Fast Purchase Invoice Process in Business Central

Many companies are trying to cope with a growing workload and want to do so without increasing head count.

One of the areas that is often asked about when discussing Dynamics 365 Business Central’s capabilities is recording Purchase Invoices, specifically saving time and effort in entering & approving them.

Get it from the start

Most of our new customers have asked for this functionality as part of phase 1, which is interesting as this used to be a nice to have feature a year or two ago. A sign that Finance departments are under increasing pressure to get more done in less time.

Having Purchase Invoices scanned and then electronically read, and having that data automatically input into Business Central is a real time saver.

With an increasing number of suppliers sending Invoices electronically, the previous burden of having to scan paper invoices manually has made this solution much easier to use and take advantage of. Especially for small finance teams, removing the data entry time of correctly logging purchase Invoices is a fast and simple boost to productivity.

Automatically Creating Purchase Invoices

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a trusted technology and has improved over the years. Many companies use this to scan purchase invoices and tell the accounts system what it has seen.

The accounts system then creates a Purchase Invoice with much (if not all) of the data filled in. Giving small accounts teams, the ability to process large volumes of purchase invoices easily.

It also means the Invoice document is attached to the transaction being processed, so it is available to be viewed in original form from within the system. You no longer need to sift through filing cabinets to find the invoice or need to be in the office to view it for that matter.

To make this even easier, Dynamics Business central allows you to create the Purchase Invoice from within an Outlook email itself.

Screenshot showing the Business Central Invoice created from within Outlook and the Option to create the Attachment as an “Incoming Document” (which can then be sent for OCR)

Automatically Approving Invoices

Another typical hold up in accounts payable process is waiting for and chasing approvals. Often based on passing paper around, approvals took time and needed people to be in the office.

However, if you have a Purchase Order approval system in place then the Invoices created by the OCR tool can check if the Invoice matched an approved Purchase Order and match the two together. Pre-approving the Invoice. Approving at the Purchase Order stage is preferable to approving Purchase Invoices as the spend is approved before it is actually incurred.

With Business Central, the scanned image is held with the invoice being approved, so the Approver can see it on their mobile device, web browser or at their desk. This typically speeds up the process by days and means approvers don’t have to fear a big pile of paperwork or emails when they get back to their desks.

Screenshot showing the “Incoming Document” record in Business Central. Clicking on the Attachment will download it to your device.

From their mobile device, they can also see the same information from the Business Central App.

Screenshot of the App showing the Invoice, Incoming Document and PDF from the Business Central Phone App.

Contact Us

If you feel your Accounts Payable department can get through their workload quicker, saving you time and allowing a greater volume of work to be done with the same team, please give us a call and we are happy to understand the issues you are facing and help however we can.

Feel free to chat with us online or call us on 03300 882 515.

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