Automating the Invoice Process with RPA
Duration: 2 months
UiPath Studio for developing the robot.
UiPath Assistant for running the robot on the client’s side.
Our client is a mid-sized European IT group with a vast portfolio of clients from all over the world. As the company has re-engineered its business development processes, they have grown in a number of new sales by 250% in just one year.
Nevertheless, gaining lots of new clients is definitely a positive achievement, it has resulted in a strong increase of workload for processing invoices. As the company paid decent attention to excellent client service, the invoice process was controlled personally by its Chief Operation Offices. The COO reviewed and approved each invoice document. So the increase in the volume of all invoices has resulted not only in a higher workload of the financial team but also influenced the time schedule of top management.
The client needed a solution that can automatically:
Check and update the status of the invoice whether it’s prepared for sending to the client while verifying multiple parameters in internal systems and databases.
Notify the COO and responsible managers about the preparation status of the invoice.
Review if all the parameters of invoices correspond to the defined standards and format.
As Skelia’s RPA team has already successfully developed and implemented an RPA solution for Tax Control and Management, the client decided to expand the cooperation with an invoice processing system.
The main challenge was to build a transparent process requiring minimal communication with the client-side. Due to the busyness of the customer, our team doesn’t have an opportunity to instantly chat in the process of finalizing the requirements. However, we used a proactive approach, analyzed the needs and came up with a concept. After that, our specialists discussed the solution and necessary matters with the client’s management team.
Also taking into consideration the highest level of confidentiality of the invoice-related information, the RPA team had no access to any personal or financial information of the client. So we had to create a test invoice database identical to the live invoice system structure and used it for developing the bot and testing the solution.
Our cooperation was built evaluating the situation next: we had a call during which our RPA Analyst asked for all the required information, then the team made a proof of concept, discussed other important questions with the COO, and started the development process.
Our specialists were responsible for defining what can be automated and what is beyond RPA, taking security risks into account. Our responsibilities also included developing the necessary business process automation, RPA analytics, task review and investigation, creation of the automated robot, and support during its deployment and the first launches.
After completing this part of the work, our team demonstrated the result and then discussed additional comments and feedback with the client. In addition, when something needed to be changed or added, we recorded it to the backlog and implemented it by the next demo.
time cost reduced
days start to finish
of invoice processing routine automated
The result of our cooperation with the customer was the creation of an RPA robot for invoice processing at three major stages:
As RPA bot doesn’t have any permissions and has no credentials to the invoice related systems, the user logs in the invoice system manually. The RPA bot waits for the user to log in to the invoicing system and check if the login was successful. Then it starts iteratively searching for invoices to open them one by one. Also, it checks the attachments, if any – downloads, changes the status of an invoice, and loops through others. It also checks if the major parameters of the invoice are correct, and notifies the client’s management of any errors.
When the invoices are verified and approved, the bot starts sending invoices to the client’s customers with bills attached with asking of delivery and read report.
Invoice Payment Processing
As a final step in the process, the RPA bot checks and updates the statuses of all invoice payments according to the defined algorithms and timing. During this stage, the bot relies on the data in other invoice payment systems of the client.
I’m happy with the results we achieved. It freed up 3/4 of the time that I used to spend on invoice processing. For example, instead of having to spend up to five minutes reviewing the status of a single invoice, the RPA handles that same document automatically in about 30 seconds.