To improve usability and reporting functionality, we implemented an invoicing system which integrated with our clients’ Oracle E-Business accounting system. The solution allows external contractors to submit invoices into the VisualVaultTM system, trigger business approval workflow, then allow approved invoices to be processed by the clients’ accounts payable department using Oracle E-Business.
Our client found that their E-Business system provided difficulties, or were lacking in the following key area’s:
- No workflow for managers that wished to review invoices before passing them onto accounts payable
Lack of Reporting
- Difficulties with reporting and reviewing invoice data due to a lack of reporting meta-data relevant to their projects
- No instant and easy access to reports. Requests had to be made to other departments to source reports
Not User Friendly
- Difficulty navigating through purchase order and invoice data due to a non-user friendly interface
Costly Development to Add Functionality
- A cost effective approach was also required – Inclusion of additional functionality via Oracle would have been a very costly exercise
Utilising the clients’ existing VisualVaultTM system, all four problems could be met with the ability to pass data to Oracle and be accomplished in a cost efficient manner.
Invoice Record Submission
A VisualVault intelligent-Form database was created to capture incoming invoice data submitted by external contractors. The electronic form provides a simple path for uploading a PDF copy of the invoice while also requesting contractors to fill in key invoice information like invoice value, purchase order number, invoice number and other fields that allow for reporting via VisualVault.
Once an invoice has been submitted, automated notifications are sent to relevant managers requesting review and approval.
To reduce complexity for managers, additional validation logic was created to confirm that an invoice could be processed by E-Business. Specifically, checking that there is sufficient value remaining against a Purchase Order to pay for the submitted invoice.
If there is insufficient funds, the manager is immediately notified when attempting to approve and the invoice will go into a holding state until either; a new Purchase Order is raised, or additional funds are added to the existing Purchase Order.
Integration Logic & Payment Process
While direct API capability was available with the VisualVault system, the clients’ Oracle E-Business system did not have this functionality. To overcome this, daily dumps of invoice information were transferred securely via managed file transfer along with copies of the uploaded invoice PDF files. Invoices were then receipted and paid by the Accounts Payable department.
This system achieved the following key benefits for our client:
Reduced Processing Time & Simplified Process
- External suppliers fills in key invoice data when submitting an invoice
- Client managers only need to open a record, review the invoice then approve
- System automatically compares remaining value on existing Purchase Orders
Faster & Easier Access to Invoice Data
- As all invoice data is being captured by VisualVault, the production of exportable reports is a simple process using the VisualVault reporting dashboards.
- Information is immediately available with no need to request special reports from Accounts Payable and Procurement departments