ISSI Document Management, Workflow Automation and RPA Blog

The Shangri-La of Invoice Automation: 3-Way Matching with RPA

Monday, February 7, 2022

The Shangri-La of Invoice Automation: 3-Way Matching with RPA

If you have to manually match delivery receipts, bills of lading or other proof of delivery to both the original purchase order and the invoice to pay your vendors, there’s cause to rejoice: you can put the drudgery behind you – for far less of an investment than you think.

The secret: RPA.

What Is RPA?

RPA, or “robotic process automation,” is the automation of office grunt work: the repetitive, mindless tasks that most knowledge workers hate. RPA is like a Microsoft Excel macro that runs outside of Excel and includes three types of “bots.”

RPA web robots can automatically extract or “scrape” information from anywhere on the web.

RPA process robots automate all other manual, repetitive, information-driven processes beyond web robot screen scraping. The purpose of these robots is to streamline and automate work processes so your knowledge workers can get more done in less time. One example is RPA’s ability to log into any website, search for documents and download or upload them.

RPA content robots automate the migration of content from one system to another. One primary example in our business is migrating data from legacy enterprise content management (ECM) systems, which dramatically reduces the time – and cost – of launching new systems and migrating the old.

And if you want more flexibility, you may want to consider RPA as a service (RPAAS).

More about RPA >

RPA for Invoice Automation

While document scanning, advanced document capture and workflow automation software reduces invoice processing time from weeks to days; RPA can reduce the time from days to hours.

Even the most advanced document capture software doesn’t automatically extract everything. Some vendor invoices must be downloaded from their portal. Integration of document capture and workflow software with your accounting/ERP software may also be lacking and expensive to develop with professional services.

In many situations, RPA can automate all of these steps for a fraction of what custom development and professional services cost – and be fully implemented within a few days.

More about RPA for invoice automation >

RPA for 3-Way Matching

Automated 3-way matching is the process of validating invoice charges by matching line item amounts with the original purchase order and proof of delivery so that vendors can be paid quickly and set you up to capture early payment discounts.

RPA can automatically log into vendor websites and pull invoices so that your document capture software (like ABBYY FlexiCapture or Alaris Info Input) can automatically extract invoice data with OCR.

RPA can then match up invoice data with purchase orders and proof of delivery documents by logging into those systems, pulling up those documents, and matching them. If they don’t match, the invoice is routed to a knowledge worker to resolve the problem as a function of workflow automation software, often a module of document management software like Hyland OnBase.

If the location of your stored documents – document management, SharePoint, cloud file share, or other – isn’t integrated with your accounting/ERP system RPA bots can be set up to upload documents and data from one system to another, instead of you having to commission a costly, complex and inflexible integration.

RPA can also be used to automate file naming and uploading for any document to any system.

How Much Does It Cost?

Combined with cloud document capture with ReadSoft Online, automating up to 80-95% of your invoice processing, including 3-way-matching, is achievable for under $10,000 for volumes of up to roughly 8,000 invoices per month.

Get Started Today

To identify the right combination of RPA and ECM technology to automate your 3-way matching and AP invoice processing – and the ROI you can expect – contact us. We’ll conduct an AP automation assessment at no charge, prepare a quote and schedule a custom product demo.

Contact us to learn more about 3-way matching and AP automation