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  • Writer's pictureIrina Kavchik

How does Ocerra AP automation software fits into Xero?

In this article, we use words “bill” and “invoice” interchangeably.

Xero is cloud-based accounting software that helps companies to keep record of all business transactions. Xero has many features that cover all the basics of accounting and bookkeeping for small to medium-sized businesses.

However, it is hard to cover everything in accounting and finance, and frankly, there is no point. Different businesses will have different business requirements, so it is better to focus on one thing and do it best.

Therefore, they do Xero and welcome other software vendors that can complement already existing accounting software.

At Ocerra, we integrate with Xero to automate accounts payable (AP) process for retail, construction and manufacturing companies. AP automation software can significantly reduce costs and workload associated with manual invoice processing.

While you can manually add, approve and pay your bills in Xero, this is not an issue when you have few invoices to process. It certainly gets more complicated when you have more than five invoices from various suppliers. You will need to watch your email carefully, print, sort, approve and enter back to Xero every single invoice. This is a labour-intensive and time-consuming process.

Automated invoice capture

Ocerra will capture your invoices via email, so you don’t need to search through other emails and worry that you have missed an important correspondence. You will have a unique email address for all your incoming bills and will see any related content for each document.

Automatically capturing AP invoices and email content information

Automated data entry

When you open an invoice in Ocerra, you will find that all the information is already extracted for you. See original document on the left and all the data auto-extracted on the right. Everything you need to do is to approve this invoice and export to Xero.

Automated data extraction using Ocerra

The main goal of this integration is to get your bills automatically created for you in Xero, including all the key information you need to track:

  • Supplier Name, Invoice Number (reference), Invoice date, Due date, GST Number

  • Items Codes, Chart of Accounts, Description, Quantity, Unit price, Tax rate, Region

  • Amount, Subtotal, GST, Total

Here’s the bill that we exported:

Exporting bill to Xero using automated data entry

An original document will be available too, so you can view it anytime. Every bill that is exported through Ocerra to Xero will have “Go to Ocerra” button, so you can easily check all the approval and editing history of each invoice.

If you would like to granularly track all your supplier payables, you will need to enter all the line item information (description) too. This is a tedious and error-prone process. At Ocerra we take care of it without any additional charges.

While there are many other software vendors, promising to auto-extract data from the invoices and auto-create bills, many won’t do line item extraction or work great with supplier terms.

Also, many data entry apps (Hubdoc or Receipt Bank) are great productivity tools for small companies but they are not aiming to improve accounts payable process as a whole. For example, they do not streamline the approval process, you will have to buy and integrate one more application.

In Ocerra it is already included and integrated.

Approval workflows

You can get notified and electronically approve all the invoices. Depending on your approval process, invoices can be routed to the right person. This is a more efficient way of managing invoice approval process, as you will have full visibility into who needs to approve an invoice and who is holding it.

Using Ocerra’s invoice approval workflow, your bills can get to the “Awaiting Payment” or “Draft” folder right away. There is no need to add another application just for invoice approval. A good AP software should include data entry automation, approval workflows and effortless publishing to Xero at its minimum.

AP Performance dashboard

Ocerra offers more than just automated data entry and approval workflows. You will have instant visibility into your short-term liabilities and AP performance dashboard.

Ocerra AP performance report dashboard - December 2019

Search and filtering

You don’t need to bring the pile of invoices into your meeting, you can just open Ocerra App and quickly access any invoice data you need.

Filtering allows to sort out invoices by the specific terms and download reports whenever you need to.

Here’s the list of all features in Ocerra AP:

Ocerra AP Automation a full list of features December 2019

Xero + Ocerra

The main goal of this integration is to get your bills automatically created for you in Xero and help you manage your cash flow more accurately.

How this integration works?

Here’s a simple diagram of the data flow between two systems:

Data flow Diagram between Xero and Ocerra

Setting up Xero integration is very easy and doesn’t require any technical skills.

You will have to simply connect to Xero (it will take you to the login page) and then sync Chart of Accounts, Suppliers, Payments and Purchase Orders:

Syncing data between Xero and Ocerra in a few clicks

To get the whole picture of how AP automation works and exports data to Xero, we recommend watching this 5-minutes product tour.


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