In the fast-paced world of business, time is money. As a result, finding effective and efficient ways to manage your company's financial processes is crucial. One such process is invoice management, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors.
This is where automated invoice processing comes into play. In this article, we will delve into how you can create an invoice processing tool using no-code tools, focusing on invoice data extraction and invoice automations to help streamline your business operations.
TL: DR; video
Step 1: Set up an invoices mailbox
The key part of any process is to channel incoming information to a single point. This way you create a single source of truth. It can be a single email address or a cloud folder.
Thus, to begin optimizing your invoice management process, step 1 is to set up a dedicated mailbox for invoices (at) yourcompany.com. This will create a centralized location for all incoming invoices, reducing the chances of misplaced files and making it easier to keep track of all transactions.
This is the first step towards implementing automated invoice processing in your business.
Step 2: Utilize Make Scenario for Invoice Data Extraction
Next, set up a Make scenario to capture the incoming invoices and create a line in Airtable with the extracted invoice data. This step is crucial for invoice data extraction, as it automates the process of gathering essential information from the invoices and organizing it into a readable format. The Make Scenario tool will save you time and effort, allowing you to focus on other important tasks.
1. Let's begin with a trigger which in our case will be a Watch Messages from Outlook.
2. Next, as we are looking for attachments, let's another module from Outlook to list all attachments:
3. This module works are an iterator thus it will work for every attachment. Next, let's save the file to Dropbox (or you can do so for OneDrive/GDrive).
4. Next, let's add a Dropbox module to share the link:
5. Now we have our link and let's add Bitskout to parse the invoice. You need to choose Run Plugin for File and then choose the plugin that you create from an Invoices template and add the Download URL from Dropbox.
6. And the last step is to create an Airtable record.
So now our scenario is done, let's set up our Airtable interface.
Also Read: Building a Tool Notification Management Dashboard with monday.com
Step 3: Create Airtable base and Interface
With the help of Airtable, create an interface that includes checkboxes to approve or reject invoices. This user-friendly platform allows you to easily manage the extracted invoice data and implement invoice automations. By using checkboxes, you can quickly and efficiently approve or reject invoices without having to deal with a cumbersome paper trail.
First, let's create a base with a table for invoices.
You can add/remove columns as you need. Once the base is configured, you can add a second table with bank transactions so you can match the records. Please note that in this blog you don't show how to extract data from bank transactions. Typically it is done via CSV import every month.
Now let's create an interface to manage invoices. Click on Interfaces and add a new page:
We need to set up two important things - a proper status view for the invoice and an Approve button. The process of invoice checks is managed by changing the Status field from New to Approved or Rejected. Thus in our invoice approval tool, we need to see only new invoices.
So this way we only see invoices that are not approved/processed. The next step is to set up Approve button. Click on this button should change the status to Done.
Now the interface is ready. We also need an extra step in Airtable to automatically assign a person to a new invoice.
This automation will automatically assign a certain user to a newly created invoice task. This way a user can see the invoices that they need to check.
Next Steps: Integrate Approved Invoices into Your ERP System or Xero
Once the invoices have been approved, push them to your preferred ERP system or Xero for further processing. This final step in the automated invoice processing workflow ensures that all approved invoices are properly recorded and managed in your financial software. This seamless integration will save you time and effort, allowing you to focus on growing your business.
Implementing automated invoice processing, invoice data extraction, and invoice automations using no-code tools can significantly improve your business's efficiency and reduce the likelihood of errors in your financial management.
By following these five simple steps, you can create a streamlined invoice processing tool that will save time, effort, and ultimately, money.
So, why wait?