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Cora – Closer to “real-time” accounting

Cora – the retail brand under which Romania Hypermarché operates, has over 11 retail outlets in Romania, as well as online shopping. Romania Hypermarché is the subsidiary of the Louis Delhaize group.

Cora had already started its journey towards invoice processing through dematerialization, at the time DocProcess became a preferred supplier. Cora had put in place a process for posting, scanning and using OCR for their inbound invoices with a leading source-to-pay automation company, with offices around Europe. Still, the process was lengthy – involving scanning all invoices locally, in Romania, then sending them abroad for OCR processing. Frequently, documents were lost, image scanning was of poor quality and traceability was poor, which made treasury operations and reporting quite difficult.

Our accounts payable automation case study proves that an automation solution complete with eInvoicing was a much more suitable solution than just paper dematerialization.

Typically, OCR technologies achieve about 20 to 30% straight-through processing rates due to a myriad of reasons: document quality, poor scanning results, insufficient checkpoints etc. Straight-through processing for invoices means that the invoice is issued, checked, approved and posted without any human intervention. This ensures that processes are sped up and data is available to all parties in near real-time.

A winning solution: Market expertise, easy deployment, fast results

DocProcess was chosen as a preferred supplier for this project for several reasons:

  • speed of implementation : our platform delivers automation in the cloud, requiring no costly or lengthy IT involvement for deployment.
  • ease of implementation : having a complete library of rules and financial documents formats, our robots can be configured in no time – requiring no business analysts or developers to create the scripts and document the process.
  • network effects : the biggest hurdle in einvoicing is the supplier onboarding process. DocProcess already worked with more than 50% of Cora’s suppliers, which made the onboarding process much faster.

The journey:

  1. Gradually digitize paper invoices. Audit and develop a process for paper invoice processing. DocProcess offers mailroom services to automate data capture from paper documents and integrate them into Cora’s information system. This step was essential in order to smooth the transition to einvoicing without disrupting current business flows.
  2. Design the AP automation process flow. Preparation for the implementation of EDI technology. DocProcess worked to design a complete einvoice workflow configuring the robots to perform checks and validations according to the buyer’s business rules.
  3. Onboard suppliers. Over 93% of suppliers have been integrated by DocProcess onboarding team within 18 months, delivering quick results on the invoice automation project.
  4.  Continous improvement. Invoice automation helped reduce the headcount dedicated to Accounts Payable and redirect them towards other, more value-added activities. DocProcess is now working on e-order implementation which helps suppliers eliminate the work of invoice creation. With e-order they can flip it directly to an invoice or to a dispatch advice.

The results of the accounts payable automation case study : Closer to “real-time” accounting

Not having an automated Purchase-to-Pay process created serious issues for the finance department and the treasury management team. Financial closing and reporting was very slow, with inaccurate data: sometimes suppliers delivered the goods without invoicing them until a year or two years later. Lack of real time information also complicated legal reporting, leading to delays in VAT recouping and lengthy audit procedures. Lack of matching between invoices, orders and deliveries led to many outstanding invoices and difficult supplier relationships.

With the DocProcess Business Ecosystem Automation platform all these troubles were flipped at 180:

  • Invoices are received, validated and posted within minutes from issue, helping have a real-time view on cash situation and much more accurate cash-flow predictions.
  • Matching deliveries with invoices helps eliminate the situation of goods delivered but not invoiced.
  • Legal reporting became more accurate and VAT was reimbursed faster
  • Cash flow forecasts became more accurate