Another new way to automate invoice processing

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Another new way to automate invoice processing

InvoiceSmash can eliminate much of the effort involved in processing invoices from your suppliers. And, crucially, speed up the process too.

Instead of manually entering supplier invoices into your accounting system, you simply forward them to InvoiceSmash. It extracts all the details from text or PDF invoices and feeds them into MYOB AccountRight (desktop or Live), Saasu or Xero.

There's nothing especially remarkable about that, but there are several aspects to the service that add to its usefulness.

InvoiceSmash also saves you the trouble of entering the contact details for a new supplier, as it generates a contact from the first invoice and makes it easy to verify the supplier's ABN. 

It learns from what you do. So once you've associated a particular supplier's invoice with a certain account, for example, that mapping is automatically used in future. This also applies to contacts, so if you receive invoices from more than one person or location for a particular supplier, they can all be matched to a primary contact for that company.

InvoiceSmash works at the line item level, even where there's a mix of taxable and non-taxable items, and supports the item and inventory capabilities of the accounting software. You can even set up rules to rewrite item descriptions - perhaps your supplier refers to "10x15cm widgets" but you've standardised on "Widgets - 10x15cm". The same principle applies to other types of data, so there's no problem with automatic processing if for example your supplier formats order numbers in groups of four digits ("0012 3456") and your software expects a simple number ("123456").

The result of the various learning processes means that you end up in a situation where all you need to do is approve the invoice after it's been processed. Even that's not essential: it's possible to handle repeating invoices - perhaps monthly charges for the cloud-based services that you use - completely automatically.

InvoiceSmash isn't limited to PDF invoices. Earlier this year, the company set up a link with Bunnings so that its invoices can be sent straight to InvoiceSmash. This means Bunnings' trade customers need never see an actual invoice, just the corresponding record in InvoiceSmash and then in the accounting software.

By reducing the labour involved in processing invoices, InvoiceSmash makes it more likely that a business's books are right up to date - the job becomes as quick and easy as checking a bank feed.

We struggled to find pricing details on InvoiceSmash's web site, but a page cached by Google in the last month suggests the plans start from $9.95 a month for 40 transactions ('Pro'). Inventory management comes in at the $39.95 ('Business') tier. Processed invoices are stored by InvoiceSmash for one, three or seven years, depending on the plan.

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