1Automated Invoice Processing Configuration

This chapter contains the following:

Integrated Invoice Imaging for Oracle Cloud Implementations: Explained

The integrated invoice imaging solution for Oracle Cloud provides scanned image import, intelligent character recognition, and automatic invoice creation. In addition, the solution routes invoices with exceptions to accounts payables personnel for review and completion.

This figure shows the integrated invoice imaging flow.

This graphic displays the Integrated Invoice Imaging
Flow for Oracle Cloud.

Here's a summary of the steps in the imaging process followed by details of the processing flow.

  1. To use the integrated invoice imaging solution, you must have a designated e-mail account to send the invoice images. When you sign up for the Oracle Cloud Application Service, you're provided with one.

  2. After you have the e-mail account, prepare the invoices for processing.

    • If your business process is to receive invoice images from your suppliers, communicate to them your imaging requirements. The suppliers can then e-mail the invoice images directly to the designated e-mail account.

    • If you receive paper invoices, prepare images from the invoices and send the images to the e-mail account.

  3. Once the images are sent to the e-mail account, the imaging solution retrieves them for further processing. The solution checks for new images every minute and creates invoices from the images.

  4. If any exceptions occur during automatic invoice creation, the invoices are marked as incomplete and routed to accounts payable personnel for review and completion. The incomplete invoices appear in the Scanned information tile on the Invoices landing page.

  5. After the rest of the invoice processing tasks are finished, such as validation and approval, the invoices are ready for payment.

E-Mail Scanned Images

Based on agreements with your suppliers, you might receive paper invoices at your bill-to locations, or you might receive images by e-mail. You can communicate imaging requirements to your suppliers, such as to send images in the TIFF format with a minimum of 300 dpi.

For images sent by e-mail, imaging specialists can check for quality and proper formatting. For paper invoices, imaging specialists can sort the invoices into different categories based on parameters, such as geography, invoice type, invoice amount, and due date. They can then scan the invoices to convert them to images.

Imaging specialists forward the images to the designated e-mail account. They can optionally specify attributes in the e-mail subject for the purposes of routing and recording.

Import Images

Oracle Document Capture Import Server retrieves the images from the designated e-mail account at scheduled intervals. All of the invoice images in an e-mail are grouped into a batch.

Recognize Images

The imaging solution sends the batches to Oracle Forms Recognition for intelligent data recognition and extraction of the invoice attributes.

Forms Recognition offers cutting-edge intelligent recognition capabilities for extracting the invoice attributes from the scanned images. Unlike other solutions that use supplier-specific templates to extract information, Forms Recognition can intelligently locate data within the invoice. The data can be found regardless of its location on the image and whether Forms Recognition has processed invoices from that supplier before. As suppliers are added, or an existing supplier changes its invoice layout, Forms Recognition can extract the attributes from the new invoice layouts.

Store Images

Oracle WebCenter Imaging stores the invoice images and extracted information. For the rest of the invoice life cycle, any reference to the invoice image points to the imaging repository. This ensures documents are never replicated further during invoice processing.

Process Invoices

The imaging solution uses the extracted attributes from the images to create the invoices. If exceptions occur during processing, the invoices are marked as incomplete and routed to accounts payable personnel using Oracle Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) workflows. A default routing rule routes the incomplete invoices to all users with the Accounts Payable Specialist and Accounts Payable Supervisor job roles.

Incomplete invoices appear in the Scanned information tile on the Invoices landing page. Invoice header attributes and lines requiring attention are highlighted on the Edit Invoice page for quick identification and resolution. With a dual monitor setup, you can review both the invoice and the invoice image at the same time.

WebCenter Imaging provides an image viewer that's embedded within Oracle Fusion Payables. Accounts payable personnel can review and annotate the images using the embedded image viewer.

This figure shows the Scanned information tile on the Invoices landing page.

This graphic displays the Scanned information tile
on the Invoices landing page.

Pay Invoices

After you complete the rest of the invoice processing tasks, such as validating, approving, and accounting, the invoices are ready to be paid. You can schedule a payment process request to select them for payment.

Integrated Invoice Imaging for Oracle Cloud Implementations: Critical Choices

The integrated invoice imaging solution for Oracle Cloud provides scanned image import, intelligent character recognition, and automatic invoice creation. In addition, the solution routes invoices with exceptions to accounts payables personnel for review and completion.

Scanning Invoice Images

Review these critical points for scanning invoices.

  • Consider any legal requirements for processing and storing invoices in the same country that received the invoices.

  • Scan invoices in black and white using the TIFF image format with International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee (CCIT) Group IV compression at 300 dpi. Scanning this way provides the optimal balance between scan quality and image size.

    Note: Avoid the JPEG format because the lossy compression logic results in loss of image details, affecting recognition accuracy.
  • Enable adaptive thresholding technology on scanners to remove background colors, gray scaling, and gradients for pure black and white images. Black and white images provide optimal Optical Character Recognition accuracy as well as a reduced image size.

  • To achieve a higher rate of recognition:

    • Define purchase order numbers as a combination of letters and numbers instead of using the default seven-digit numeric format. For example, define purchase order numbers like CN388392.

    • Implement a uniform numbering scheme for purchase orders across all business units.

Attaching Invoice Images in E-Mail

Review these critical points for attaching invoice images in e-mail.

  • Include invoice images in e-mail attachments in the following ways:

    • Single page invoice in one attachment

    • Multiple page invoice in one attachment

    • Multiple invoices in one attachment

    • Single and multiple page invoices in multiple attachments

  • Organize invoices within the attachments for successful recognition. If you have:

    • Single page invoices in an attachment, you don't have to place a blank page between invoices as a separator.

    • One multiple page invoice in an attachment, place a blank page at the end or beginning of the attachment. This method prevents processing each page as a single page invoice.

    • More than one multiple page invoice in the batch, insert a blank page between the invoices.

    • Both single and multiple page invoices in an attachment, insert a blank page between invoices.

Processing Invoices

Review these critical points for processing invoices.

  • Schedule the Import Payables Invoices and Validate Payables Invoices processes to run every 15 to 30 minutes.

  • Define distribution sets for your supplier sites.

  • Modify the invoice routing rule to achieve the specialization that you want within your payables department. For example, route the incomplete invoices based on supplier, business unit, or invoice amount. Routing this way can ensure the payables personnel process invoices based on their specific assignments. The default rule routes all incomplete invoices to users with the Accounts Payable Specialist and Accounts Payable Supervisor job roles.

Receiving Invoice Images from Email: Points to Consider

The integrated invoice imaging solution provides for processing invoice images that are received by email.

The email must be sent in a certain format and meet specifications that are acceptable by Oracle Document Capture. Imaging specialists must scan and convert the paper invoices received from suppliers to images. Alternatively, if invoices have been received as email attachments, imaging specialists check for quality and proper formatting.

You can optionally enter attributes in the email subject for recording on the invoice and for routing if the invoices are incomplete. A preconfigured routing rule is provided to route incomplete invoices to all users with Accounts Payables Specialist and Accounts Payable Supervisor job roles.

Consider the following when receiving invoice images through email.

Invoice Images as Email Attachments

Invoice images can be included in email attachments in the following ways:

  • Single page invoice in one attachment.

  • Multiple page invoice in one attachment.

  • Multiple invoices in one attachment.

  • Single and multiple page invoices in multiple attachments.

    Note: A single invoice cannot be represented by multiple attachments.
Tip: Depending on the size of each scanned image, consider grouping the images into a single email to optimize the number of emails sent for processing.

Attribute Information in the Email Subject

You can specify up to four attributes in an email subject. These attributes can be recorded on the invoice or used to route the incomplete invoices to payables personnel for review and completion. Use the underscore sign (_) as a separator to indicate the start of routing attribute information.

Note: You can also use one of these attributes to override the default business unit on an unmatched scanned invoice.

For example, you have a specific business requirement to record categories on the invoice. These categories include invoice priority, supplier category, manufacturing plant number, storage bin number, and processing queue. You can specify values for these categories in the email subject.

This table lists the categories and their possible values.

Category Value

Invoice priority

Regular, Urgent

Supplier category

Regular, Supply chain related

Manufacturing plant number

Plant-1, Plant-2, Plant-3

Storage bin number

Bin#1, Bin#2, Bin#3

Processing queue

Section1, Section2, Section3

A supplier sends an invoice with the email subject of Invoice-1234 attached. The imaging specialist reviews the email and provides additional routing information in the email subject. The revised email subject is Invoice-1234 attached_Urgent_Supply chain related_Plant-1_Bin#1_Section1.

This table shows how the content in the email subject maps to the routing attributes.

Email Subject Content Routing Attribute Mapping

Invoice-1234 attached

Not applicable since the text appears before the first separator character

Urgent

Routing attribute 1

Supply chain related

Routing attribute 2

Plant-1

Routing attribute 3

Bin#1

Routing attribute 4

Section1

Routing attribute 5

Tip: The routing attribute number and the category aren't explicitly linked together. You must enter the value for the category in the same order.

The supplier sends another invoice with the email subject of Invoice-2345 attached. The revised email subject is Invoice-2345 attached_Regular_Supply chain related_Plant-1_Bin#1_Section1. The routing rule is defined as follows:

  • If routing attribute 1 = Urgent, assign invoice image to accounts payable specialist Harry.

  • If routing attribute 1 = Regular, assign invoice image to accounts payable specialist Nathan.

In this example, invoice 1234 is assigned to Harry and invoice 2345 is assigned to Nathan.

As in the previous example, attributes can include alphanumeric characters. The maximum length for each attribute depends on how many attributes you're using. For example, if you use all five attributes, the maximum length of each attribute is 34 characters. You can modify the maximum length of each attribute to meet your requirements however, the sum of the attribute values should not exceed the limit. This limit is calculated as follows, assuming that all five attributes are used and that the image is stored in the file location C:\OFR\Import\.

  • Total number of characters allowed by Oracle Forms Recognition: 233

  • Number of characters in the file path C:\OFR\Import\: 14

  • Number of characters in the file extension .tif, including the period: 4

  • Number of characters reserved for internal use as a unique reference number: 40

  • Number of separator characters: 5

  • Limit is the total characters minus file path minus file extension minus reserved characters minus separator characters (233-14-4-40-5): 170

Note: The limit changes if you use fewer than five attributes, because fewer separators are needed.

If the attribute in an email subject exceeds the maximum length specified for that attribute, the Document Capture process errors.

Routing Incomplete Invoices: Explained

An incomplete invoice is an invoice created from an image that has invalid or missing information. Incomplete invoices are automatically routed to users with the Accounts Payable Specialist and Accounts Payables Supervisor job roles for review and completion.

Routing Rule Administration

You can modify the predefined routing rule using the Approval Management extensions of the Oracle SOA Suite and Oracle Human Workflow. The Oracle Business Process Management (BPM) Worklist application provides the interface to administer the rule.

Users with the Financial Application Administrator job role are BPM Worklist administrators and can access the rules in the BPM Worklist application. To navigate to the BPM Worklist application, use the Manage Task Configurations for Financials task. The predefined task that assigns and routes incomplete invoices is called the FinAPIncompleteInvoiceHold task.

Tasks

The following table lists the predefined settings for the FinAPIncompleteInvoiceHold task.

Field Setting

Task Aggregation

Once per stage

On Error Notify

Not applicable

Allow all participants to invite other participants

Not enabled

Allow participants to edit future participants

Not enabled

Allow initiator to add participants

Not enabled

Enable automatic claim

Enabled

Complete task when participant chooses

Not enabled

Enable early completion of parallel subtasks

Not enabled

Complete parent tasks of early completing subtasks

Not enabled

Expiration and Escalation Policy

Never Expire

Reminders

No reminders

Rule Sets and Rules

The FinAPIncompleteInvoiceHold task has a rule set, which is a collection of rules, called IncompleteInvoiceRuleSet. This rule set has a rule called JobRoleAssignmentRule. Rules consist of IF and THEN components. The IF component specifies the conditions that determine when to apply the rule. The THEN component specifies what happens when the conditions are met.

The following table lists the predefined settings for the JobRoleAssignmentRule rule.

Field Value Description

Condition

FinAPHoldApprovalPayloadType.holdName is "Incomplete Invoice"

Activates the rule when the invoice is placed on an incomplete hold. To use other invoice attributes, select from the condition browser window.

List Builder

Resource

Determines the resource to which the invoice is routed.

Response Type

Required

Indicates that the routing notification requires a response.

Participants

Users: null, Groups: "AP_ACCOUNTS_PAYABLE_SPECIALIST_JOB, AP_ACCOUNTS_PAYABLE_SUPERVISOR_JOB", Application Role: null

Identifies the participant to whom the invoice is routed.

Rule Name

"JobRoleAssignmentRule"

Identifies the approval reason to display in the approval history diagram.

Rule Conditions

You can use the available invoice header, line, and distribution attributes in the routing rule condition.

To edit the rule condition:

  1. Start a search in the in the IF section of the rule. The Condition Browser opens.

  2. Select the attribute to use in the condition.

Overriding Default Business Units on Unmatched Scanned Invoices: Explained

Business units for unmatched scanned invoices are automatically determined based on attributes, such as supplier address and the Default Business Unit profile option. You can override automatic business unit assignment and instead, specify a business unit by performing the following steps:

  • Indicate that routing attribute 1 represents the business unit.

  • Find the business unit ID for the overriding business unit.

  • Specify the business unit ID in the e-mail subject.

Indicate Routing Attribute 1 Represents Business Unit

As part of the standard invoice imaging flow, you can use up to five additional attributes to route scanned invoices for completion or to record on the invoice. To override the default business unit, you must indicate that values for routing attribute 1 represent business units.

Perform these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Manage Payables Lookups page.

  2. Search for lookup type ORA_IMAGING_ROUTING_ATTRIBUTES.

  3. Enable lookup code ORA_BUSINESS_UNIT.

Find the ID for the Overriding Business Unit

You must use the identifier for the business unit as the override. To find the business unit ID:

  1. Navigate to the Manage Business Units page.

  2. Search for the applicable business unit.

  3. If you don't see the Business Unit ID column in the Search Results table, use the View menu to enable the column.

Specify the Business Unit ID in the E-mail Subject

For scanned invoices that aren't matched to purchase orders, edit the e-mail subject to:

  1. Append the underscore sign (_) followed by the business unit ID. For example, if a scanned invoice has an e-mail subject of Invoice 42366_30014001, the business unit ID for that invoice is 30014001.

Note: If you specify an invalid ID, or the ID is missing from the e-mail subject, the business unit is automatically assigned.