For many businesses, invoice data processing often takes up the majority of the accounting department’s time, causing major inefficiencies and waste of resources and time. In practice, poor invoice management can lead to delayed or missed payments, as well as other issues.
Invoice data processing, or invoice management, is also not as simple as it sounds: managing multiple invoices in different formats from different vendors while ensuring proper recording in an editable digital format can be a challenging task, and this is why many businesses have opted to outsource their invoice data processing to professional services.
What Is Invoice Data Processing?
Invoice data processing, or invoice management, is a backend business process that takes place in virtually every business, making it one of the most crucial business processes.
As the name suggests, this process deals with the processing and management of information of all financial and delivery transactions between the said business and third-party vendors or suppliers.
In this digital age, invoice data entry, the process of transcribing and converting information from paper-based invoices to a digital, editable format, is also a crucial aspect of any invoice data processing.
An invoice essentially is a payment demand that is issued by a seller of product/service, addressed to the buyer after a sale has been done (or service has been provided). An invoice essentially is a document that shows how much a buyer has to pay in an agreed amount in return for the product/service. An invoice data processing is necessary because:
- An invoice is a conclusive document of which its value extends beyond the actual sales process. In case of disputes, you can use the invoice beyond the sale.
- In cases of installments, it will show how much you’ve paid (or received) and how much you have to pay more (or owed to)
- The invoice is a legal agreement that the buyer has received a complete product/service in an agreed condition, so they can’t complain
- For record-keeping and accounting purposes not only to manage your business expenses but also for tax filling purposes
- It’s also essential for a business to provide a proper invoice to the buyer to create a better image of the company. A professional-looking invoice (with logo, contact information, etc) can help improve customer satisfaction and maintain the brand’s professionalism.
Why Invoice Data Processing Is Essential
As discussed, the processing of invoices is one of the most crucial processes of any business big or small, but at the same time, it can be a very time-consuming process.
However, many businesses are still reluctant to outsource their invoice data processing and force the creation of an in-house team (or even, forcing one person) to do the data entry and processing job. While there are various possible reasons for this, there are two most prominent ones.
Common Concerns for Outsourcing Invoice Data Processing
Invoices may contain sensitive data, and by entrusting the processing of our invoices to a third-party service provider, we are essentially entrusting this sensitive information to them. This is why businesses that are concerned about their privacy and sensitive data may think that outsourcing invoice processing would introduce additional risk for their data security.
Lack of control
It is quite obvious that businesses will have less control over an outsource service when compared to in-house employees. We can’t simply monitor and control the data processing service provider 24/7.
While these two concerns can be quite valid, the advantages of outsourcing the invoice data processing would far outweigh these concerns, including but not limited to:
Saves More Money And Time
If you are doing the invoice data processing in-house, you’ll need a significant amount of resources invested in hiring new employees and forming a team, as well as investing in the required software and other infrastructures (i.e. OCR and ICR recognition software).
In the long run, outsourcing to a professional data entry service like Oworkers will save more money and time, since you won’t need to build your own infrastructure to perform the invoice data processing. At the same time, you’ll also eliminate risks of errors and inaccuracies, which may result in delayed payment and loss of revenue.
Accuracy is one of the biggest concerns for any business regarding invoice processing. If your in-house employee is overloaded with work, then it will increase the risks of creating inaccurate invoices, which can lead to various issues. Outsourcing the invoice processing to a professional vendor will allow people who have this task as their only focus to do the job, improving the accuracy.
Transparency and Accessibility
Another key advantage of outsourcing your invoice processing is that you can track the whole process in real-time. You can ensure any information related to a particular invoice is available as soon as you need it, and the entire process is made transparent. This will also add a factor of accountability for the service provider, ensuring an accurate process for your invoices’ data.
Professional invoice processing vendors are fully equipped to generate and process thousands of invoices each day, while you’ll need a lot of trained in-house employees to reach the same speed. You’ll not only save a lot of money in hiring and salary costs, but you’ll also get your invoices ready much faster than processing them in-house.
This way, your valuable manpower can focus their attention and efforts on tasks that will provide more impact in growing your company.
You’ll also get the luxury of accurate and detailed reporting by outsourcing the invoice processing to an expert. These trained service providers are experienced and fully equipped with the necessary skills to make a detailed but comprehensive report that is easy to follow.
When picking an invoice data processing service provider, it’s very important to check the service’s experience and ensure the professional data entry services have handled comparable projects to your own in the past.
Interesting related article: “What is Credit Control?“