Dear Lumbergh, I’m Not Working This Weekend.

By Optiform Blogger, September 30, 2016


Office Space. Is that how you feel when your desk is overloaded with invoices?

Surely you’ve seen my favorite office comedy; Office Space. It’s a classic. If you have not yet seen it, you must go to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, your local movie store, or department store and get a copy. Truly… It is a must have for any movie collection. This scene below is what came to mind as I realized how many companies out there are still manually keying in data from documents they have received from suppliers, customers, contractors, and even internal resources. Take a look at one of the most notable scenes:

In speaking recently with a marketing agency in town, I heard first-hand how stressed the Accounts Payable department gets when the 15th and the 30th of the month roll around. They have a large pool of contractors who all submit their invoices via email. Each invoice they receive is formatted differently. Many of them are late getting their invoices submitted. (Why an invoice is submitted late for payment baffles me, but yet it happens.) After all the invoices are submitted, they are then tasked with manually entering the invoice data in their accounting system to then request that payment be released for work performed for the current pay period.

While we can’t exactly fix the late submission process from contractors, we can address the pain points that come with the process of manually entering the data from the plethora of invoice formats received. Does your current process look like either of these scenarios below?

The manual AP process, in its best form, looks somewhat like this:

  • Invoices are sent to the appropriate parties throughout the company.
  • Recipient might make copies or add some notes to the invoice before sending it to Accounts Payable.
  • After AP reviews the invoice, they must determine who needs to approve the invoice, and whether there are any discrepancies requiring a resolution.
  • After that review, there may be more attached, additional copies made, and finally the invoice is off for review and approval.
  • The approved invoice comes back to AP, who then enters it into the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system; supplier payment is scheduled, and the all paper records are stored.

A really poor manual AP process looks a little like this:

  • Invoices sit on the recipients’ desk for days.
  • When received, Accounts Payable sees a problem that may require the invoice to be sent back to the supplier for correction and re-submission.
  • Now comes the corrected invoice. AP sends it to the buyer with notes to resolve discrepancies, enter general ledger (GL) codes, and approve it.
  • It’s holiday season, and the buyers are out of the office or on vacation, so now the invoices sit and wait for their return.
  • Invoice processing delays often result in exceeding the suppliers’ expected payment date, putting them in a bind and a bad mood.
  • Suppliers then reach out to the buyer to check the status of the invoice.
  • The buyer or their assistant (because the buyer is still out of office) cannot locate the invoice.
  • The supplier has to send a duplicate invoice.
  • This causes additional confusion and delay and may result in a duplicate payment to the supplier.
  • Nobody is happy.

Does this sound like your company?

ABBYY FlexiCapture for Invoices can save your weekend.

When you’ve got a moment:

(p.s. bonus points if you Tweet us and tell us your favorite scene in Office Space)

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