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ECM Accounting Module

“When was the expiry date for the discount - what, yesterday?” “Why have I received the second reminder, didn't we pay that invoice a long time ago?” “What do you mean, the delivery note is with Meyer, hasn't he been on sick leave for a fortnight?” There are 1,001 causes for annoyance when it comes to checking and processing invoices. There is a simple remedy to combat the hassle: digital invoice checking and processing via ECM. The abbreviation stands for Enterprise Content Management and allows documents to be managed electronically and handled in automated processes. This begins with capturing and continues through to saving and archiving the documents. The ECM defines who is allowed to access which documents and when. It recognises payment deadlines and discounts and reminds you of both in good time.

Many companies deal with hundreds of invoices and delivery notes every day. The time required for checking and filing paper documents is enormous, and the procedure is prone to errors. Digitally routing invoices through the company with a defined workflow noticeably speeds up the processes for checking, approval and payment and reduces costs at the same time. That is why many companies want a consistently digital invoice workflow. Stefan Halupka, National Sales Director at TA Triumph-Adler, therefore explains that “no company can avoid digitised invoicing processes any longer.”

The ideal starting point: accounting

Since ECM systems are constructed as modules, companies do not have to convert their processes in one fell swoop, but can digitise step by step instead. Different workflows are defined for different processes, and it is this flexibility that sets ECM solutions apart. Consequently, TA expert Halupka recommends “identifying the area and process with the greatest added value for a pilot project and starting with that”. 

The ideal entry point to an ECM system is usually invoice checking and processing. After all, problems here can be really expensive. Despite that, remedies are readily available. Without a digitalised workflow, invoice documents often take days to reach the accounting department. One consequence of this is that irritated suppliers have to be stalled. All that is a thing of the past with an ECM system. Invoices run through the company in digital form in a matter of minutes and can be called up at any time.

“Typically, employees can cut a 15 to 20 minute search down to a few seconds with an ECM,” the industry association Bitkom declares in praise. He estimates that “employees will have up to 30% of their working time available for more important tasks due to the time saved by searching using the ECM”. Bitkom also mentions three further advantages:

  • The legal quality of the processes is increased.
  • ECM systems can detect instances of tampering.
  • ECM systems do not allow documents to be deleted during the prescribed retention period.

Reduce costs by 80%

It is getting easier and easier to exchange invoices digitally - and thanks to the Xrechnung format, it is gradually becoming a requirement. It is now possible to calculate what can be saved by switching from manual to electronic invoice checking and processing, which can be up to 80% of the costs. These savings can be even greater because digital processes also reduce the error rate. Here is a summary of all the advantages:

  • Greater transparency and tempo along the entire invoicing process
  • More speed thanks to automated methods of checking, approving and paying invoices
  • Compliance with legal requirements in accordance with the principles of proper accounting (GoBD)
  • Audit-compliant archiving ensures clarity and avoids filling metres of file folders with invoices. Any alterations made to the documents are traceable and fully recorded.

Accessing documents, checking invoices and approving orders via ECM can of course also be done on the move and remotely. Meetings, email correspondence and telephone conferences can also be conducted this way without losing information or violating data protection regulations. ECM makes companies fit for the digitised office of today. And tomorrow.

Would you like to find out more about the ECM module for digital invoice checking and processing?

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