Medius AP Automation is a best-of-breed solution for automated processing of vendor invoices. If you work in Finance, you know that invoice processing does not happen in isolation. There’s a lot of master data in your ERP involved in the process. That’s why it is critical that your Dynamics 365 ERP and Medius are tightly connected. Once this connection is set up the fun begins. This is when you’ll configure all the automation capabilities of Medius to enjoy a fully touchless invoice process.
But with endless automation opportunities it might be hard to know where to start. We sat down with Anna Moore, one of Columbus’ experienced business advisors for Dynamics 365 and Medius, to get the expert tips.
Before we dive into the juicy tips and hands-on advice from Anna, it’s worth mentioning some of the basics to help set the scene. Dynamics 365 is the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system, where master data is hosted and maintained. This includes procurement information such as vendor records, purchase orders, price lists etc. Medius Accounts Payable Automation is where the supplier invoice processing happens including data capture, coding, matching invoices to purchase orders and approval, often in a highly automated workflow.
When the integration between D365 and Medius has been set up master data is automatically synchronized between the two systems. As a result, purchase order (PO) data from D365 can be used by Medius to match invoice information in an automated way. And this is just one example of how Medius enables efficiency gains in accounts payable.
- While Medius enables high automation levels right from the start thanks to default best practice workflows, there’s often a lot more to do after go-live, says Anna. Many of my customers just don’t know about all the good functionality that exists in Medius and they struggle to find the time for research in their busy workday.
Continue reading to get Anna’s five hands-on tips on how to improve your invoice processing in D365 and Medius, or click on the topic that is most relevant to you:
- Validate vendor bank details to identify potential fraud
- Set up VAT indicators in Medius to remove manual work
- Create accruals quickly and easily
- Automate acquisition journals for fixed assets
- Leverage authorization groups for automated approval flows and improved audit trail
Validate vendor bank details to identify potential fraud
Invoice fraud is on the rise. If you work in accounts payable, you need to check and double check that the payment details on each invoice correspond to the bank account noted in your vendor card in D365. Unfortunately, this is often a highly manual and cumbersome process.
Good news! With Medius connected to your D365 ERP there’s an easy way to automate this task. Here’s how:
- Ensure Medius extracts the bank detail fields on the invoice as part of the invoice data capture, including local country variations such as IBAN, Bankgira, FIC, KID and VAT registration number.
- Set up automatic validation of payment details so that Medius compares the information on the invoices with what is stated in the vendor card in D365.
If a discrepancy is identified, Medius will notify a user that the invoice needs manual review before proceeding in the invoice flow. Sometimes this will occur because you have missed updating the vendor card with the correct details. But it might also be a fraudulent invoice. Either way, you want to know.
While time savings in accounts payable and finance teams are important (and needed), using Medius to validate bank details has a greater benefit. Anna explains:
- More importantly, automatic validation gives you peace of mind knowing that you always pay invoices to the correct account and minimize the risk of fraud.
Set up VAT indicators in Medius to remove manual work
Dynamics 365 requires two VAT indicators set on each invoice in order to determine the correct tax amount. Unfortunately, only one VAT indicator can be pre-set in the vendor details in D365. This means the second indicator is often manually updated on each invoice by an AP team member. With Medius you can automate this task and remove that manual step. Here’s how:
- Update indicator 2 information either on company level or the vendor record in Medius to be used as default.
- When an invoice is entered in Medius both VAT fields will be pre-populated for rapid and accurate tax calculations. The information can of course be modified if necessary.
Leveraging Medius to set up VAT indicators is particularly important for companies operating in multiple international markets or handling complex VAT invoices. Anna explains why:
- Certain countries, such as Italy, have very specific and complex VAT requirements. Because Medius offers a lot of flexibility for how the VAT indicators can be used we can help customers automate this to a high degree. This flexibility also enables automated VAT coding of complex invoices, for example invoices including costs for both services and goods where you need to set the VAT code per invoice line.
Create accruals quickly and easily
When you get an invoice for a cost that refers to a longer time period, such as a software subscription that you pay upfront but use for 12 months, you will want to create an accrual scheme to ensure the cost is acknowledge correctly throughout those 12 months in your books. Medius accruals functionality is really smart and easy. Here’s how to use it:
- When reviewing the invoice in Medius, click the “apply accruals” button.
- Choose the time period for your accrual scheme.
- The cost and coding will be automatically posted with the correct amount per month in D365.
In Anna’s experience, this functionality is very appreciated by Finance professionals using Medius and Dynamics 365.
- Many of my customers think that getting accruals right in the books is a complicated task. But Medius makes it very easy. No training is needed, the accruals functionality is self-explanatory and works perfectly every time.
Automate acquisition journals for fixed assets
Another area where Medius can help save precious time is the process for fixed assets. Thanks to the integration with Dynamics 365 Medius allows you to create acquisition journals for fixed assets directly from the invoice view. This is how you do it:
- Ensure your Medius-D365 integration includes the fixed assets module (Not sure how? Ask your Columbus advisor for support!)
- When coding the invoice in Medius, use ‘fixed asset’ as GL account.
- When the invoice is posted in D365, the acquisition journal is automatically created.
The connection to the fixed assets module is excellent proof of how well Medius and Dynamics 365 work together and really make your workday a lot more efficient – and relaxing!
Leverage authorization groups for automated approval flows and improved audit trail
Obtaining the correct invoice approvals is crucial to ensure compliance with internal policies, legal and auditor requirements. Who should get the invoice after the first approver? At what invoice amount do we need a C-level approval? Who changed the coding and when? In Anna’s experience the process for invoice routing is often informal and unstructured:
- Often the knowledge about how invoices should be routed sits in people’s heads. The AP team members just know Paula should get the invoice after Tom has approved it and that anything above a certain amount needs to be run by the CFO. But this is not a sustainable solution. Instead, we advise our customers to set up automated approval flows in Medius.
Medius offers endless ways to automate approval flows, here’s just a few examples of what you can do:
- Create authorization groups per vendor to ensure invoices from this vendor always follow a pre-configured approval flow.
- Use the reference field on the invoice to identify the first approver, then route the invoice according to your default authorization hierarchy setup in Medius.
- Create your unique business logic in Medius to ensure invoices are routed to the correct approver in your organization.
- Apply different approval flows for each invoice line so that you can distribute the invoice to multiple approvers simultaneously and only present the specific cost they are responsible for.
This way, Medius ensures secure and compliant approval processes. Plus, since every approval, edit and comment are registered and stored in Medius you have a complete audit trail of who did what and when for your audit review.
The five tips above only scratch the surface of the automation capabilities of Medius. In fact, when you’ve got your Medius – D365 integration up and running as well as configurations set up to fit your business needs, you’ll enjoy a highly automated accounts payable process where Medius and D365 do all the heavy lifting for you.
Do you want to learn more about how to improve your invoice processing with Medius and Dynamics 365? Contact us!