Melissa: Good afternoon everyone and thanks for joining us today. My name is Melissa Greenhill. I’m a marketing specialist here at Encore and we’ve got Doug Bertram from Metafile here today. And so he’s gonna be presenting on MetaViewer RPA for Microsoft Dynamics: Your Automation A-Team. So Doug, I’m just gonna hand it on over to you.
Doug: Great, Thank you, Melissa.
Doug: Get switched over here to share my screen, there we go. And we will put it in full-screen mode, perfect there we go.
Melissa: Looks good.
Doug: All right, well welcome everyone. Welcome to today’s presentation MetaViewer RPA for Microsoft Dynamics: Your Automation A-Team. My name is Doug Bertram. I’m one of the regional managers here at Metafile and I’m going to introduce you today to what we do to help people automate their business processes. Robotic Process Automation is RPA, that’s kind of a new word buzzword for systems that help kind of do things so people don’t have to. And we as a company have been around since 1979, really with that focus in mind, trying to help people automate and have the system kind of do things for you.
Probably our most popular solution today is our AP automation solution that’s really tightly integrated with Microsoft Dynamics. We do integrate with all versions of dynamics. As a Microsoft Gold partner, we do have access, we have developers on staff for each of the dynamic solutions. Today when I do a demo I have to use one, so I am using GP for today’s presentation but if you do have SL, NAV, D365, AX any of the others we can certainly work with, with those as well.
The way I do my presentations, I have a PowerPoint slide here just a short couple slides here that I kind of go over the entire solution and what all we do, I call it the big picture. And then most of the presentation I’m gonna jump over to a virtual machine that I have a GP, and in this case, I have GP running over there as well as what we call our fast-track solutions. Historically we have sold MetaViewer as a document management system that really can be used anywhere in the enterprise but there was so much interest in this invoice processing side of things that we were finding, we were building about 90% of the same thing for every client. So to speed up implementations and be able to offer the solution at a lower price point, we developed this fast-track solution which is kind of a best practices approach to AP. And so when my guys load the software, they load the same solution at this fast track solution at the same time. It prompts them for where’s your GP server AX or SL server NAV, and then immediately you have everything that I’ve got my demo VM working and talking with your dynamic system.
So most of the presentation I’m gonna kind of go through there and I’m gonna kind of show you what that solution does. Once we get that fast track solution up and running, there’s the ability to customize a solution. Everything that I show you today is all developed by us so we can actually customize that to your own personal needs. If you try to stay in the box as much as possible that kind of helps keep the implementation right on track and under budget, but we can certainly make some necessary changes to impact your business.
And I would encourage you today, you can certainly ask questions with the chat function or the Go to Webinar here and at the end Melissa will read me the questions and we’ll kind of address some of them today. Otherwise you can always shoot us on email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to follow up and answer any questions, maybe set up a one-on-one webinar with your specific people and have the mic’s open and you can talk and everything else.
So, okay with that, let’s talk about the solution. So as I said everything centers around MetaViewer, is this document management, content management, imaging type of solution. It really is that enterprise-wide solution, a lot of our clients will once they get AP automation up, they’ll look at contracts or HR documents or order processing or all kinds of different places they can leverage their technology. If I take that solution and apply it to the challenges of processing invoices, it starts by capturing those documents as soon as they come into the organization, whether they be paper or electronic. And it’s really this electronic side that we try to focus on with our clients, in that if you can get your vendors to email you invoices, we can actually set MetaViewer to watch one or multiple email boxes and then prevent that paper from happening, but more importantly preserving the textual information of that document contains. We watch those email boxes, we automatically pull in the attached invoice and it feeds right into this tool that we developed called Invoice Accelerator. That tool will intelligently read that document to extract the data. We use the data to index or identify what that document is all about, but ultimately we’re going to push the transaction and create transactions up in your Microsoft Dynamics solution.
So really that’s your ideal solution because nobody has to open up mail, nobody scans anything in, everything comes in, we pulled in, we extract the data. process at accordingly and then hand it off to Dynamics. We also realize it may not be feasible to get everything in electronic format, so we can work with paper documents as well. If you do scan a document into MetaViewer you can use a scanner or multi-functional copier device or something like that to scan things in the MetaViewer. But if we do capture a scanned document, it is just a picture. There is no text for us to extract and that’s why on my diagram here I have this extra box, it says Scanning OCR.
On the paper documents only, since they don’t have text, we run that process automatically if we don’t find any text. and really what that process does is it looks at all the dots on the page or all the pixels if you will. And any dots that are touching each other, it says that’s a 1 or a 6 or a G, essentially converting that picture back into text and then it feeds into that same tool. That invoice accelerator tool that’s going to intelligently read the data, extract it and then deliver that document right into our workflows.
The electronic documents they don’t need that OCR in our solution. We send them right into the invoice accelerator because they already have that text, but it’s the same tool that’s gonna extract that data and deliver those documents into workflow.
In the fast track solution we’ve built two broad workflows, one dealing with non-purchase-order related invoices and one dealing with purchase-order related invoices. Most people when they think of workflow, they think of routing a document around from person to person, and that’s a big part of what that is and that’s where we’ve got those two broad workflow for routing kind of scenarios. But we also have a lot of tight integration with Microsoft Dynamics to do things like duplicate checks. We can interact with the vendor records to pull back defaults from that vendor, pull back terms, calculate due dates, check for duplicates. We interact with the purchasers, if the invoice is related to a purchase order, we can match that to what’s open or received against a purchase order. So we have some very, very tight integration with your Microsoft Dynamics system throughout those process and that’s really where you get that RPA or the Robotic Process Automation to where we can actually do things so people don’t have to, and that’s where you really get your efficiencies.
From a routing perspective, the non-PO invoices they typically take a path where they are going to be coded. We can pull back default coding from the vendor records. we route them through approvals once everything’s been approved then we’re gonna push and create the transaction up and in Microsoft Dynamics.
The purchase-order-related invoices, they can be routed around for approval, but most organizations don’t wanna do that. That’s what they created the original purchase order in the first place. They were expecting this invoice to come in, and so what they would rather have it do is match to in Dynamics what’s either been open or received against that purchase order in Dynamics. And once that match has occurred, then we’ll create the transaction and then you can post the transaction for payment. So, there’s definitely a lot of automation when it comes to interacting with the purchase orders in Dynamics as well.
The last aspect of solution is that retrieval and really that’s just giving everybody access to the documents when and where they need them. The big advantage for us is there’s no software load on anybody’s workstation, we use a standard internet browser, is a tool to talk to the MetaViewer server, whether you choose to install MetaViewer on your servers in your organization, or we do have a hosted data center that we can actually host your application as well. We’re seeing that hosted facility really gain in popularity as more and more people are starting to host maybe their dynamic system and in trying to outsource some of the infrastructure requirements related to that.
In our case we actually let the customer just choose whether they want it on their servers on-premise or they wanna use our data center. But in either of those cases, you’re still gonna use that standard internet browser as a tool to talk to that system. It is mobile-friendly, so if you did open it up to the outside and allowed the folks to login with the phone or a tablet, it’s gonna sense that you’re on a smaller device and you still can see all the same information. We just present it in a little bit different format, so that you can you can see all the data on those smaller screens and then you can use the gestures that you’re typically used to, like pinching and zooming and swiping and all those kinds of things.
And then to take that retrieval one step further, once we hand the transaction off to Microsoft Dynamics if you’re looking at that transaction in Dynamics we can put a menu item on the various screens within Microsoft Dynamics. If you click a button that says “show me the MetaViewer invoice, it feeds us data from that active screen, executes a search for you and automatically in about a second or two you see that document side-by-side with your Microsoft Dynamics screen. And that’s really important because if that document flowed through workflow, we tracked an audit trail on who did what with that document, who approved it, who coded it, did they put notes on it. All that information you can see right there with the document.
So that’s what I call the big picture, that’s what I’m gonna demonstrate today. We’re gonna start by pulling some invoices in, route them to the workflows, search and retrieve and then hand them transactions off to Dynamics to end the solution. If we get some time, I’ll maybe talk a little bit more about some of the other add-on capabilities that the system can be expanded to but that’s ultimately the big picture of the system.
Okay, now let’s go over to my virtual machine and start processing some things. Wait for the screen to catch up. There we go. All right, so now we’re looking at my virtual machine. You can see obviously on the left hand side there I’ve got Microsoft Dynamics GP and I’ve got some documents in one of the folders. I’m gonna kick off a task that’s going to start watching that folder. Now I do a couple things differently in demo mode, one is kicking tasks off like this. Most of our clients don’t do that, we schedule them to run every so often watching email boxes, watching those network folders and those types of things. I kick it off when I get started here so you can actually see the documents in that folder. Now that I have it running you can see it pull those documents in and while it’s running it’ll, if I save something in there, scan something in there, drag and drop something into that folder, it’s gonna automatically be pulled into the system, go into that invoice accelerator tool to read that document and extract the data and deliver that right into the first step of the workflow.
I’m gonna open up my browser now, and when I go into my browser the second thing I do differently in my demo mode is I prompt myself for a username and password for a login here. And most of our clients are gonna sync with Active Directory, which means single sign-on for you. You bookmark the MetaViewer on your homepage on your favorite browser, you click on it, you go into it. It’s gonna take you right in, it’s going to authenticate you by how you logged in that machine. In demo mode I like to show what the system might look like for an AP user, what it looks like for an approver. And it looks very different. We kind of restrict what people have access to and so that’s why I prompt myself for login credentials when I go into MetaViewer. So if I log in as my AP user here.
We work off of a roles based system, so what that means is when you add users to MetaViewer you say what is their role or roles in the organization and that’s what controls what they have the rights to see and do in MetaViewer. So this particular user, I use this user for a great deal of the demo, so I’ve given them access to quite a few different roles. So they have a lot of things on their home page here, when we get into some of the approvers they’re only going to have a few things that they can do, and so look a lot more a lot simpler when they’re, when they log in. But really what you’re looking at here, this is kind of that dashboard. Everything that you’re authorized to see and do in MetaViewer you can have that complete visibility to wherever it’s at in the organization. The things that the numbers, those are my work ques. My role says when those change from a zero to a 3 or 19, there’s something in there that might need my attention. I click on it, I go in there, and I take care of it. The ones without the numbers, like these searches down here where you can see search fine payable, signed exported payables, those are my electronic file cabinets. If I’m looking for something in particular, I do not have to go around, hunt around on whose desk is on or dig around in file cabinets. I click one of those, it prompts me for what are you looking for. I put in a vendor number, purchase order number, invoice number, something like that, and it goes out and finds all the matching documents that meet that criteria, delivers them right to my home page right here at my workstation within a second or two.
So what we’re gonna do from a demo perspective is we’re gonna route some documents around. I’ll kind of come back here and show you where things are at in the process periodically. Then we’ll do a little searching and go look at the transactions over in Dynamics after we push those over. Okay, so after I’ve been using the system for a while, most invoices when they come in, they’re gonna go right into this AP preparation queue where I have 19 documents. That’s the first step of the process. I’m gonna come back to those. What I wanna look at right now are these three documents that are sitting and waiting for profile building. I’m gonna open those up in our invoice accelerator tool to show you how the system intelligently reads those documents and extracts that data.
So if I…as this loads up here. The first time you get an invoice in from a particular vendor in this case Midwest Travel Center, we’re going to read that document, we’re going to extract the data. You can see on the left-hand side I’ve got some of the various information filled in on this document. But we want a human to look at it the first time because if we made a mistake, this gives you the opportunity to fix that mistake so we don’t always make that same mistake. And then once you’ve done that, it will remember that so the next time you get an invoice in it will remember that.
And so how the system works, right up on top on your left hand side you see content identification, primary, secondary, miscellaneous. I wanna pick up to three different values off of this invoice that would uniquely make it a Midwest Travel Center invoice. So to select things, if I draw a box around the vendor name for example, you can see it grabs all three of those values, puts them in for the primary field and then jumps down to my secondary item. And I can click on something like the zip or the postal code or maybe a web address. And when I click on those you can see it filled those in for secondary and miscellaneous and kept moving down the tree.
So those three values, they’re gonna get saved into our content identification database and so when the invoice comes in we’re gonna read all the words. If we find that match that’s all the system is gonna know that you’ve already done this. It’s gonna extract the data and deliver that right into the first step of the workflow.
So last part of this process is to look at how MetaViewer extracted the data to make sure they did so correctly. Well vendor invoices are all very different. I can’t program the system to say always look in the same place for the invoice number because it’s gonna be all over the place. And so the system was designed with the intelligence like a human has and that we’ve got a pretty comprehensive library of all the words used for the various fields, so that’s what the system does. It starts looking for those words. You can see here highlighted in green, we found the words “invoice pound” because we found it, we grabbed at MWI 200, copied it, filled it in automatically on the left-hand side for the invoice number.
So my job here is to just tab through these and make sure that they’re all correct. So if I tab down to date, here’s an example of a correction. We found the anchor word “date,” but I think that April 5th is too far away for the system to realize that those two values go together, so I’m gonna grab a yellow highlighter, draw a box around that date. When I do that, it takes that spelled-out date, converts it into an 8-digit month-day-year format, fills it in on invoice date field and then automatically jump down to the next field which was PO number. That looks good, tabbing through these if I scroll to the bottom after we’ve found the tax, freight to miscellaneous there’s some other things that we look for. And then the invoice amount you can see we found the invoice amount as well, so I can be done.
Now other things we can do like in Canadian we can search for PST and GST and other values. If you have in like a project number or something like that we can add additional values there to read and extract off of the invoice.
So with that, I can complete this document. When I say “finish,” it’s gonna save those unique values in the system so the next time it will remember what to do with Midwest Travel Center. And to demonstrate that, I purposely pulled in two Midwest Travel Center documents. We’re right now on document one of three. As soon as they say, “okay,” it saves those values, loads the next document and just that quickly we are now on document three of three. So when it loaded that second document it found a match to what I just did, it extracted the data out of both of those documents and delivered both of them into that AP preparation queue.
So as you can imagine this is probably one of the first things we’re gonna teach a couple people to do. A lot of times we’re gonna do this is the first part of the implementation process so you can kind of start pulling in some of your vendors and doing this while we’re going through all the training. To do one with proper training, a little less talking, it can take me about 15 seconds. So if I draw a box around my vendor name, click on the postal code and click on the web address, invoice number looks good, date looks good. Purchase order number, since it’s blank here it looked in the wrong spot, so I’m gonna tell it to look over here. Tax amount, if I scroll down it looks like tax is blank but it does have a value over there and that’s because the system is smart enough to look at all the pages of an invoice. If I look at this last page here that’s where we got the tax presumably this is where we would get the freight or the shipping, so I’m gonna draw a box there, and this is where we got the invoice total as well. Okay, so I’m done.
All right, I’m gonna finish that, we’re gonna save that into the workflow and go back to my browser. Okay, if I refresh my browser window, my numbers in the queue will update and I now an AP preparation up here I have 22 documents sitting in AP preparation ready to be processed. So let’s click on AP preparation.
This is the first step of the workflow. This is the equivalent of that person that just opened up the mail. They got a big stack of invoices in front of them, and they look at and they say, “Oh I want this one to go to Sally. I want this one to go to Joe. I want this one to go to Susie,” and they start walking those invoices all around the organization. Well the advantages of using MetaViewer is I have an electronic representation of everything that’s in that pile. I can see a summary of everything. I can click on anything that I want. And as a user I can customize what this layout looks like for my own personal tastes and every user gets to adjust it to how they want.
So for example, if I wanted our company name over here on the left, I could do that. If I wanted to make the vendor named a little bit bigger, I can make that wider, and if I hit the drop-down on any of the headers I can actually sort ascending or descending or check or uncheck to hide or reveal the various columns to my preferences. So for example if I didn’t have multiple companies, I could hide the company or I could hide payment type if I didn’t do purchase order invoices or things like that. In my browser remember my settings so the next time I come in here everything will be laid out exactly as I intended.
So what we’ll do for a demo in today is we’re gonna walk the non-purchase-order invoices through since everybody seems to have those. And then we’ll spend a little bit of time at the end towards the middle part talking about how purchase order invoices are just a little bit different. So if I click on a non-PO invoice here to open this up. So we’re looking at the document on the right-hand side obviously and on the left-hand side is some of the data that we extracted out of accelerator, but then we also made a call to the vendor record within Microsoft Dynamics, in an, to pull back some of the defaults from that vendor record.
So for example I have drop downs here, this drop down for companies, in my GP system I actually have two companies. And so it shows me Contoso and Fabric Cam, I could switch the company if I like. A lot of times we try to watch a different email box for each company, if you had multiple companies and we would know which one to apply it automatically, otherwise I can change that if need be. For the vendor, if I start typing a vendor name, it’s communicating directly with the vendor record for that company in Microsoft Dynamics, so you can see I type in ADV, I had three hits because that matched ADV is part of the vendor name or the vendor number. And I can either keep typing until I get to the one I want and tab off of it, or I can simply select from the list, and when I do that it goes and updates some of the values from the vendor record like payment terms and from that we calculated the due date. If there were discount terms we would calculate an early pay date, early paid discount, tax schedules, if you use those we can pull those back, so we can validate some of the taxes. And they are 1099 vendor, yes or no? If they were a yes then we would fill in a 1099 amount that could be edited to the proper amount and so we can account for that throughout the workflow and when we create the transaction in Dynamics.
If I were to change my terms, this is a drop-down that’s communicating with Dynamics to show me all the available terms. If I change this to 2-10, net 30, it then calculates my early paid date in early paid discount automatically. So that helps me prioritize my work to make sure that we’re capitalizing on all those discounts. I’m gonna change that back. So normally you’re gonna look at this invoice. You’re not going to be changing a lot of things that I was doing here. I was kind of doing most of that just to kind of demonstrate the power and that integration with Dynamics. Most the time you’re going to look at this and say, “Yep, I got the right vendor, the invoice amount looks right, the number invoice number looks good, everything looks good.” I’m gonna click this code in reconcile button. It then communicates with Microsoft Dynamics to try to code this invoice automatically based on the defaults that I have set up for that vendor. So you can see it’s filled in to pay, tax and purchase accounts for the values that we had extracted there.
And how it does that, if I go into the vendor maintenance here and I pull up something like Advanced Office Systems. In the accounts area here, if you set up the purchase accounts, the finance, the freight, the miscellaneous that’s how we’re gonna know what to decode the invoice to. And then some organizations in the purchase account, they will hit this little ellipse over here, this little dot, dot, dot and they will actually specify multiple purchase accounts in here. And if you do specify multiples we will pull them all back. We will default the invoice amount to the primary and then we’ll list all the other ones as zero dollar amounts and then you can kind of edit or choose how do you want to do that. Okay, so as an example, if I looked at Beaumont Construction, I think that’s the one, that’s one I’ve got after this invoice. In there, they have specified some additional account codes in that in that ellipse there. So I’ll show you an example that too.
But really what we’re trying to do here is trying to minimize how much keying you would have to do. So if we can take and automatically code it to those defaults I could route this document on to be completed, otherwise I could edit this information once we pull it back, or I can even add additional rows. If I say, “Add a row and we also support inter-company.” In GP, if you do have multiple companies and you wanna code to multiple companies, I can use the inter-company feature of dynamics and I can specify a different company ID and then I can communicate to the chart of accounts for that company by typing a few characters. We’re communicating directly with the chart of accounts. And just like I did in the vendor, I can they’re keep typing till I get to the one I want or simply select from the list at any time.
So if I do this and do 5130, I’ll tab off, and I’ll say, “This is a purchase account and I’ll add a $1000.” And since I automatically coded it, I was had it all balanced out, I just added a new $1000, so I’m gonna come in here and reduce the other purchase account by a $1000 to keep the debits and credits in balance. I can also add a distribution reference note by clicking this little cartoon bubble over here to the right. If I do that, it brings up a line and I can say, “Extra line for Contoso.” Right, I can put that in my note and we’ll map that to the distribution reference when we push integrate that transaction over to GP. Likewise at the header level, I have this transaction description where I can have a header description I can say, “See line notes.” Right, and we’ll map that to the description at the header level of the transaction.
So code it all out. I click this button up here that says coded approval required. It then communicates with our system and says hey for the last time for this company and this vendor combination who are the approvers? And we can specify up to five levels of approval, so you can see last time our default is Department 200. I can come in here and change that to Department 100 if I’d like or I can specify multiple. I can say, “Manager 100,” and each time I pick a subsequent approver the previous ones that I’ve selected no longer occur in the list so I can’t accidentally assign it to the same person twice.
And then as you can see in my system, I kind of go more like a cost center or department level with the department’s the managers and the VPS for the different divisions. A lot of organizations will just use people here, so you can pick a person. Really that’s kind of one of the unique things for each client that we kind of decide how what makes the most sense to you guys. Delete that out. I don’t really wanna route things around too much.
We can also optionally, we can actually automatically assign second-level approvers based on a dollar amount. So for example I’ve got mine set up that if I selected Department 600 in this case, my department 600 approval limit is only $500. Since this invoice is over that, it automatically applied the manager 600 as well.
Okay, so I got complete control over who I wanna send it to. If I select that, I say, “Send for approval.” This prompts me to say, “Hey you change the default. The default was Department 200, you picked Department 100. Do you wanna update that default or do you wanna leave the current default?” So this allows me to teach the system as I am doing my regular job and so it will always remember what’s the most common. If this was just a one-off, I would click leave current and then away it would go to that approver. It’s immediately in their queue. I don’t have to walk it down the hall. I don’t have to scan and email it. It’s immediately in their queue. One of the things that we do with the system is we can send an email to let somebody know something needs your attention.
In our experience it’s a bad practice to send an email for every invoice that comes in, that gets to be a lot of emails. People start to ignore them. They shift-delete them, and so in our experience what we like to do, maybe once a day, once a week, we’ll have the system go out and check everybody’s approval queue. If you approved all your invoices, you’re not getting an email, if you haven’t you will get one email from MetaViewer that says you have five invoices to approve. And you’ll have a little hyperlink right in the body that email. You click it, it opens your browser, you go in and you approve your invoices.
Okay, so I’m gonna to round a couple more, just so we got some examples here. So I say, “Code and reconcile.” This is that Beaumont Construction, so you can see down here this is where we populated all the additional account codes. We had 70,000 was the primary. So if I change that to say 35,000. And then I make this one 35,000, and then I could delete the rest of the zeros. Microsoft Dynamics will ignore the $0 entries so that you wouldn’t have to. But if I like to clean things up, I can select all those lines, say, “Delete selected rows and clean it up.” Whoops, I missed one, so we’ll delete that one too. All right, so I got everything balanced out, coded approval required and then we’ll just…I’ll just do a few more here real quick, and then we’ll go look at what it looks like for the approver.
Code and reconcile, approval required and for approval. And one more real quick. Code approval required and send for approval. All right, so we’ll log out of my AP user, we’ll log in as Joe. So Joe is my department 100 approver, and as I kind of said at the beginning, we work off that roles-based system so he’s not authorized to do quite as many things as my AP user is. He can do a little searching and we allow him to see his approval queues obviously, where he’s got the four documents sitting in his approval queue. He can click on that. He can organize this just like we did it at last queue, or he just clicks on the document, opens it up and this is that Advanced Office Systems invoice.
So every step of the way, we can control who has the right to see and do what with documents as well. So in this particular case for the approver, we’ve hidden some fields that aren’t really pertinent for the approver to see and then we’ve made most everything read-only, all the information up top here you cannot change the vendor number or the invoice number, things like that, including in my case, I actually make the grid read-only as well. We allow him to see the coding, but we don’t allow him to change it. In this varies from client to client as well. Some clients say, “Hey I’ve got my approvers.” If I want them to change the coding I’d like them to do that. And then we can make this grid function just like it did in that first step. In my case, since it is read-only, if I wanted it re-coded, I would say, “Return to verification.” It would prompt me for a reason. I would say, “I want this re-coded because this was for something different.” And it would put that note in the audit trail area over here where you see all these other notes, the system-generated notes that we added and then send that back to be re-coded.
So you can see here we said the document was coded by AP user the approvers were signed by AP user. You’re gonna see things like approved by Joe, approved by Sally. All that audit trail information gets stored in this little notes area here. I could add a note if I want. If I come in here and say, “Add a note, test note Doug.” All right, I can make it a different color highlight it or whatever I want, or I just say, “add,” and it puts that note in my name and date and time that I created that note. So this is that complete audit trail of where everything’s at, okay.
If everything looks good on this, as an approver, I can just simply click the approve button, it then routes that document to a final review step where AP gets one last chance to look at it before we push it over and create that transaction in Dynamics. We’ll talk about that here in a little bit after I’ve routed some other things around.
The other thing that we have the capability to do is link supporting documents to invoices when they come in. So, for example, you can see down here at the very bottom left-hand side, you see views supporting documents. I have a match of one and that says, show me everything that’s in the supporting documents archive that matches this invoice by a vendor number, invoice number or purchase order number. And so if I do that, if I click on that view supporting document, since there’s only one it’s actually gonna open that document up. In this one qualified because it’s the W9. The W9, they both share the same vendor number and company number and so that’s why this qualified. When we look at the purchase orders, you can have a packing slip or the original purchase order, all that stuff automatically gets linked and tied to that document, so I have all the information that I need to help me make my decisions.
Okay back to the invoice. Other things, if I wanted to approve and escalate this to my boss, I could do that. I could click the additional approver drop down here if they were not already assigned to it. I could pick that person and say, “approve,” and then instead of going to find a review, it’s gonna be routed to that particular person for their approval as well. I could have put a note in to tell them what they look at or something like that. Other popular things, reject. This allows me to put in a reason as to why I rejected, I cancel this order, we shouldn’t pay it. And then that goes to rejected queue where somebody could take a peek at it and decide what are we going to do, what further action needs to happen and then take care of that. Otherwise another popular one is something like this, not mine. If I say, “Not mine and I say no idea what this is.” Right, oops right, and I say, “submit,” it puts that note in that little notes area there and then routes that to a reassigned queue where somebody could take a peek at it. Okay, let’s approve that one as well.
All right, I’ve reached the end of my approval, so no more documents match my criteria. Let’s log out, go back as my AP user and see where everything’s at. All right, so final review here, I have two documents. I have the two documents that Joe approved and did not want to escalate them. I have two in this queue up here waiting for approval. I have the one that I approved and escalated to manager 100 as well as the one that I said, “reassign” because technically that’s still out for out for approval, we just don’t know who yet. So that documents sitting in this reassigned approvers queue here, we’ve got one document. If I would have rejected one, that would have been over here on the left-hand side where it says rejected payables. If I click on reassigned approvers, we drill down and I can actually see the notes share, the user indicated this payable was not properly assigned for the following reason, no idea what this is, Joe approver. Right, so I could give it to manager 100 and then say, “complete” and route it to that person.
You also have, you kind of might have noticed that as we go from queue to queue the, the documents kind of look a little bit different. Well we have kind of some default layouts that you can kind of choose how each of your queues look, so you can kind of change some of that around. This is a good one here and then once you change it, if I adjust the lines here, if I pull this over far enough it switches to a two-column instead of a single column. I happen to like this particular view so that looks pretty good. I’m gonna say, “complete and route that to manager 100.” If we go in as Sally, she’s my manager 100-person. Her homepage she has a little bit more things to do than Joe was allowed to do. She clicks on her approval cues, drills down, opens up a document, and you can see she’s got a different view here. I like this view a lot, this is the three-column layout where I’ve got the document, I’ve got the data, I’ve got the notes over here, I can see and I’ve got a little bit more room for the coding. So I kind of like this view here, but you can see here this is approved by Joe, was coded by AP. I can see all those notes. She has the same capabilities that Joe does, approve, prove, escalate, reject, reassign that type of thing. So I’ll approve that one, and this next document that loads this is the one where the approvers are reassigned. Joe indicated he had no idea what this was, etc. So I could route it back to Joe if I wanted to or approve it and so on, okay.
So essentially you’re kind of doing what you do on paper today, you’re just doing it immediate and electronically all through a browser interface like this. If I come back, final review, I now have three documents ready to be pushed up to GP. Before we do that, let’s talk about the purchase order invoices and how they take a little bit different path. If I click on AP preparation again and let’s open up a purchase order invoice here. So a couple things that are a little bit different since we extracted the purchase order number off of the invoice, we did a validation check in Dynamics to make sure that, that purchase order was valid for that vendor and it is still in an open state. Because it was, we specified, we put that, we captured that purchase order and we specified that that was a PO invoice. And if I hit the drop down here, I can see all the open purchase orders available for that particular vendor. If I wanted to look up more detail on that purchase order, I have a more information button here that says look up PO. I can actually enter any of those PO’s in here, but now I’m gonna do PO 2092, it then communicates with dynamics and shows me some information about that purchase order. You know what is the amount? What is the remaining balance? What is the total open and closed lines? And I can actually see some of those lines here too and what receipt status they are and those types of things.
Again normally, I wouldn’t need to go in there too much, I’d look at this and say, “Yep, everything looks good,” but this time when I say, “Code and reconcile,” it communicates with GP and this pops up it says there are no received lines for this purchase order. If you continue, it’ll put it in a step that periodically looks for the receipts. When it finds receipts, it’ll kick it back in here so it can be processed. Otherwise in GP, they have the ability to create what’s called a shipment invoice and receive the goods and okay the invoice all at the same time, so we offer that capability as well. If I change the type to PO shipment invoice. And this time when I say, “Code and reconcile,” it goes and communicates with GP and pulls back all the open items for that purchase order. So you can see I’ve got six, four brochures and six yellow shoes here. I’m off by $10. And if I looked at the invoice that’s because we’re only being invoiced for four of the six yellow shoes. So if I change that six to a four to make sure that this reconciles out, I have a balance of zero. I can say, “reconcile,” and it sends that invoice to final review so we can push and create the transaction up in GP.
A couple more here, if I code and reconcile this one. This is an example that was received, received 1164. We got 10 of these 3-pound packages of lobsters. In the bottom right, I have a difference of zero, everything looks good. I can just simply say, “reconciled” and then route it on. And then one more here just another different example of what could happen. I’m off by $75 and that’s because we’re only being invoiced for the red shirts that we received, red and yellow shirts. So I’m going to erase the yellow shirt line because it does not apply to this invoice and say, “reconciled.” And now presumably I’m gonna get another invoice for the yellow shirts and then that will be matched to those remaining yellow shirt items on that purchase order.
Okay, back to my home page, and final review here, we now have six documents in final review. I’m gonna open those up and this is the opportunity for somebody in AP presumably to take one chant last look at these invoices before we create them in the transactions in GP. In my case, from a demo mode, I do another I put this little export to ERP button on here so I can select multiples and I don’t have to necessarily open those up. That is normally not there by default, I do it in demo mode so I can actually kind of speed things along little that. But if I say, “Export to ERP,” it’s gonna communicate with Microsoft’s eConnect in GP’s case to validate that transaction, and as that goes you’re gonna see little green check box on the invoices as they approve. If for some reason they fail, they would have an X and they would stay there. Otherwise if I were looking at the document, and I hit the export to ERP, it would actually prompt me with what was the matter with that invoice and then I could fix that and then try and push it to the export to ERP again.
Other things that I can do, if I needed to request an additional approver or send it back to the original approval with a note, I could do so. I could escalate that to the AP manager. I can reject it. I could put it on hold. I can do all kinds of different things with this document. But normally if everything looks good, yep I wanna export that one to GP as well, and away it goes.
If I go to my home page, final review is empty. And now I’ve got, well I should have seven documents in there, I think. And waiting for payment here, I have six documents. All I know why, because three of them went, okay. I have six documents waiting for payment information. That means that we put those into a queue where we periodically talk to GP to pull back the payment information. So we can index the document on the payment information. So if I wanted to use this find exported payables, put in a payment number of 20058, and then it shows me all the matching invoices that were paid with that particular payment number, and I can see those, those documents there.
Okay, so let’s close our browser down. Let’s go over to GP. So we push things over as batches and we create the batches kind of similar to what a lot of clients do, where we’ve got the reviewers initials and the posting date. We have a field in MetaViewer called posting date, by default we set that to the capture date or the invoice date. And then at that final review, that is one of the items that you could have changed if you wanted to put it into a different period or something like that, you would change that, and then I can actually simply select one of these batches, and I can post this entire batch right from here without having to look at it. Or if I go into the transactions and drill down. Here’s one of those transactions that we pushed over, the Advanced Office Systems invoice. This is the one where we said, “See line notes,” and this is the one where I specify that there was an inter-company, which means that we coded this invoice to two companies. If I click on the distributions, I can drill down and look at the distributions here. And this is the one where we have that the company too, and the company Contoso and I put that extra line for Contoso. I put that distribution note in there.
Now if I wanted to look at the document in MetaViewer, I have this extra menu item here that says additional. And I click on MetaViewer invoice. It then execute the search using the data from that GP screen. You can see it pops open my browser over there and is executing the search for me automatically. The rule of the concept is here, is that if you’re looking at the transaction, we don’t want you to have to go open your browser and manually re-key the same things that you’re looking for, so we put this button in GP, so that it links me right back to that document. I can see that Advanced Office System document. If I click on the little blue bar here, I can temporarily pull this apart and I can see that this is the one that Joe approved. This is the one with the test note Doug, final review is reported by AP, the voucher number that was applied to that invoice when we pushed it over and created the transaction, all that information I can see right there.
Now what’s really nice in GP is once I have my browser window open here, if I posted this transaction or just simply navigate to another transaction, the data on my GP screen changes so it automatically refreshes my browser search, and so now I’m looking at the West Junction in GP and I’m looking at the West Junction document there. If I wanted to permanently expand that, that information out, then when I go from one transaction to the next Beaumont Construction, my browser refreshes and I can see all that information as well.
The purchase order invoices, in purchased invoice entry this is where they go and because this is that red shirts invoice and because I have that button on this screen as well, and I already had my browser open, it automatically…even though I change windows, it automatically re-executed that search because we’ve enabled this screen to link back to the invoices as well. So that’s the red shirts invoice, this is the lobster’s invoice and then my window shows me the lobsters invoice.
Okay, receiving transactions entry, this is where the one goes that was matched and received, that shipment invoice so the type right here shipment invoice and receiving transaction screen. And this is that for brochure for yellow shoes invoice that we got.
So that’s mostly the solution, we’re gonna capture the documents. We’re gonna read and extract the data with our invoice accelerator tool. We’re going to work flow them appropriately interacting with GP along the way to do duplicate checks, to match it to the purchase order, pullback default vendor, account codes, route it for approval. Once everything’s happened we’re gonna use eConnect to push and create the transaction up in GP. And then if you’re looking at the transaction and you wanna see the document MetaViewer, you simply click that button and then you see the document there without all that audit trail history.
Probably a couple last things that I’ll probably talk about here since I got a little bit more time, one is reporting. We’ll talk a little bit about reporting, and I’ll kind of show you a couple other add-on solutions that are pretty popular that we can do as well.
So all of data that we’re capturing and gathering on these documents is all stored in our SQL database. So you can actually use tools like Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services to build and create reports to look at this data and analyze the data. One of the things that we found not all clients have SSRS loaded, so lately we’ve been developing some reports in Excel format. So here’s some popular reports that are standard reports that we have that I can actually have that communicate with our database and pull me back some of that information. So if I accrue a report here, this is one of the popular reports that we do. This actually says show me everything that is in…Let me refresh my data. This says show everything that’s in MetaViewer that matches those… that has not been pushed over there yet. I got it. Make it, there it go, there it goes. All right, so shows me everything that’s in MetaViewer that has not been pushed over to GP yet. If I wanted to look at one of these particular documents, I can click the view and then it opens and executes that search and drills me down right from that spreadsheet right to that document. And I can see the notes of where that document is in the process. Okay, from that once we pull that data back, we can do some pivot tables to show spending by vendor, spending by account code. I can do all kinds of different things there with those reporting tools.
Okay, well like I said we’ve got some standard reports. but then also we can kind of build some custom one’s for you guys if you’d like that as well. All right, some other solutions, expense reports is kind of one of our popular tools. If I come in here. You can use MetaViewer actually as your form. So prior to implementing this for our own self, what we used to do is I used to fill out an Excel spreadsheet, list out all my expenses, staple or paperclip my receipts to it, pass it around for my boss to sign and those types of things. Well we can actually use MetaViewer to create a document and then route it around through the approval channels.
So for example, I have this create expense report. If I were to click on that, it actually creates and starts a document for me, and I can come in here and I can put in my company as FabricCam, this is for Summit in Phoenix, right, customers visited. I could put in a customer and whether it’s customer reimbursable. I can say that was from the 10th to the 14th. I wanna to escalate to my manager. I could come in here and say, “Add pages.” So I scan all my receipts in. I can come in here, and if I go to where my receipts are, I can either select them, or I can actually even drag and drop them right into my browser. So I just drag that one. I say, “Upload pages,” and I can see page 1 page 2 etc. So I enter that, and I attach my receipts I say, “Enter details,” and this is where it’s gonna give me the form where I can fill this out. So if I say, “meals, my expense types,” I can actually have a drop-down here with all the appropriate types that we have. I’ll say, “meals,” and I’ll say the amount was 58, 69, 910. Mileage, I can actually even do things like mileage, and if I came in here and put in 175 miles it calculates that based on my mileage rate and I can manage in the system what that mileage rate is, 8750 and so on. I keep adding all my per diems or my, my lodging airfare etc. I fill everything out. I say, “submit,” it then send says do you want to submit this expense report for $146.19? Yep. And away it goes. It then goes to my manager who is Sally. Sally’s got my expense report approvals, right? She’s got the one document in there. She can review things. She can’t change my information. She can either hit return to requester, it’ll prompt her for a note. You know where your receipts? Or why’d you spend so much on airfare, or something like that? Or reject it outright or click approve. Do you approve it for that amount? I do. And then my AP user has kind of a similar concept of final review, expense reports, final review. And then they review this. They put in the vendor name. Doug, approver. All right. and when they do that it automatically puts in the pay account for that. and then they say, “Export to ERP,” and we create that payable over in GP as well.
Okay, so one last thing here before we go over to some questions another similar kind of concept is this manage requisitions. I can actually create a requisition. and then we will push and create that after it goes through the approval process, I can go and fill out my form. It then can go and create the requisition in GP.
And then another real popular one is the…Let’s go in as Doug…is payment batch approval, so like check approval. When you create a payment match in GP, I can actually create that payment batch in MetaViewer here by saying create payment batch, and I’ll say, “For Fabric Cam Company.” This shows me all the payment batches that I currently have open in GP. So if I picked MetaViewer check run for example, it then fills in the batch amount, the payment method, the bank source that I’m using. I want to route this to Sally manager. and you’ll notice it pulls back everything that’s a part of that payment batch. And when I do that, I actually have a hyperlink to drill down and see that particular invoice, and so I can route this around, and then likewise if I picked it likes a credit card batch, right. Those are all the transactions for that particular batch. Again we’re interacting directly with GP here and the batches that you created over there. If I say, “Send for approval,” and then Sally manager. The purpose here is she could actually come in here and then she pulls up her payment batches, batch approval. She can approve or reject each line. So if she could say…This one she could exit out and say put in a little note and say, you know, “Pay this next month.” Right, something like that. She completes it, it goes to a final queue where then you open up that check batch in GP, you respond accordingly to how everything was approved, and then you post your payment batch.
So just different ways to kind of use the system to capture different documents either work-flowing them and creating documents or adding documents in, lots of different capabilities there. If I go back to my PowerPoint slide here. Here’s some other popular things that we do HR, contracts, order processing, customer service, expense reports, packing slip receiving, journal entries, all kinds of different things that we can do to help automate your business processes.
Okay, so with that I’m gonna actually go back up and put this on the screen that email@example.com. You can certainly shoot us an email and ask us questions or set up a one-on-one Webinar by shooting us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise I will bring Melissa back on the line and Melissa, are there any questions in the queue?
Melissa: Hey, there Doug. Thanks. That was great. Just let me have a look here. Not seeing any questions in the queue right now, so if anyone does have a question. pop it in there now or you can always just raise your hand and I can unmute you. But yeah, I don’t see anything coming in at the moment. I feel like you packed a lot of information in a pretty short period there. That was excellent.
Doug: I’ve done this once or twice. I’ve talked to a lot of clients. So, I can kind of just hold on here for a few more minutes if you do have a chance now you can ask a question, like I said otherwise, it’s just as easy to just shoot us an email at email@example.com, and we’ll certainly follow up with you and get you whatever you might need.
Melissa: Great, great and yeah I’ll be sending out an email to everyone after and anyone who didn’t manage to catch it all with just the recording, and I’ll include that content info as well. So they can get a hold of you if needed.
Doug: Excellent, excellent. Well I appreciate everybody’s time today, I know everybody’s got busy schedules. so you know I appreciate your spending a little bit of time with us and let us know how we can help. And we can talk about your specific needs or kind of maybe help you prepare for a project next year or this year yet or whatever seems to fit for the client.
Melissa: Perfect, great. Yeah, I’m not seeing anything in, so I think we can probably just say goodbye for now.
Doug: All right.
Melissa: And thanks very much Doug. That was awesome.
Doug: Great, well everyone have a great day.
Melissa: Yeah, everyone have a great day. Thanks, bye.
Is Your ERP Software Hurting Your Business?
Discover 15 real-world inventory, accounting, and process red flags that indicate your ERP software is hurting your business.Get The White Paper