Imagine digging a hole with a toy trowel. You'd get the job done, but it would take forever, you’d get tired, bored and frustrated, and it probably wouldn't be the best hole in the world. Now, imagine someone gave you a digger loader to dig that hole with. Totally different story, right?
This is exactly what we have done by automating the invoice capture process in MRI. Using robotic process automation (RPA), powered by the Open Box Real Estate Automation Engine, you can capture vendor invoices on MRI faster, more accurately and on time. Freeing up your team to do things that don’t feel like digging holes with toy trowels.
How does it work?
The beauty of RPA is that it fits into your existing workflows without the need for coding or doing things in a new way. It’s a virtual colleague that loves, and excels at, the things you don’t. (We call him Rob Sparke).
Step 1: The vendor emails their invoice to you as usual.
Step 2: Rob Sparke opens the email, and the PDF or Excel attachment.
Step 3: Using technology called optical character recognition (OCR) Rob scans the invoice and digitizes the data.
Step 4: Rob logs into MRI the same way a human would, navigates to the accounts payable module in the general ledger and enters the data with the correct code, into the correct account.
Step 5: Wash, rinse and repeat. 24 hours a day, up to 120 invoices an hour (in an ideal world), without a single error. And a complete audit trail.
So far so good. But what happens if the individual line items need to be allocated to different accounts? Or split over several codes? No problem, Rob will have learnt these rules from your subject matter experts and will enter the data correctly.
What happens if the invoice data is incomplete or incorrect? Rob will have spotted that as soon as he first scans the invoice. At this point, he’ll flag the omission and escalate the invoice.
With robots-as-a-service (RaaS) in the form of RPA and Rob Sparke, your accounts payable data in MRI will always be correct and up-to-date.
RPA means happy humans
Freed from the relentlessness of capturing invoices in MRI, your team will be able to use their time to do things that are more interesting for them, and better for your Real Estate organization. Things like the analysis of your up-to-date, correct data. It will mean month-end is no longer a chaotic and disruptive time — it will be on time, every month. This means your management accountants have more time for analysis and creative problem solving, leading to better decisions. Your team will love their jobs and stay with your company — reducing staff churn, loss of knowledge and time and money spent on recruiting and training.
RPA means happy data
Humans are great, but they’re not great at some things. Like boring, repetitive tasks that never seem to end. And so they get bored and make mistakes. Software robots, on the other hand, love tasks just like this. And so your data is correct, complete and up-to-date. All the time.
Simple, but significant.