Optimal invoice processing for fleets – how it works
Fleet expenditures – from cost per kilometer to TCO
There can be no vehicle fleet without invoices and invoice processing. Manual invoice administration is one of the most frequent sources of error in fleet management plus one of the most laborious and time-intensive of tasks: every expense must be individually entered and assigned to the proper cost center.
This post explains the various sources of error that can occur during manual invoice entry and what solutions are available for optimal invoice management.
Most frequent errors in manual invoice processing
Manual entry is time-consuming, in particular fuel entry: amount of fuel and mileage, labor-intensive and error-prone. In addition, invoices are forgotten or lost, or inadvertently double-entered, causing errors in the calculation. This quickly leads to unnecessary expenses for the fleet, which consequently lead to incorrect overall calculations.
When manually entering fuel receipts, fuel consumption information or meter readings can go missing, plausibility checks (e.g. deviations in the tank volume compared to the vehicle’s tank volume) or comparison with the contractual conditions is no longer possible. Further complications include annual fees like motor vehicle taxes and insurance premiums that have to be periodized according to performance – all this information is difficult, if impossible, to reconstruct afterwards, so that a cost analysis or TCO evaluation based on causation cannot be done.
Simplify invoice processing with fleet management software
With the right fleet management software, which includes automated invoice processing and direct connection to the accounting department, you can quickly and efficiently enter your invoices, allocate the expenditures to the appropriate cost centers to be analyzed.
Moreover, the implementation of an accounting interface can be implemented in stages. We will briefly explain how this implementation works:
Step 1: Digital invoice processing with export function
The simplest option is to set up an export function for collective invoices, which are automatically recorded and processed in the fleet software. Monthly digital invoice files of, i.a., leasing and fuel station companies are automatically recorded, processed and forwarded as data set to the accounting department. In the course of invoice processing, plausibility checks are run and missing information added.
This procedure ensures relevant consumption information is stored at vehicle level in the fleet management software and made available for every kind of evaluations. Using defined programming interfaces (APIs), systems such as SAP, Datev or Diamant can be specifically addressed and provided with the relevant booking entries.
Step 2: Integrating the fleet software into the workflow
In the next configuration stage, an OCR scanner may be installed to read analogically incoming (paper) invoices and transfer the data sets generated including the scanned documents to the fleet management system. There, the invoices scanned are stored as PDF or TIF files in the digital archive in a read-only format or as a link to another archive.
Advantages of integrative accounting in the fleet management software
The integration of automated invoice capture and processing enables:
- lowering manual effort and risk of errors
- cost center-related posting of expenditures for the activity period
- comprehensive controlling with various vehicle-related KPIs and analyses
- avoidance of multiple entry
- the digital archive serves as a central document repository
Conclusion: Fleet solution for automated invoice capture along with contract monitoring and forecasts
A core component of the management software Fleet+ is automated invoice capture including document storage in a dedicated archive. Even within the standard scope, the software solution provides numerous import interfaces to leasing companies and fueling companies free of charge. Toll and insurance premiums may also be imported. The operating status of vehicles is delivered in many invoices – this is recorded by the software which then independently generates runtime/mileage forecasts and compares these against the terms of the leasing contracts. At the click of a button, a traffic light feature informs the user about overruns or underruns of the leases, thus ensuring full cost transparency at all times. The calculation of annual forecasts is also done in no time flat. Cost forecasts can be used to calculate the ideal replacement time for vehicles, allowing cost-intensive purchases to be scheduled within budget allowance. In addition, annual costs can be periodized in Fleet+ and submitted monthly to the financial accounting department as booking entries. The powerful reporting module runs through the entire program and offers the opportunity to evaluate any fleet costs according to your needs. This allows you to quickly identify outliers and cost drivers and take reasonable measures, which in turn will benefit your entire fleet.
For more information about our Fleet+ management Software.