Contributed by: Ray Cooper, Information Architect, Mark Anthony Group
Mark Anthony Group is an alcoholic beverage importer and distributor headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. It has numerous branch offices all over Canada and the United States. The organization deals with 4,000 different suppliers, which means it has to process roughly 4,000 different invoice types. Here is how Laserfiche Workflow and Laserfiche Mobile streamlined the company’s accounts payable process.
Invoices arrive at Mark Anthony Group either as PDF email attachments or by regular mail.
- Paper invoices are scanned into Laserfiche using a custom module developed with the Laserfiche SDK. This module extracts information from the invoices and populates the metadata.
- PDF invoices are imported into Laserfiche through the Microsoft Outlook Laserfiche plug-in.
Once the invoices are scanned onto the network, they are processed with Kofax and automatically sent to Laserfiche.
If the invoice is a bill of lading, Laserfiche Workflow moves it directly to the “PendingReciepts” folder. Otherwise, Laserfiche Workflow:
- Uses an SDK Script activity to perform checks in the MSG Pro ERP database such as whether this account is already set up in the ERP system, and who the reviewer is. Download a copy of this script here.
- Moves the entry to the reviewer’s folder and notifies him by email that a new invoice is pending his review.
- If the accounts were not set up previously in the ERP system, Laserfiche Workflow emails the technical support team.
The reviewer reviews the invoice and, depending on the further course of action, changes the value of the “Approval Status” field to one of the following:
- Sent to admin
- Pending receipts
If the invoice is approved, Laserfiche Workflow:
- Uses an SDK Script activity to find the next reviewer.
- Checks the ERP system to make sure the GL coding was performed correctly.
- If the GL coding is invalid, an email is sent to the current approver.
- If the GL coding is valid and the reviewer is not set to APPending, the email is moved to the folder of the next approver, who is notified by email.
- If the GL coding is valid and the reviewer is set to APPending, then the notes field is updated with the history of the document and the entry is moved to the “PendingReceipts” folder for vouchering.
If the invoice is declined, it is routed to the previous reviewer. If another option is chosen, the invoice is routed to the appropriate individual for additional review.
Here is the branch of the workflow that deals with approved invoices:
Next, the AP employee creates a receipt for the invoice in the ERP system. Another workflow then checks if the receipt is correct and syncs the receipt data with the invoice’s Laserfiche metadata.
If everything is correct, the invoice is routed to the “Vouchering” folder, where Laserfiche Workflow automatically vouchers the invoices by populating the ERP system with the invoice’s metadata. The workflow also performs checks to make sure the vouchering is done correctly.
Since many Mark Anthony employees spend time on the road, the company has deployed Laserfiche Mobile to ensure they can review invoices on their iPhones or iPads even when they’re out of the office.
Since as many as fifty people can view different invoices at different times, it is important to configure the security in such a way that only authorized individuals have access to sensitive information.
Security is enforced at the field level. Employees are able to edit only the fields that enable them fulfill their particular job function. Fields that are not relevant to the particular user (such as the fields Laserfiche Workflow uses to perform document routing) are simply hidden.
Advantages of Laserfiche
Implementing Laserfiche has had the following benefits for Mark Anthony Group:
- In the past, it took 5-10 minutes to process each voucher. With Laserfiche Workflow, vouchering is no longer a manual task that consumes employee time.
- Invoices are reviewed by the correct person every time.
- Laserfiche Mobile allows reviewers to take action on documents even when they’re out of the office.
Automating accounts payable requires preparation, collaboration and an honest look at your existing processes. Get the free guide and learn how to automate A/P the right way.