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Manageable Steps Tackle a Complex AP Automation Project

The implementation of a new, automated AP system can be complex and confusing— unless it is broken down into manageable steps. At a recent RECAP/IOMA AP Conference, Darren Pate, director of Financial Operations at Sonepar USA, talked about some of the hard-learned lessons he acquired while implementing automated AP processes at Cameron & Barkley Co. and Hughes Supply. He began by breaking the project into sequential steps, one step building on the next, incorporating a phased implementation. "My biggest problem was getting control of the paper invoices, so the first thing we implemented was scanning and keying from the images. As a result, we increased EDI from zero to 30,000 invoices a month. Once that was working well, we added Optical Character Recognition (OCR)—using templates to automatically take data from invoices. The final piece of the implementation was freeform OCR."...

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The implementation of a new, automated AP system can be complex and confusing— unless it is broken down into manageable steps. At a recent RECAP/IOMA AP Conference, Darren Pate, director of Financial Operations at Sonepar USA, talked about some of the hard-learned lessons he acquired while implementing automated AP processes at Cameron & Barkley Co. and Hughes Supply. He began by breaking the project into sequential steps, one step building on the next, incorporating a phased implementation. "My biggest problem was getting control of the paper invoices, so the first thing we implemented was scanning and keying from the images. As a result, we increased EDI from zero to 30,000 invoices a month. Once that was working well, we added Optical Character Recognition (OCR)—using templates to automatically take data from invoices. The final piece of the implementation was freeform OCR."...

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