• Irina Kavchik

8 Tips on Getting Started with Ocerra AP automation

8 tips on getting started with Ocerra AP automation

Ocerra AP automation is built with simplicity in mind, allowing you to achieve your automation goals faster and in the most efficient way.

According to our customer feedback and system usage statistics, Ocerra is an everyday tool for invoice processing, including approval and analytics. It is imperative for us to ensure you know about all the capabilities of the Ocerra solution.

In this article, we’ve collected the most tactical and practical tips to help you get the most from your new accounts payable process with Ocerra. In our following articles, we’ll cover invoice training and invoice approval tips too.

Here are 8 tips from our team on getting started with Ocerra:

1. Process all your bills via Ocerra for accurate reporting & data integrity.

Processing all the AP bills via one portal like Ocerra offers several benefits.

First, it is vital for data integrity.

“Data integrity is the maintenance of, and the assurance of, data accuracy and consistency over its entire life-cycle” - source.

Having all the supplier bills moving through one system presents a single source of truth. This is convenient when you need to learn how the document was processed to your system. Also, it makes the audit process more manageable as you can provide temporary access to all your bills to an auditor.

And, secondly, after a couple of months of using Ocerra, you can start building reports using Excel or other modern BI tools, like Microsoft Power BI.

Hint: If a supplier bill arrives in any format other than PDF, you can scan and save it as a PDF before sending it to your Ocerra inbox. This way, you will ensure it is also recorded and exported with the original file attached to your system.

2. Set up automatic forwarding from your email to Ocerra inbox or give Ocerra email address to your suppliers directly.

Setting up automatic forwarding from your exiting email address to Ocerra will save a lot of time. It will also ensure better data integrity as you may miss a bill with manual forwarding.

Other documents may flow to Ocerra that are not actual bills. If it is a statement, you can save it as a statement, and Ocerra will remember and save it as a statement next time. If it is any other document, you can simply archive it as you go.

In AP best practices, it is recommended that a company has a dedicated inbox for supplier payables only. For example, payables@yourcompany.com. If you have an inbox for all type of admin work, like acconts@yourcompany.com, it is best to consider creating a dedicated inbox first or share Ocerra's email address directly with suppliers.

Hint: Ocerra offers a smart inbox where you can review the contents of each email, as well as filter and search inbox when required.

3. Use Ocerra’s calculation summary pop up to view unbalanced figures

Ocerra has an in-built calculator that helps you to match header level with line-level figures. If it doesn’t match, the system will prompt you to review and adjust it.

It highlights the balance as red or green; if it is red, the amounts aren’t matching.

Click on the pop-up icon to view the calculation summary - in this example, the header and line level calculation aren't matching, because the tax rate on the line level is set t0 0% (G14NONCAP NO GST):

Ocerra AP automation calculations

The pop up allows to quickly view what needs to be adjusted on the document, e.g. incorrect tax is selected on the line level.

See Ocerra AP automation in action

Hint: Ocerra imports tax rates available from your system. This way, you can select the appropriate tax rate on the header and line level to match up the totals. This might be useful if some of the lines are GST inclusive and others are GST exclusive.

4. Add internal notes to increase productivity and visibility

Ocerra gives an option to leave visible internal notes on supplier documents. You may want to leave a note for yourself or another team member to inform about something. For example, an approver may not wish to approve a bill right now. Leaving a note on the documents helps an AP team to stay on track and don’t waste time on unnecessary follow-ups.

Internal notes add visibility to the document management process and keep your team organised.

Communicate using AP automation software

5. Share documents online with other team members to speed up the invoice processing time

Sharing a document’s URL online is a much more satisfying experience than sharing it by email attachment, or worst, printing it out. It is enabling a much faster way of following up.

There are a few ways you can share an invoice URL with another team member.

  • Copy the URL of the document in Ocerra from the search browser

Share bills online with Ocerra

Please note only a user that has access to Ocerra can view the document via this link.

  • Use the Share Link button, available on the Approval List and Invoices List.

Share bills online with Ocerra

Hint: Sharing a URL with our support team ensures a quicker review of any question you might have with invoice processing in Ocerra.

6. Quickly add values or text without typing it in.

The beautify of Ocerra is that its data extraction screen is fully editable. If you would like to add any extra data, you can add it with a few clicks or using keyboard shortcuts.

Learn more about editing invoice processing screen here.

7. Add default supplier settings to save time and increase coding accuracy

Ocerra automatically matches the invoice layout with a supplier name. If a default account, tax rate, currency, terms or sub-account is set per supplier, Ocerra will pull it through to match up on the lines for you. For example:

Effortless invoice processing with Ocerra AP software

Also, Ocerra is smart enough to define currency and terms automatically from the invoice layout.

This removes the need to manually code invoices each time; it also adds consistency and accuracy as there is less chance to make a mistake compared to manually entering account codes on the invoice each time. If you need to use a different account or tax rate from time to time on this supplier, you can easily update it in Ocerra before exporting it to your system.

Hint: Using Purchase Orders in Xero or MYOB gives you an advantage. Ocerra syncs POs from these systems and automatically matches with the invoice. When matched, it adds all the coding data from the PO to the invoice. As a result, it will save a ton amount of time and give you an additional layer of visibility.

8. Use "Clean" feature to remove multiple lines and balance line-level calculations

One of the key benefits of Ocerra is that it can read tables and extract line level information from the invoice. It is also highly trainable (we annotate invoices, so the system can learn how to read it correctly next time!).

However, sometimes you may not need Ocerra to extract every single line from the invoice. Also, there might be no invoice table with lines and columns on the invoice at all. For both scenarios, there is a great feature: “Clean”. It allows for cleaning and summing up all the lines into one, automatically finding the net or gross amount for you. You can let the system learn to sum up lines for particular supplier invoice, or can use it as a one-off option. Check this support article for more information.

Training Ocerra to pick up data from the invoice is a fun and easy process; It is highly trainable and learns as you go.

In the following article, we’ll introduce tips and tricks for invoice training - annotation. Subscribe to our blog to receive email notifications for new helpful articles and product updates.

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