Together, BMD and Finmatics of Abacus.ac, provide an integrated solution for the intelligent automation of their customers’ invoice receipt process: From the digitalization of the receipts to the AI-supported readout to the processing and posting in the accounting software. The solution combines the AI technology of Finmatics with the digital accounting technology of BMD. “This creates enormous potential for process optimization, especially in accounts payable,” says Wolfgang Foissner, Sales Manager at BMD SYSTEMHAUS GmbH.
Gaining efficiency with digital accounting
Most people know that the recording, processing and posting of incoming invoices is resource-intensive. What many underestimate, however, is the proportion of personnel capacity actually used up by the invoice receipt process. According to estimates, it sums up to as much as 75 percent. According to industry-independent benchmarks, three out of four employees in the accounting department are occupied with document management. On average, one employee can process between 10,000 and 20,000 incoming invoices per year. This number can be increased tenfold by adopting digital accounting with an intelligent readout and data processing logic.
Integrating complementary digital accounting solutions
The potential for digitalization and automation in accounting has not gone unnoticed. A dynamic, fast-growing market has developed around digital accounting processes, which is not lacking in innovative power – there is already a solution for almost every optimization problem. And this is precisely where the greatest challenge lies: isolated software components that are difficult to connect with each other. “The strength of BMD lies in its depth of integration,” explains Wolfgang Foissner. As Sales Manager at BMD SYSTEMHAUS GmbH, he knows the pain points of the accounting departments in companies and tax consulting firms: “If you start to implement an isolated software for each process step, you create inefficient workflows. If the systems do not work together, the information must be made available separately for each tool. The same data must then be typed and fed in multiple times. It is logical that such processes are not only cumbersome but also highly prone to error”. That is why BMD has specialized in developing digital accounting software that is flexible but at the same time fully integrated. This is made possible by a modular structure that combines those software components that are needed into an intuitive overall solution. In cooperation with Finmatics, this results in a seamless invoice receipt process:
- Digital capture of invoice characteristics: Thanks to its powerful Artificial Intelligence Abacus recognizes the first and last page of a document and captures the relevant document characteristics. Abacus also adds features to the document that are required for processing in the company. For this purpose, the software learns from the historical data of bookings and master data (such as suppliers, cost centers and tax codes) to identify and assign the basic information automatically.
- Automated account assignment: In the second step of the document processing process, the incoming invoice is automatically posted in BMD. The posting rules are defined on the basis of historical account assignment data – after a one-time validation, they are automatically applied to all postings. A simple example: If a restaurant buys lemonade, this clearly adds to the cost of goods. If a technology provider makes the same purchase, this falls under entertainment expenses. Such rules can be added or adapted manually at any time. In general, manual intervention is possible at any point. However, the goal is to create a fully automated process. An essential prerequisite for this is multi-client capability. This allows you to define the company or country-specific posting rules for individual clients.
Boosting efficiency gains with AI
In order to determine the degree of digitalization of tax consulting firms, BMD has developed a special application. It helps tax advising service providers to understand where they stand in terms of digital accounting by calculating the realized automation potential. The program recognizes what proportion of bookings has been processed automatically. “For the majority of tax advising service providers, this figure is now below 50 percent,” says Foissner. With the help of integrated solutions such as that by BMD and Finmatics, up to 90 percent of all incoming documents can be processed automatically. Since the AI (Artificial Intelligence) continuously optimizes itself thanks to machine learning algorithms, this percentage rises continuously over time.
The advantage is obvious: it frees up valuable human and financial resources. These can be used for more value-adding tasks than manually typing in data – such as consulting activities, strategy work, data analysis or simply a coffee break. In addition to the efficiency potential, the use of AI in the invoice receipt process also creates considerable improvements in process quality:
- Reduced susceptibility to errors through the automated reading of invoice information
- Ensuring that validation and approval processes are carried out according to plan
- Transparency and traceability through complete process documentation
Digitalization creates new business opportunities
The improved data basis in turn benefits controlling: integrated analysis options create a reliable basis for performance measurement, decision-making, and ultimately for corporate control. In this sense, the value of digital accounting can go far beyond mere efficiency potentials and become a key success factor. “We see ourselves as a strategic partner for our customers and think process optimization beyond pure accounting. Our holistic and integrative approach creates opportunities for improvement along the entire value chain,” Foissner concludes. There is nothing more to add to this – except thank you for this enriching cooperation!