FIS_1

Automated Invoice Booking for SAP – FIS/edc (invoice monitor)

00Products February, 16

 

Introduction

FIS / edc (electronic document centre) is an SAP Certified technology that automates the processing of invoices and other documents such as credit memos, sales orders, customer payment advice notes and vendor statements with minimal human intervention.  FIS / edc considerably reduces manual tasks and eases pressures on the accounts staff, taking the administration burden away from businesses.

FIS / edc (electronic document centre) processes integrate with SAP transactions to create savings as documents are processed automatically and queries are handled more efficiently than with SAP ERP standard.

The applications are installed on the same IT infrastructure as SAP ERP – and no modifications to SAP standard are required. FIS / edc references real-time SAP data and also includes additional functions and simplified processes designed specifically for the accounts team and invoice approvers.

 

FIS/edc (invoice monitor)

The FIS/edc (invoice monitor) is normally paired with automated data entry application FIS / fci, to facilitate the posting of a high percentage of invoices in SAP ERP without the involvement of the accounts team – resulting in an unmatched blind-booking rate. The application is further enhanced with the Email reader – which eliminates the need for printing or scanning invoice attachments. Invoices recieved electronicaly via EDI are can also be processed with FIS / edc (invoice monitor) with invoice data being displayed in PDF format.

The invoice data for PO-related invoices is compared to the open-PO data and the receipt data from SAP at item-line/position level. A match – within tolerance – allows invoices to be posted automatically.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Approval Workflow

FIS / edc supports several workflow functions including FIS Web Dynpro (i.e. an approval workflow application presenting invoice data within SAP’s proprietary web-technology) which allows approvers to action the invoice with forwarding and account assignment functions.

Goods Receipting of the invoice can also be actioned via the FIS Web Dynpro workflow.

 

Fiori Apps for Invoice Approval and Reporting

Approvals may also be completed from mobile devices and desktops via the SAP Fiori app. The solution provides a simplified interface for tablets, smartphones and desktops.

 

Smartphone_Fiori

Approval Workflow running on SAP Fiori Apps

 

Summary

For organisations:

  • Wishing to automate the payment process and make savings when booking invoices into SAP
  • Requiring a substantial increase in data quality for supplier invoice data
  • With a substantial SAP ERP investment – looking to tune the payment processes and make savings
  • Reduce the degree of manual keying and data entry within the current payment processes
  • Wishing to make digital transformations in their current processes

Alternative to:

  • Standard SAP ERP module
  • Physical movement of financial documents
  • Manual keying of data with no validation checks
  • Printing emailed invoice attachments
  • Using email and attachments as a workflow

Technologies:

  • Versions for both SAP ECC 6 (and above) as well as SAP S/4HANA
  • Flexible import of invoices via OCR and EDI
  • Line Matching (MM) of Invoice data with SAP data – PO and GR
  • Automatic Account Assignments
  • Workflow Options using SAP proprietary standards Web Dynpro and, optionally,  Fiori apps
  • Reporting Tools to identify issues and bottlenecks for further process improvements
  • Transparency and history audit for each invoice
  • Deep SAP ERP integration – worklists for AP users
  • Presentation of EDI transactions as a PDF

Benefits:

  • Higher productivity of AP team members with more functions in familiar SAP GUI standard – frees up time from repetitive task
  • Faster supplier payments – meeting corporate specific service levels
  • Invoice image displayed in FIS/edc and workflow modules as well as SAP ERP
  • Harnesses the intrinsic power of your SAP ERP – FIS solution works with SAP
  • Integrated into SAP but with no need for modifications to SAP ERP standard – quick enhancement pack and upgrade changes
  • Data stored once in SAP database – no data exchanges with third-parties
  • High blind booking rate – particularly for emailed invoices
  • Efficient interrogation tools for exceptions / query management
  • High financial return on investment
  • AP team directed to more value-added work as FIS/edc automates labour intensive tasks
  • Reduction in long invoice processing times
  • Transparency and visibility of the entire P2P process

 

ROI_March_22

FIS / fci – Automated Invoice Content Extraction

00Products February, 16

 

FIS / fci – Advanced Automated Data Entry

FIS / fci (Freeform Capture and Integration) is a leading, innovative technology that is used to automatically examine a digital invoice (or other semi-structured document) and extract the required data with minimal or no human intervention. The technology creates financial and time savings compared to manual data-entry and increases data quality prior to importing into SAP or other ERP/Accounts software. FIS/fci minimises the administrative drain on accounts departments.

FIS / fci is installed on its own separate server (outside of SAP) and reads the content of documents that are received as a scan or as an emailed attachment. The software offers unmatched recognition rates for invoices – lifting both the header and line-item content.

The FIS / fci software is normally paired with FIS/edc (invoice monitor) – to post a high percentage of invoices automatically in SAP without the need for human intervention. The solution is also enhanced with the FIS/fci Email reader – which eliminates the need for printing invoice attachments.

 

Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash

 

Reading Invoices on Day One

FIS / fci is pre-programmed to look for specific information fields on an invoice and then extract the relevant data within close vicinity. The ‘freeform’ recognition technology automatically finds the invoice data irrespective of invoice design and layout.

  • Supplier details and invoice receiver checks are validated against the latest SAP references master file.
  • Invoices financial values are checked for arithmetic agreement between net, tax and gross values.
  • Fuzzy technology compensates for incomplete or inaccurate vendor data or poor quality invoice scans.
  • Several OCR engines are utilised to increase data accuracy.
  • Any manual confirmations or checks are stored in an intelligent knowledge base for each vendor.

 

image

FIS / fci  Completion Screen

Reporting

Detailed reports illustrate vendor invoice volumes and data extraction rates for specific fields to identify issues with specific suppliers.

FCI reports

Summary

For organisations who wish to make savings and increase automated processes – by significantly reducing the degree of data-entry and manual keying of data into their ERP or Accounts software, whilst at the same time, improving data quality by introducing automated validation and feasibility checks

Documents can be received as emailed attachments or scanned paper documents

The Accounts team becomes more productive as labourious tasks are automated

Alternative to:

  • Printing and manually keying in data from a physical document
  • Checking figures with a calculator
  • Slow process of data entry with inherent errors

Key Technologies:

  • Multiple OCR engines – working in agreement
  • Automatic recognition of suppliers and company codes
  • Automatic forwarding of emailed invoices
  • Freeform recognition – FIS/fci is pre-conditioned out-of-the box to search for pertinent financial document data
  • Intelligent knowledge base – stores data co-ordinates for all successfully read invoices and therefore reduces the number of corrections in the future
  • Reads header and line items automatically
  • Contributes to high “blind booking rate ” when combined with FIS / edc (invoice monitor)
  • Ability to read any semi-structured document such as sales orders, payment advice notes or vendor statements

 

fis6

FIS / edc – Automated Reconciliation Processing

00Products February, 16

 

FIS / edc (Statement Monitor)

FIS / edc (Statement Monitor) is an integrated SAP ERP solution that significantly increases the level of automation and decreases the level of manual work required when processing vendor statements and/or customer payment advice notes (remittences). As a result of integrating the technology within an SAP environment – the recnciliation process can be executed in less time and more economically than with standard SAP. Releases of FIS / edc (Statement Monitor) run with SAP ECC 6 or SAP S/4HANA infrastructues. FIS / edc (Statement Monitor) is able to process both vendor statements and customer payment advice notes. The solution will require the OCR invoice reading technology, FIS / FCI for extrcting the key content from the document.

 

 

a) Vendor Statements

Vendor Statements usually take a lot of time to manually review. In most instances – all statements are compared with the vendor account balance on SAP.

FIS / edc (statement monitor)  is largely focused on identifying vendors with unequal (monthly) reconciliation balances compared to SAP ERP.

The solution’s main advantages include:
• Accounts Payable team only view reconciliations with unequal balances
• Identifing invoices from vendors that could potentially not have been received or could be misplaced
• Improving the efficiency of the Accounts Payable team – who now only review reconciliation exceptions identified by the monitor

The solution normally works in parallel with the core FIS / edc solution for invoices, FIS / edc (invoice monitor).

Statement data is then automatically compared with the vendor balances in SAP ERP on the date of the statement.

Summary

For organisations who wish to make savings by automating the process of reviewing vendor statement balances sent to their AP department compared to the balances in SAP. The statement monitor filters exceptions – statements that do not reconcile completely against vendor balances in SAP ERP on date displayed on the statement.

An alternative to:

  • Manually comparing all statements against SAP ERP vendor records.
  • Spending time aiming to identify which lines match and which lines have errors.

Technology highlights and key benefits:
•  Automatic reading of vendor reconciliation contents from an emailed attachment or scanned image
•  Automatic comparison of data from the vendor and data within SAP – filtering statements with non-zero balances
•  Identifies invoices potentially in dispute or lost invoices
•  Manual comparison of data now diminished – AP staff directed to reconciliations where assistance is required
•  Vendor data from the document is compared with data in SAP in familiar SAP GUI.

 

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

b) Payment Advice Note Processing

FIS / edc (statement monitor) can also be utilised to increase the level of automation and decrease the level of manual tasks required when processing customer payment advice notes – or remittance advice notes. Using th statement monitor, customer remittances can be matched and subtracted automatically from the outstanding invoices records in SAP ERP prior to the payment reconciliation’s with the bank. Therefore the automated process creates savings and improves matching accuracy.

The payment advice note monitor is often implemented as an addition technology for FIS clients who already work with FIS / edc (invoice monitor).

Technology Highlights and key benefits include:
• Accounts Receivable team only review remittances with unequal balances
• Identifies invoices sent to customers that have not been received or acknowledged
• Improves the efficiency of the Accounts Receivable team – who now only reviewing  reconciliation exceptions
• Manual comparison of data now diminished – Accounts Receivable team directed to remittances where assistance is required
• Customer data from the document is compared with data in SAP – within SAP environment GUI

fis2

FIS / mpm – Simplified Master Data and Price Management

10Products February, 16

 

Introduction

The FIS / mpm application has been developed specifically for organisations with SAP ERP who face processing issues when adding new or maintaining existing master data or alternatively wish to upload large data volumes.

FIS  / mpm is an “SAP centric” technology with FIS proprietary applications running on SAP standards (i.e. with familiar SAP GUIs and NetWeaver interfaces) as an add-on application, deeply integrated into SAP standard (releases are available for both either SAP ECC 6 and SAP S/4HANA infrastructures).

The technology also works with extended “z-tables” in the SAP ERP database, therefore eliminating the need for file exchanges and data mapping between SAP and non-integrated software.

One of the primary utilisations of the FIS / mpm application is to address the issue of master data governance.

FIS / mpm provides a clear method of controlling master data updates for all participants in pre-defined roles.

Conceptual Diagram of FIS / mpm with SAP ERP Integration

Identifying Most Common Processing Issues

In our initial discussions with several clients we identified common recurrences of frustrations when creating data in SAP.

These included organisations that:

  • spent a lot of time using email as a workflow tool
  • work with very complex and bespoke Excel spreadsheets that are difficult to maintain
  • process data that includes detailed data completion notes
  • required bespoke coding
  • work with external applications that exchange files with SAP standard which caused issues with table synchronisation with SAP upgrades/enhancement packs

Issues with non-defined roles meant that some employees that may have the most expertise of the data (i.e. for vendors, customers, materials, prices etc)  may not be aware of the stringent requirements of SAP. In practice this usually results in data omissions, invalid fields and further errors. Secondly, the SAP team members may have knowledge of the strict master data stipulations of SAP but may have less knowledge of the core data that is being added or maintained. In many instances the senior master data teams were often spending time correcting minor errors from initiators.

In many instances here was no pre-defined roles or controlled workflow routes/sequences.

 

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

 

Roles and Processes Defined

In an effort to resolve the most common issues, FIS / mpm defines typical roles (Initiators, Enrichers, SAP Key-users, SAP Power-users etc) and workflow procedures for SAP ERP master data. This means that data is reviewed by the correct people and in a stringent process and workflow – good controls in the way master data is added and maintained. FIS / mpm addresses the core issues by defining the common tasks within the process and then providing a methodology controlled by the SAP master data team.

  • FIS / mpm provides an easy-to-use web technology at the source for the data initiators – significantly reducing the number of fields for completion, identifying mandatory fields and provides drop down choice alternatives for data import
  • Bulk uploads can created from FIS / mpm by defining Excel worksheets with clearly labelled tables
  • The Web Dynpro workflow allows checking by a supervisor (if necessary) or can be extended to other participants with master data knowledge
  • The FIS / mpm application also validates fields for feasibility and completeness before advancing to the SAP supervisors
  • SAP stewards work in a familiar SAP environment within FIS / mpm.
  • The FIS / mpm staging area is a workplace that provides a checking area before releasing of master-data into SAP.

Summary

For organisations who wish to save time and effort when creating new or maintaining existing master data within SAP.

For organisations who wish to create clear roles and governance for master data changes and additions.

An alternative to:

  • Complex forms and Excel sheets for participants with data expertise moving backwards and forwards between SAP stewards
  • Using Email as a workflow – no clear governance on processes – process unlikely to capture all necessary data comprehensively
  • Tasking SAP experts with minor data management issues
  • Inefficient methods of data management handling in SAP

Key technologies and benefits:

  • Versions available for both SAP ECC 6 or SAP S/4HANA
  • WebDynpro workflow – allows participants with minimal SAP expertise create new and maintain master data
  • Ability to ensure clear governance of roles and responsibilities – from initiation to final SAP release
  • Allows bulk upload of master data (Excel) as well as single records
  • Provides intelligent data validation checks prior to transfer into the FIS / mpm staging area
  • FIS / mpm staging area provides final checking of data before release into SAP ERP
  • Automatic reports to show the success of data transfers into SAP ERP
  • Timed events to release data from FIS / mpm staging area into SAP ERP

FIS / mpm components

FIS / mpm is currently available in English, German and French with further versions available on request.

Releases available for SAP ECC 6 and SAP S/4HANA

  • Article master, purchasing info records and source list
  • Vendor master
  • Customer master
  • Bill of materials
  • Document Maintenance
  • Conditions
  • Sales Functions

 

FIS_4

FIS/xee Secure Connectivity Between ERPs

00Products February, 16

FIS / xee (xml and edi engine)

FIS / xee is an advanced “business data adapter” that facilitates integration with other IT systems. FIS / xee provides a secure data exchange within SAP and has comprehensive EDI support.

FIS / xee is an innovative application which facilitates the electronic exchange of data, documents and messages with SAP ERP and other applications – both internal and external.

FIS / xee has been certified by SAP AG and is successfully used worldwide with more than 250 installations.

The FIS / xee range of products support integration and communication processes (EAI = “Enterprise Application Integration”).

 

Photo by Lucian Alexe on Unsplash

Key benefits include:

  • Optimise and accelerate the information flow across enterprise boundaries
  • Continuous linking of your business processes – avoiding media changes
  • Improvement of your business relationships with customers and vendors
  • Permanent availability
  • Decrease of error rate – no manual data entry required

Integration made easy:

  • The FIS / xee system is a user-friendly and secure system for the electronic exchange of data, documents and messages with your business partners and additional internal applications – both SAP and non-SAP
  • With FIS / xee, a flexible and secure exchange is possible in any kind of requested format (e.g. the industry standards VDA, ODETTE, ANSI X.12, EDIFACT, XML etc.)
  • The entire administration and monitoring takes place in the “SAP-look-and-feel” user interface (dedicated SAP transactions) to enable very short implementation times
  • Media changes are avoided and business processes run more securely
  • In addition, the automation involved in the electronic exchange of documents and messages accelerates the processes and reduces costs
  • To meet the requirements of the industry standards, format conversions or mappings can easily be created using FIS/xee workbench
  • Versions of FIS / xee run with both SAP ECC 6 and SAP S/4HANA

The FIS / xee system is fully integrated into SAP ERP, i.e. system settings and monitoring are executed via user-friendly and easily understood SAP transactions.

Data conversion and communication take place on an external subsystem computer that is independent from SAP. The applications of the SAP systems transfer the data to the standard SAP IDoc interface connected to the FIS / xee system.

PArtnership_2

Strategic Partnerships Enabling Optimal Business Solutions

00Products September, 14

 

FIS–ASP are the SAP hosting division of FIS and operate and manage SAP ERP systems in state-of-the-art FIS-ASP data centres, primarily in Grafenrheinfeld. The centre boasts one of the most advanced, high available server stacks for SAP and FIS applications with clients being able accelerate their business processes and reporting with the latest S4/HANA IT infrastructure.

FIS-ASP is also able to host FIS/wws (wholesale modules), Office, SAP ERP and SAP Business One applications – generally on a subscription model with close to 24/7 availability. The FIS-ASP managed service subsidiary removes the need for organisations need to invest in their own SAP infrastructure and dedicated IT team – and focus instead on their core business propositions.

FIS-ASP also host the FIS iLog platform iRetPlat. The platform is the first cross company solution for logging the exchanges of RTPs (Returnable Transit Packaging) – such as pallets, dolavs, cages, trays. The platform is available for all transactions within Europe and is flexible to integrate with all leading ERP solutions.

www.fis-asp.de

 

Document Options are an established FIS UK partner providing a range of document capture and document data-extraction services that utilises FIS’ invoice reading software FIS/fci.

Document Options work with FIS to support their client base with invoice capture and data reading services. The service addresses the issues of clients who prefer to “outsource” the capture and data reading component of their invoice processing solution as an alternative to data keying or in-house software.

Furthermore, Document Options also provide flexible invoice processing solutions for their SAP and non-SAP client base.

www.document-options.co.uk

DOL Invoice Reading as a Service

 

H&S Heilig und Schubert Software AG are a leading SAP partner with offices in Germany and Austria. An FIS partner for several years, H&S predominantly provide FIS with products, services and support for their SAP certified document archive. The SAP Certified inPoint Content Archive provides fast access to stored documents from FIS/edc – invoices, sales orders, statements, order confirmations etc.

The archive supports both SAP ECC and SAP S/4HANA infrastructures.

www.hs-soft.com

 

Opto-Sweden are an established partner of FIS for several years and provide a number of innovative automated document processing solutions. Optosweden are FIS/fci innovators with a “cloud” platform for P2P functions for non-SAP ERP functions.

The Opto-Sweden “Cross State” cloud solution provides a modular proposition for UK/European clients who can select the essential components that provide the best technical and business fit for their enterprise:

  • Invoice Capture
  • Emailed Invoice Capture
  • Invoice Data Reading
  • Invoice Completion
  • Invoice Completion (as a service)
  • Invoice data matching with Accounts/ERP data
  • Exception and PO exempt workflow
  • Integration module with Accounts/ERP
  • Document Hosting

Opto Sweden have integrated with more than 50 Accounts solutions and provide innovative integration tools particularly for applications with SQL and Oracle database components.

Cross-State provides a flexible solution to accommodate UK clients who have non-SAP based Accounts/ERP solutions but wish to take the cost out of the processing of invoices reducing manual labour-intensive tasks.

www.optosweden.se