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Pitney Bowes introduces straight through Invoice Process Automation

Monday, December 13, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Watford, UK - Pitney Bowes has launched a new Invoice Process Automation service designed to help businesses and public sector organisations cut costs, improve supplier relationships and streamline the heart of the finance function.

Across Europe, a massive 28 billion invoices are still sent by mail. Every paper invoice currently costs an average of more than £10 to process. Pitney Bowes Invoice Process Automation service tackles the huge amounts of unnecessary cost and wasted effort inherent in the average invoicing process, both payables and receivables.

The typical costs of invoicing are significantly reduced by going digital which removes expenses such as re-keying, potential late payment penalties and paper processing.  Pitney Bowes Invoice Process Automation puts in place a solution that automates the invoice process whatever the invoice formats - be they eInvoice, paper, email or EDI.

Because Invoice Process Automation is an outsourced service there is no set up delay or big up-front expense: users can start saving from day one. In addition, savings continue to increase as the eInvoice technology is rolled-out to a user's suppliers and customers. Unlike most solutions which rely heavily on the percentage of digitisation to deliver savings, Pitney Bowes is able to leverage their production and mail expertise to significantly reduce the cost of residual hard copy processing.

Invoice Process Automation speeds up invoice cycle times and reduces the cost of invoicing by:

- Converting a user's suppliers to using eInvoicing through the Invoice Process Automation rollout process.
- Merging all types of invoice formats into a consistent invoice image and data set, avoiding data keying and manual validation.
- Creating an invoice approval workflow that simplifies the management of exceptions.
- Eliminating transit delay, with invoices automatically transferred to the next approver.
- Attacking approval bottlenecks – user's can see where invoices are queuing at a glance by invoice number, approver or supplier.
- Conducting three-way matching and handling exceptions at speed.
- Tracking approvals and eradicating fraud with clear audit trails.

Pitney Bowes' Invoice Process Automation service can also take standard Accounts Receivable output (often an invoice print run) and automate despatch in the customer's format of choice. This flexibility to adapt to the customer's processes rather than requesting that their systems align helps to expedite payment and strengthen customer relationships.

Hedley Walker, Solutions Director, Pitney Bowes, comments: "The invoicing function is a time-consuming and costly burden for too many businesses.

"50% of an average company's business to business communications are generated by or received by the finance department, a major overhead in terms of time and budget. By automating as much as possible we create what we call a "straight through process" where only exceptions need human intervention. This not only reduces costs but liberates the finance team for more proactive activities like analysis and strategic planning."

 

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