We are at the peak of a technological revolution.
In 2017, almost 2 billion invoices were exchanged all over the world and 90% of those invoices were still processed manually. For accounting firms, this means time, money and resources wasted on manual data entry and employees left feeling unfulfilled in a repetitive job. Rossum is dedicated to creating a world without manual data entry, putting an end to these mundane and tedious tasks still done by humans.
Over the past few months, we have hosted a series seminars on the “Digitalization of Accounting” to help Czech accounting firms realize the utilization of artificial intelligence for invoice data capture. Karin Fuentesova, Chief of AI Data Set, presented at each seminar on the importance of implementing AI into accounting firms’ operations. In this blog, we will divulge details that were shared at each seminar with the goal of encouraging accounting firms to put an end to the mundane data entry that is still plaguing them.
Problems for accounting firms
Currently, major problems for accounting firms lie in communication, task management and data entry. Every individual employee records his/her own tasks and communication with clients, unbeknownst to senior management. This leaves companies with a very limited record of activities when an employee leaves the firm. If the internal communication is inefficient, then it could lead to unforetold problems down the road.
Excessive emails are sent and each employee spends hours filling in timesheets to record the tasks completed for his/her clients. This type of misdirected prioritization leads to wasted time and these inefficiencies can lead to delays in response time and, in turn, dissatisfied clients.
The data entry problem
Manual data entry is a much too common practice in accounting firms in this modern age. Firms are overspending for data entry tasks such as the handling of data boxes, downloading of statements, rewriting and other recurring activities. Employees are increasingly unhappy in these roles, and with unattractive working conditions, abundant miscommunications and high turnover, companies are suffering the consequences in their bottom-line.
Recent university graduates are being hired for rewriting positions - a job so routine and tedious that their skills are not being matched with their assigned tasks. This workforce is much too expensive for their time to be wasted on simple data entry. Firms are hiring these “experts” when they are really better suited to more complex roles. A company's assets are its employees and its technology and both need to be fully utilized.
Without employees, a company cannot provide a quality service and without happy employees, a company will suffer. It is important to keep up with a certain level of technology that corresponds with its needs and overall expectations to be able to remain successful in today’s climate - this includes implementing necessary automation to keep business operations competitive.
How Rossum’s Elis can help
The current approach to data capture is rule-based - it is necessary to specify large sets of rules or templates for every type of invoice received. It is expensive, time-consuming and does not have high accuracy because every time the system receives a new type of invoice, it fails.
At Rossum, we wanted to build a system that can read traditional invoices, but with a different approach, so we developed Elis, who does not use any extraction rules or templates. The most important factor for accounting firms is that Elis can be used from day 1 without any manual setup.
The process begins with clients sending invoices to a specific inbox. Queues are set up for each particular client, so that the invoices are received into the correct inbox. Whether it is a PDF file or a photo from a smartphone, it can be read by the artificial intelligence engine. The data is then extracted by Elis, with a check of extracted data on the user interface (if needed), and finally the data is exported into the accounting system. Elis does the tedious data entry work so the bookkeeper can focus on more important tasks.
Fig. 1-4 Rossum’s approach to data capture
What benefits does Elis bring to accounting firms?
Technology is constantly evolving bringing with it more innovative solutions and untold benefits to companies who have been waiting patiently. What does all of this mean in the context of accounting firms? Now, accounting firms can focus on more difficult tasks, leaving the mundane data entry to Elis. There is no need to set up any templates or even double check for mistakes, which had previously been abundant. This means a higher competitive advantage for accounting firms, and even an increase in profits.
We want to give a big thanks to the other companies who also participated in the “Digitalization of Accounting” series. Each company brings expertise that enhance and benefit accounting firms making them more attractive employers.
Dativery: Dativery is a web integration platform that can connect over apps in over 1200 scenarios at the user interface level.
Gettick: Gettick has developed a work platform capable of connecting any website with a long list of supported apps.T eams can discuss, share and work together to complete more tasks, speed up communication, and interact with clients.
Handybot: Handybot’s robots replace routine administrative work for bookkeeping, healthcare, manufacturing, and realty to name a few. While the robots do the work, companies can instead focus on more professional activities.