CUP&CINO – Incoming invoice processing
The international coffee company CUP&CINO Kaffeesystem-Vertrieb GmbH & Co. KG has been dealing with products and services for enjoying coffee specialties since 1995. A system for efficient processing of the incoming invoices was now sought. The choice fell on a solution from Locatech IT Solutions based on SharePoint Online.
The customer wanted a system that would enable incoming invoices to be recorded electronically, checked and approved in several steps and stored in a central location. The individual steps should only be possible in a logical sequence, whereby all those involved should be informed about the respective status of the invoice approval. In this way, it should be avoided that several copies of an invoice circulate in the company for verification by different instances.
When the invoice is made available in the invoice library, it should only be visible to a limited group of people. The employees responsible then distribute the receipts. A distinction is made as to whether the authorizations for an invoice for the examiners and approvers are extended or, in the case of confidential invoices, restricted to individual authorizations.
Since the SharePoint Online platform only supports the notification function if the corresponding rights are given, the notification of the responsible person had to be solved via a portal page: A time-controlled flow can be set up for such a page regardless of the authorizations, which, for example, contains the link to the overview of all invoices sent daily to the examiners and approvers in the system. The parties involved then proactively inform themselves about the status of the invoices that fall within their area of responsibility and process them if the status is appropriate.
We implemented the solution using forms based on SharePoint Online.
Invoices received by post receive a receipt stamp and are then scanned and sent to a specified e-mail inbox. From this mailbox they are automatically transferred from SharePoint to the invoice processing program, linked to an online form for entering all relevant information and assigned to financial accounting. There, the metadata (creditor number, company name, invoice date, invoice number, amount, payment target, invoice receipt date) are recorded in the form and the invoice or the assigned form is set to the appropriate status for the factual check.
The invoice itself and the form are not forwarded from one verification instance to the next: The scanned file remains in the relevant SharePoint library together with the form assigned to it, and the status can be changed and thus forwarded to the next verification instance by clicking on the appropriate option (“not done”, “yes” and “no”) by the lower court.
The newly responsible persons can see the status of “their” invoices from the overview link sent daily and know that they can access the file for further processing.
Following the factual check with the corresponding entries in the form assigned to the invoice, the release takes place in a further step by clicking the button. It should be noted here that only the relevant data can be edited for a test instance, ie without higher rights, an approver cannot change the inputs of the factual tester – this was implemented in the form designer.
After that, responsibility for the invoice goes back to financial accounting. If it is noticed that entries were not made correctly or insufficiently in the associated form, the invoice can be returned to the appropriate checking authority by changing the status. Here, too, the process is triggered by clicking on the corresponding option directly from the invoice form.
If all information is complete and correct and all approvals have been granted, financial accounting initiates the payment and the invoice is archived.
This is what the customer says:
“Like many companies, we too were surprised by the pandemic and quickly faced new challenges. Since we sent almost the entire administration to the home office at short notice, the biggest challenge at the time was to process the incoming invoices in digitized form. In other words, distribute, check, release, book and then archive.
Locatech IT Solutions has implemented an easy-to-use, low-administration and easily comprehensible incoming invoice processing via SharePoint Online. The fast and uncomplicated communication as well as the constructive and solution-oriented implementation deserve special mention.”