Invoice document flow is a classic example of how the document flow solution can be utilised.
The solution is based on Lotus Domino/Notes software and Lexmark hardware devices.
The flow cycle operates the process model designed by our company which uses MS Visio for process modelling, or Lotus Workflow engine as alternative.
Step 1 – Label printing post
The Lexmark device is used to print out ID code labels from a Lotus Notes special application.
ID code numbers are stored in database to ensure continuity and uniqueness. The numbers can be printed on multiple workstations at the same time. They can be printed on special sort of paper or on address labels.
Step 2 – Invoice receiving post
When arriving to company's site, the invoice document in paper form is received at scanning post.
There may be multiple scanning posts in a company which use Lexmark Document Distributor software with ID code reading module installed centrally on server.
The person handling this device performs the following activities:
· sticking ID code label onto invoice – the ID uniquely identifies each invoice in the system,
· inserting invoice to scanner feeder,
· scanning individual or groups of invoices – during scanning the following actions are performed automatically:
o ID code is read,
o invoice document is created in Lotus Notes database,
o invoice ID number is taken from ID code to a Lotus database field,
o scan copy of invoice is attached in selected format (GIF, TIF, JPG, BMP, PDF) to invoice document (optionally instead of attachment in invoice document there is a link, and the scan is stored in the Document Centre application),
· entering invoice data which cannot be read automatically (issuing party, dates, etc.),
· initiating invoice document flow according to procedure.
Step 3 – Invoice authorisation
During the invoice document flow, each participant in the flow is required to assign invoice amount to respective cost centres and send invoice further into flow. As soon as the amount assigned to cost centres equals the invoice's total amount it is released to accounting area.
Step 4 - Invoice posting
Once the paper document is delivered to accounting area, individuals responsible for authorisation of invoice can at any time view the current status of invoice flow.
This functionality is provided by attached ID code reading device. The code reading action is automatically followed by locating the invoice in Lotus Notes system, enabling the assessment of the current status of the document flow.
At the end of the flow cycle, accounting already has enough information required to authorise invoice payment. The also can reverse invoice for adjustment.
Step 5 – Archiving
When authorised by accounting, invoices are sent to archive with possibility of viewing all invoice data at any time.
The archive base utilised may be single or multiple archive staging structure.
The described technology of the solution also allows to have invoices OCR-edited at the scanning stage with retrieved text being saved in a text file of Lotus Notes.
This function allows for full text document search e.g when one wishes to find all pens purchased, etc.