Increased value in procurement
Increasing digitization ensures that companies can further optimize existing processes with the help of new technologies. This particularly affects support functions such as accounting and controlling. The common denominator is the linking of independent systems so that processes can run automatically without human interaction. A prerequisite for such networking is the existence of machine-readable data. In this respect, the provision of machine-readable data is an important fuel for digitization.
Documents are therefore the ideal way to get started with digitalisation: electronically recording and processing documents is a simple way of making key business information accessible electronically without any modal fragmentation. Subsequent processes are automated, throughput times are cut and errors avoided.
Cross-checks are all that are needed
The purchase to pay process is a good example of how information can be used digitally throughout and how individual steps can be networked to form an integrated process. All routine activities are handled by software systems and all relevant document contents are automatically recognized. The associated internal control and approval processes are also handled electronically. Manual intervention is only necessary if deviations occur.
Even the first step in the procurement process, the determination of requirements, should take place digitally, so that the required goods requirements are recorded by the system directly at the workplace. All steps for approval or clarification can then also be carried out completely electronically - before or during the ordering process. This applies to the checking and approval of the material requisition as well as to the clarification of account assignment questions. All important facts are thus clarified and the purchase order can be created automatically.
This makes the subsequent processes much easier. Since all important information on the procurement process is already available and the order reference exists, incoming order confirmations and delivery notes can be processed more quickly. The important contents - material number, price and quantity in the order confirmation or supplier and order number in the delivery note - are automatically recognized by the software. The comparison with the existing order is done by the system. A large part of the goods receipts can thus be accelerated considerably.
Invoices - the final step
In invoice processing, the amount of manual work is also greatly reduced. Here, too, reconciliation with the purchase order is carried out automatically, and all questions regarding account assignment have already been clarified in advance. Multi-stage workflows will therefore become obsolete. If approvals are required, these can be issued via mobile devices. A clerk only needs to intervene if there is a need for clarification. If the system does not find any variances, the invoice can be posted directly in the background if required.
This also applies to electronic invoices that are transferred in ZUGFeRD format or by mail system, for example. These are transferred directly and also posted without an intermediate step. By processing documents in this way automatically and in real time directly in the SAP system, a further step towards digital transformation is taken.