Introducing Enhanced Invoice Exception Handling

“When will my invoice be paid?”

“The invoice is missing the PO number”

Invoice exception handling is a drag on productivity. Every time an Accounts Payable (AP) team member has to stop and track down missing invoice information, like POs or VAT codes, it slows the entire process down and creates bottlenecks. Invoice exceptions are a major problem for AP departments and the cause of friction between AP teams and their suppliers as it involves a lot of manual back-and-forth messaging to resolve the situation. 

According to the Institute of Finance & Management, on average 12.5% of invoices require rework, and 5-10 minutes are spent on tracking down missing PO numbers or following up on incorrect prices, quantities or tax details. Thousands of hours are wasted per year on exception handling.

How do you speed up exception handling so that it’s not such a time suck?

Rossum sits at the forefront of your business sorting, extracting and validating documents against master data to ensure that only accurate information gets into your downstream system. While up to 90% of the workflow can be automated with no issue, sometimes, during validation Rossum spots a mismatch, e.g., an incorrect PO, quantity or VAT code, and stops this data getting into your ERP. What happens next on Rossum?

Introducing new, improved email functionality to speed up the exception handling workflow within the Rossum platform. We now have the most complete invoice exception handling feature set built into Rossum for enhanced supplier and internal collaboration.

Introducing email enhancements for better collaboration

Rossum has improved the user-experience functionality of its emailing capability with a bunch of new features. This will help AP users easily communicate with suppliers while still in the platform to speed up exception handling, unblock invoices and take the friction out of communication with suppliers. 

New email templates – In addition to pre-built email templates, the user can now create their own templates to address the most common cases or repetitive enquiries. This simplifies manual communication workflows and allows the user to quickly resolve issues without having to switch to their primary work email. The whole team can use these templates which helps with collaboration between colleagues.

Improved duplicate handling in email threads – The platform now recognizes and ignores duplicates of invoices already received in existing email threads, and existing annotation of the original document is linked to this newly received email instead.

Resolve red flags automatically – Emails from suppliers missing processable documents are identified and flagged with a red alert badge which disappears automatically once the user opens the problematic email.  

Sender-identifiable email address – We’ve introduced new email prefix formats to easily identify the sender from Rossum. This improves trust, as suppliers know who it’s from which overcomes their security concerns. 

Gmail-like functionality – Similar to Gmail, when a user starts typing into the “To” field in an email, the application suggests a list of recipients based on their occurrence frequency for a given workstream. These suggestions are newly applied on CC and BCC fields and unified across all email actions: Reject, Postpone (new), Reply, Forward, Send by.

Postpone or reject with or without sending an email – We’ve added the flexibility to postpone or reject in one single action without the need for multiple steps. When rejecting, the user can also choose from Reject or Reject by email options and they have the same choices when postponing an invoice. 

What are the key benefits?

These improvements will help:

Improve supplier relationships – Take the friction out of back-and-forth messaging by keeping your suppliers updated on invoice status and resolve disputes quickly.

Speed up exception handling – These new email features are designed to quickly unblock document processing bottlenecks 

Improve user experience – We listened to our users and introduced these new UX features to make Rossum even easier to use, enabling you to work smarter, not harder

Improve team collaboration – Common access to one inbox and email templates means the whole team can see the communication thread with suppliers rather than the information siloed in personal work emails. 

What impacts are our customers seeing?

Our customers are already seeing a positive impact on their productivity from invoice exception handling within the platform. On average our customers clawed back between 12-22% of their time from handling exceptions, and this is on top of the time saved from straight-through processing that the Rossum platform is already delivering. 

For example,

  • Some of our customers automated emails to suppliers confirming receipt of their invoices, thus avoiding having to respond to ad hoc inquiries from suppliers. 
  • Other customers triggered an automated email asking for missing information when alerted by the system to incomplete supplier emails. 
  • These small actions add up, one of our enterprise customers saved 93 hours in 1 quarter by using the communication email features, this equated to 20% of an employee’s time. 

There will always be a need for a human in the loop, but automation should take over the mundane tasks, releasing the person to focus on more complex cases or rewarding work rather than chasing down missing tax codes.

Further reading 

Case study – Master Trust Bank of Japan, scaling use cases, increasing productivity

Case study – How FINN speeds up its document processing times by 71% with Rossum

Blog – How to do Workflow Process Mapping