Saving up to 8 per cent of a document’s flow time

Unburdening an employee by maximising the automation of simple activities is one of the greatest advantages of a SAP system. That’s how the solution for the automatic entering of the invoices has been described by its users. Implemented by Hicron’s consultants, it ensures quick execution of repetitive activities, allowing the accounting staff to focus on more complex and priority issues.

Settlement day for suppliers. In the accounts department an analysis of details in hundreds of invoices is taking place, along with matching the delivery documents, checking conformity and verification of accuracy. It’s an arduous and time-consuming task, requiring a maximum focus during the manual entering and comparison of data. Perhaps that’s the case in most companies but here the verification of invoices’ accuracy is completed by the SAP system, reporting on all inconsistencies.

Hicron’s in-house solution

Hicron consultants have prepared a solution that collects the invoices from suppliers’ external systems in the form of XML files and processes them, automatically entering the resulting document in the SAP system or booking the document into the accounts. Before this happens, in the background, the system analyses all data positions from the invoice. After finding the respective order and delivery documents, the tax value and net prices are compared. If the values conform, the invoice is accepted and automatically entered in the accounts. In the case of substantial discrepancies, predefined by the client’s employees or failure to find the respective documents, the systems notifies a person to investigate the reasons of the inconsistency. Thus the SAP system allows you to save substantial time to focus on other activities on your to-do list.

When working on the concept of the solution, Hicron’s consultants designed error reports and flagging-up scenarios to inform the accounts employees about any inconsistencies. The error reports are directly linked to the XML files with the invoices so they send alerts with information when an error is identified, e.g. the VAT amount exceeds the tolerance or the purchase order is not found for invoice X. On the other hand, the reports show exactly which value is mentioned in the error report, e.g. the difference in the VAT amount. This is indispensable help, especially when it comes to invoices with many details whose analysis takes a substantial amount of time. All this is in order to reduce the involvement of the employee in the process of comparing the documents to a bare minimum.

Automatic entering of the invoices

One of the additional elements of the solution offered by Hicron is the processing of invoices containing not only correct information but also returns. A standard version of the SAP system gives the ability to combine the warehouse and the making amendments, but only when entering the invoicing documents manually. While designing the solution for automatic entering of the invoices, Hicron’s consultants bypassed this issue by reflecting the returns in the SAP system automatically and booking them in the right way.

The solution automating the booking process of invoices will work perfectly in any company, regardless of the industry and specifics of its activities. However, it’s the employees of companies with high turnover who place orders with high frequency who will make the most of this solution. It will also become useful in companies that have many branches and one headquarters-based accounts department, responsible for all purchases from all suppliers to all branches, says Marcin Dering, Senior SAP Consultant at HICRON, responsible for preparing the solution. The preparation, implementation and testing of the application take a dozen or so days. The process of preparation and the creation of the concept to verify the solution from the business point of view require the employees’ involvement. However the value of the time saved thanks to using the solution is incompatible with the time devoted to the implementation, he adds.

Speed and precision – basic advantages of the solution.

According to the estimates based on interviews with Hicron’s clients, the reduction of time devoted to the verification of the correctness of the invoices is up to 70-80 per cent. Thanks to the automation of repetitive activities in the SAP system, an employee is notified of the discrepancy at the moment its occurrence, e.g.

  • discrepancy between the net and the VAT tax amounts on the invoices and order or delivery documents;
  • a lack of the respective delivery document in the SAP system;
  • inability to match particular values between the invoice and the order.

An additional advantage of this solution is the safeguarding of high quality data. The solution can notify the employee of errors such as inconsistent NIP number or the identification of two suppliers with the same NIP number.