allows users to restrict who can see documents and data, and what actions they are able to perform with the information. Additional security features include audit trails, DocuSign and CEC Integrations for electronic signatures, data in transit (SSL/TLS), and means for encrypting data in storage.

OnBase provides mobile capabilities through client apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile. With the OnBase app, users can access documents and electronic forms, and make business decisions.

Invoice Receipt

OnBase features native capabilities for scanning and importing all business document types, including invoices. OnBase can accept invoices in multiple formats including images, PDF, XLS, XML, and EDI, and can be submitted by fax, email, FTP, and from the web via website or the OnBase Vendor Portal. OnBase extracts data from submitted documents via OCR; OnBase also provides intelligent capture for semi-structured documents, and the technology can capture line-item details and handwritten characters.

Document scanning and indexing is completely integrated within OnBase. Hyland offers various capture methods, including ad-hoc scanning from desktops, remote locations, and front-office functions, scanning with a third party application, MFP integration for high-volume scanning, and email-based capture. Hyland also offers mailroom services through its Imaging Services team for customers that wish to outsource the data capture process.

Approval Workflow

OnBase automates several key AP business processes, including routing to appropriate business units, 2- and 3-way matching, approval hierarchies, dispute management, and posting to accounting applications. OnBase Workflow operates on a business rules engine that can adapt to any business structure. It is easily configurable, allowing designated users to rapidly create and deploy complex workflow hierarchies on demand. OnBase can also re-route invoices back to suppliers when necessary.

Users access invoices and related content from their familiar ERP application, email inbox, or mobile device. Managers can view real-time dashboards that increase visibility into the status of invoice processing, allowing them to identify bottlenecks and adjust workload distribution. OnBase Workflow supports workload balancing by user or role, as well as out-of-office forwarding.

Once invoices and payments are approved, OnBase can submit payment details to the customer’s ERP to initiate payment to the vendor. OnBase also archives all client content with advanced document archival methods, preserving the documents according to clients’ preferences and providing advanced search and retrieval functionality.

Reporting and Analytics

OnBase Report Services includes over 140 pre-configured reports for evaluating OnBase and the processes it manages. OnBase presents reporting data in a variety of formats, and reports can be exported in XML, HTML or Excel formats, or saved as PDF, JPEG or TIFF. Organizations can also create custom reports to meet their specific business reporting needs—without the need to engage IT resources. Dashboards present data in a variety of graphical formats including charts, graphs, scorecards, and maps, and interactive features allow users to easily monitor performance and analyze trends in real time.

Implementation and Pricing

Implementation times for OnBase solutions vary by solution and customer needs. During implementation, OnBase offers a variety of on-site and online training classes and events for both end users and customer trainers. Customers can access detailed documentation and user guides, as well as user community websites that provide a place to learn more about OnBase and collaborate with other users. OnBase offers customers dedicated support from Account Management teams, as well as 24/7 access to Technical Support.

The licensing and pricing of OnBase is designed with diverse customer needs in mind, allowing for à la carte purchases of modular components that depend on which OnBase solution the client is currently using.


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