Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) works to ensure the responsible development of Canada’s natural resources including energy, forests, minerals and metals. NRCan provides energy policy, regulation, information, financial assistance and science and technology (S&T) facilities and programs to implement its goals. As a part of S&T mandate, NRCan implemented few technology solutions including e-Payment, myKey and the a new SAP/R3 financial system software in the year 2010 to automate accounts payable solution. Together the three systems enabled accounts payable process improvements across the Accounts Department and represented an improvement to the way accounts payable are processed across the Department.
- Scan Station Process to scan paper invoices and generate digital images.
- Field Indexing to perform recognition technology (using OCR / ICR / OBR / OMR / IDC) to read invoice information from digital images and extract the invoice data to SAP/R3.
- Process Workflow to ensure invoice details match against existing Purchase Orders with database lookups, automatically add new vendors and identify any discrepancies.
- information related to supplier data, amount to be paid, taxes, line item details, workflow status, audit trail and invoice images). Visibility and control, along with timely and accurate reports, facilitate healthy cash flow decisions.
- Timely & Correct Financial Reports: By having access to extracted invoice data, NRCan would be in control of reporting details, charts, graphs, tables, discount, production volume and lead time reports.
- No Late Payment Penalties: NRCan wanted accounts payable workflow to reduce the invoice cycle time by 70 to 90%; thereby enabling AP clerks the time to process invoices within payment terms and provide NRCan with the opportunity to potentially negotiate more favorable payment terms.
- Reduce Invoice Processing Errors: A Capturing invoice data accurately at the front of the process should save time and reduce human errors and double payments.
- Integrate with SAP/R3: Seamless workflow integration with SAP.
docAlpha Scan Stations were introduced at the front end of the paper ingestion process to digitize, classify, recognize, validate and extract the meta-data from supplier invoices and automatically routes via email, invoices based on business rules and roles. docAlpha Scan Stations are physically located at the Invoice Reception Center (IRC). When invoices and attachments (purchase orders, contracts, letters, etc.) arrive as an email, fax, scanned image or EDI, they are recognized using Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR), Optical Character Recognition (OCR) or bar code recognition is automatically processed. The invoices and attachments are retrieved and, if need be, converted to electronic format. The invoice meta- data including supplier name, date, line item,reference, unit price, quantity, amount,HST rate type is automatically extracted and released to SAP/R3. The captured invoice data is validated by applying NRCan defined process rules. Suppliers are recognized by utilizing database lookups, invoices are then automatically validated by matching with the purchase orders or delivery slips. Documents that do not conform are subject to validation by the operators. The docAlpha solution utilizes multiple validation rules and methods to accurately capture data, including key word analysis, statistics, logical calculations, layout detection (provision of logos, texts or images), database look-ups, etc. docAlpha also features a unique auto-learning capability,that adapts to document identification faster for invoice documents it’s previously processed. Once validated, the invoices and attachments are released to SAP/R3 for payment allocation, invoice approval, accounting and filing
By implementing the docAlpha solution to integrate with SAP/R3,NRCan reduced the number of daily steps in the document verification process to accurately capture accounting and financial data. The combined solution enabled NRCan to significantly reduce the time required for invoice processing, streamlined AP management processes by handling complex business rules and invoices with minimum human interaction, maximum control and visibility. Connectis Group provides the software solutions and technical expertise to engage with NRCan, learning the requirements and translating them into a working docAlpha system that was implemented in short time and much faster than the alternative solution of customizing SAP/R3. docAlpha Accounts Payable workflow is completely automated and compliant with NRCan’s legal and security requirements, reduce risks associated with internal audits and reduces the liabilities associated with invoice management. By engaging Connectis and implementing docAlpha the time to process an invoice has been significantly reduced and has provided substantial cost savings. Accounting staff can quickly access all invoices electronically, view and track the status.
- 100% liability tracking and process transparency.
- 75% increase in employee productivity. Fewer errors.
- Integration and extension of SAP/R3 ERP system.
- Simplified the Section 34 verification for managers (electronic signature and routing)
- Automated exception handling for incomplete or incorrect invoices.
- Very rapid implementation.
- Improved cash management and improved bottom line.
- Early payment discounts. Fewer late payment penalties.
- Regulatory compliance. Reduced fraud risk.
- Secure access to all invoices and related supporting documents.