Evaluating Infor Lawson APIA and Third-party Workflow for Invoice Processing

Infor Lawson customers have the ability to implement Accounts Payable Invoice Processing (APIA) to automate some of the manual tasks and decisions related to invoice processing. There are also many third-party products and solutions tailored to AP Automation, such as Kofax KTA, Perceptive Content, or OnBase by Hyland. Each organization must evaluate their unique business processes and requirements to determine which products and solutions best fit their needs.

Watch RPI’s Chad Tucker and Jeremy Stoltzfus as they review Accounts Payable Automation solutions comparing and contrasting Infor Lawson APIA and third-party workflow products, such as Perceptive Content (ImageNow) and OnBase by Hyland.

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Transcript

Chad Tucker:

Welcome to another Webinar Wednesday, our monthly presentation of topics and content relevant to Kofax, Hyland, and Infor customers. Today’s a special crossover edition with our Infor Lawson practice. A few housekeeping items before we get started. This webinar will be recorded and available later this week with the PowerPoint deck. You can find past webinar recordings and future webinars online at www.rpic.com/webinars. Go ahead and submit questions through the go-to webinar and we will answer them at the end of the presentation.

We also want to let you know about our upcoming webinars today and through next month. We have VB Scripts for Perceptive Content today after this one at 1:00PM CST. We have a couple Infor Lawson webinars May 14th, and 15th and then next month we are doing system and database maintenance best practices and another accounts payable automation in voice processing webinar.

My name is Chad Tucker, I’m the Manager of Solution Engineering. I focus on our design and scoping activities for Kofax, Perceptive, and On-Base.

Jeremy Stoltzfus:

My name is Jeremy Stoltzfus, I’m a Senior Technical Architect. I’ve worked over 15 years as a Lawson system administrator on the customer side and now with RPI I specialize in process automation, implementations, conversions, and customs integrations.

Just a little high-level agenda of what we’ll be covering today, first we’ll just tell you a little bit about RPI and who we are and what we do. We’ll then get into the main part of our presentation, talking about accounts payable automation. Looking at the different processes, components of that. So, intelligent data capture exception handling and workflow and then invoice approvals. We’ll be comparing and contrasting the different solutions that are available. Then at the end we’ll wrap it up with a summary and take any questions that you might have.

So just a little bit about us as RPI Consultants. We’re a comprehensive professional services organization. We have over 18 years of experience designing, implementing and supporting ERP systems focusing on the Infor Lawson system and then advanced data capture and content management solutions as well. Just a real high level – you know we have over 80 full time consultants, project managers and technical architects with offices located Baltimore, Tampa and here in Kansas City.

Chad Tucker:

So, accounts payable automation for invoice processing basically refers to a combination of software products solutions and features that replace manual tasks, activities, decisions related to invoiced processing with the goal of reducing the amount of time and money an organization spends on invoice processing.

The main components of an automation solution for accounts payable includes the intelligent data capture portion, which feeds into the exception handling and workflow process for your PO and non-PO invoices. And then finally rounds off with your invoice approvals. Often EDI is considered part of an AP invoice automation solution, but most of the time they’re separate mechanisms with an ERP’s to handle those but it could be handled within your workflow solutions as well.

Jeremy Stoltzfus:

Just to cover a little bit of the product and solution portfolio that we’ll be discussing today. Of course we’re talking about the Infor Lawson product and the ERP solution that they provide, and their accounts payable invoice automation module which is a bolt-on for the older versions but is included in the CloudSuite Financials product.

Then looking at intelligent data capture, talking about Kofax TotalAgility, ReadSoft Online, Brainware by Hyland and Ephesoft with third party workflows and approvals we’ll be looking at Kofax TotalAgility again, ReadSoft Online, Perceptive Content, and OnBase software.

Chad Tucker:

So intelligent data capture specifically refers to the advanced optical character recognition OCR to extract the invoice data from scanned or imported images. Typically, this process starts with your capture, the software is going to read, extract the information off the invoices, attempt to validate and flag any exceptions that are found on those invoices. The advanced data capture does things like automated PO line pairing which can facilitate straight through processing, and eventually the invoice which is exported out of your intelligent data capture into the workflow portion of the solution.

Jeremy Stoltzfus:

And when everything’s working as it should we refer to that as straight through processing. So that invoice gets scanned into the system or emailed into the system however it’s captured in and then all the data is pulled in, everything happens without any manual intervention at all.

So, looking specifically at Ephesoft which is a cloud-based solution, and this is who Infor has chosen to partner with for their Infor CloudSuite Financial Solution. So, with Ephesoft it’s doing the capture portion of it and then the document management piece Infor document management solution takes in those documents after they’ve been scanned in. Even though Infor is partnering with Ephesoft for this solution it does require an additional licensing component from Ephesoft directly.

Chad Tucker:

As far as third-party data capture tools that you can use and integrate with your Infor Lawson solution, Kofax TotalAgility is Kofax’s intelligent automation platform has robust OCR and workflow capabilities. ReadSoft Online is another Kofax offering that is a completely SaaS cloud-based solution that focuses on invoice processing. And another tool is Brainware for Invoices by Hyland which is typically used in global complex use cases that require multiple languages and invoice currencies out of the box.

Jeremy Stoltzfus:

So, as we consider the different solutions that are available, looking at the Infor solution it is an integrated solution so there’s less cost as far as interface maintenance and ongoing support and development for those interfaces.

Chad Tucker:

Now third-party tools, while not having that integration that native integration being ERP agnostic, that could be a benefit strategically to your organization if your ERP strategy is in flux and you don’t want to have to rebuild your AP automation solution to support a different ERP system.

Jeremy Stoltzfus:

And the third-party tools at this point are a little more mature than the Infor integrated tools currently, however as Infor is continuing to build out and develop they are releasing new features and functionality on a regular basis.

Chad Tucker:

So, the next portion of an AP automation solution is the exception handling workflow. So, this is what happens when all the OCR has been validated but there’s actual business process issues with the invoice that prevents it from being paid. Some of these exceptions could be, you know you have a new vendor that sends an invoice that isn’t set up in your system yet maybe you get an invoice with a PO number that doesn’t exist or a PO that’s been closed. Or the invoice comes in for more than what was allocated on the PO, or there’s tax, freight or miscellaneous charge issues that have to b