Growing businesses often struggle to deal with sudden increases in invoices. Throw in manual invoice processing and siloed data and systems, and you’ve got a recipe for inefficiency and frustration. The cost of manually processing invoices can climb from $15 to $40 per invoice, not to mention the countless hours spent on data entry. 

In sharp contrast, automated invoice processing could reduce the cost to $1.42 per invoice, leading to significant cost savings. In addition to cost reductions, automation can help mitigate fraud risks and provide increased visibility into cash flow trends. 

At Nanonets, we’ve been helping businesses worldwide streamline their AP processes with our QuickBooks invoice automation integration. It is designed to drastically reduce manual data entry, validation, and processing, allowing AP teams to focus on more strategic tasks. This automation can improve the speed and accuracy of invoice processing and simplify compliance.

This blog post will explore how an SME improved operational efficiency and saved resources using Nanonets’ QuickBooks invoice automation. Also, get a step-by-step overview of how to set up the automation workflow for your business.

The business

Happy Jewelers is a small-sized business specializing in handcrafted jewelry. They are determined to provide the finest quality handmade jewelry. Based in California, their reputation for innovation, professionalism, and customer satisfaction has been built over 40 years.

Happy Jewelers website
Happy Jewelers website

The challenges

Because of its growth, Happy Jewelers juggles a hefty load of invoices. Manual management was not just a colossal time-sink but also riddled with inaccuracies. They needed a system to streamline their accounting tasks, delivering precision and efficiency.

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We’ve been using QuickBooks for accounting for quite some time now. However, to get invoices into QuickBooks, we need to scan the invoices, punch in all details, create separate folders by vendors, and manage an Excel sheet for all the invoices that we’ve received. ~ The AP Team at Happy Jewelers.

How Nanonets helped Happy Jewelers boost AP efficiency 

Using Nanonets for QuickBooks invoice automation, Happy Jewelers could extract invoices from emails automatically, process them efficiently, and store them in a structured manner on the cloud.

This drastically reduced their time spent on manual data entry and invoice management. The SMEs could also integrate this data directly into their QuickBooks account, streamlining their accounts payable process.

Let’s look at the different ways Happy Jewelers benefited from Nanonets and QuickBooks integration:

1. Cut down on manual data processing

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“We would spend 4-5 hours in getting our documents prepared.” ~ AP Team at Happy Jewelers.

Business expansions meant Happy Jewelers had an increase in the volume of invoices. The AP team at Happy Jewelers wanted to ensure they could handle the influx without sacrificing accuracy or efficiency.

How Nanonets' AI-powered OCR enhances data capture accuracy
How Nanonets’ AI-powered OCR enhances data capture accuracy

However, the existing manual process meant the team spent valuable hours manually extracting, categorizing, and processing invoices. Only after completing this could they upload them into QuickBooks. Aside from being a time drain, manual invoice processing left them vulnerable to late payments, strained vendor ties, and unbalanced financial statements.

Realizing the need for automation, the AP team and the management decided to deploy Nanonets. By combining OCR and AI capabilities, Nanonets could read, classify, and extract data from invoices. That’s not all. It ensures invoice details are synced with QuickBooks’ vendor and account data. And when invoices from new vendors land in the inbox, Nanonets automatically creates new vendor profiles in QuickBooks, ensuring your vendor list is always up-to-date.

Synchronize vendor information from invoices automatically in QuickBooks
Synchronize vendor information from invoices automatically in QuickBooks

Overall, the integration ensured that extracted data could be easily uploaded into QuickBooks, reducing the need for manual data entry.

This allowed their accounts payable team to process 50% more invoices in the same time without hiring additional resources.

2. Scaling up with business growth

As Happy Jewelers expanded their business to new locations like Chicago and New York, they faced the challenge of managing an increased volume of invoices from multiple sources. This meant increased complexity and potential for errors in their accounting processes.

The growing business demanded a more flexible solution than manual invoice processing. So, instead of expanding their AP team or hiring engineers to build basic workflow automation tools, they turned to Nanonets.

Set up custom validation and approval workflows that suit your business

The system has pre-built workflows and AI models that can adapt to different business needs. Once set up, the system could automatically process invoices from various vendors across the different branches. Moreover, it learns from the data it processes and manual interventions — improving its accuracy over time and enabling businesses to process structured and unstructured invoices seamlessly.

This flexible and scalable solution allowed Happy Jewelers to handle the influx of invoices from the expansion without increasing costs or resources, thus enhancing operational efficiency.

3. Integrated into QuickBooks without disturbing existing workflow

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“The other important thing about Nanonets was that it did not disturb the operations for any employee, instead made their work easier.” ~ The AP Team at Happy Jewelers.

Happy Jewelers has been using QuickBooks for accounting for quite some time. They valued the convenience and familiarity of the software but were frustrated with the time-consuming process of manually entering invoice data. Ensuring seamless integration with QuickBooks’ existing workflow was crucial for any new system they considered purchasing.

Automatically import Chart of Accounts and GL Codes from QuickBooks
Automatically import Chart of Accounts and GL Codes from QuickBooks

Nanonets, with its ability to integrate with QuickBooks, was a perfect fit. Happy Jewelers’ AP team could streamline their process to maximum efficiency. Now, no matter where an invoice originates — be it email, Google Drive, or elsewhere — it’s swiftly validated, categorized, and ready for QuickBooks. They could quickly transform raw data into a tidy Excel sheet that could be uploaded to the accounting software.

Once the two accounts are connected, Nanonets can automatically add SKU-level information in QuickBooks within seconds and match supplier and GL codes automatically. This can save the AP team from having to manually enter and match the information, reducing errors and speeding up the invoice processing time.

Moreover, any changes made to the extracted data in Nanonets in real-time are reflected in QuickBooks without any manual intervention.

Import invoices from multiple sources
Import invoices from multiple sources

The integration was seamless and didn’t significantly change their existing workflow. Instead, it enhanced the workflow by automating the time-consuming parts of the process.

4. Improved the team morale

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“Our employees now feel more productive and happy as most of the clerical work is now out of their lives.” ~ The AP Team at Happy Jewelers.

Happy Jewelers’ is committed to ensuring the satisfaction of their employees. They believe it contributes to a more robust organization, resulting in better products for customers and better vendor relationships. However, the manual processing of invoices was a significant source of frustration for the team. It was a cumbersome process that left little time for more strategic tasks.

Understanding the need to improve employee morale and productivity, they implemented Nanonets. The AI-powered solution automated the clerical work associated with invoice management, freeing up the team to focus on more impactful tasks.

Automate the invoice processing workflow end-to-end with Nanonets-QuickBooks integration

The team immediately noticed a significant decrease in their workload. This not only improved their productivity but also boosted their morale. They could devote their time and energy to more meaningful and rewarding tasks.

The reduction of manual tasks and the improved efficiency brought about by Nanonets led to a more satisfied and motivated team, contributing to Happy Jewelers’ overall growth and success.

5. Enhanced compliance and audit readiness

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“We would spend 2-3 hours on the actual payment and maintenance.”~ The AP Team at Happy Jewelers.

Happy Jewelers was dealing with a significant amount of time spent on ensuring compliance and audit readiness. The manual processing of invoices, payment records, and other financial documents was time-consuming and prone to human error. This could open businesses up to potential penalties during audits and could negatively impact their reputation.

With Nanonets, the process of maintaining compliance became significantly more straightforward. The system automatically validates the data extracted from invoices against the company’s internal policies and external regulations. If the invoice values do not match the purchase order or if other discrepancies pop up, the system flags these invoices for manual review. This helps to maintain accurate financial records and reduces the risk of compliance issues or audit failures.

Auto-create payment–ready bills in QuickBooks
Automatically generate payment-ready bills in QuickBooks

Additionally, Nanonets’ integration with QuickBooks allowed the team at Happy Jewelers to sync payment records and other financial documents directly from the system into their accounting software. This eliminated the need for manual data entry and significantly reduced the time spent on payment and maintenance.

This elevated level of compliance and audit readiness saved the team countless hours and brought peace of mind, knowing that their financial documents were accurate and easily accessible.

QuickBooks-Nanonets Integration: A Step-by-Step Guide

Want to know how Happy Jewelers integrated Nanonets with QuickBooks so seamlessly? Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Automatically export approved invoices to QuickBooks Accounts Payable
Automatically export approved invoices to QuickBooks Accounts Payable

1. Access the Nanonets platform

You can visit our website and create a new account or log in to your existing account. You can either sign up using your Gmail account or manually enter your email and create a password.

2. Connect to QuickBooks

On the dashboard, navigate to Integrations -> QuickBooks. With a single click, you can connect your QuickBooks account to Nanonets.

3. Import your QuickBooks data

After connecting, your Chart of Accounts and General Ledger (GL) Codes from QuickBooks are automatically imported to Nanonets. If you use Classes and Projects, those are read and made available for your invoices as well.

4. Upload or import invoices

Select the ‘Invoices’ model from ‘Document types’, configure the fields you need from the invoice, and the formatting. You can easily add invoices by uploading them manually or set up an automatic import from your email or other sources like Dropbox, Google Drive, or even your scanner.

5. Data extraction and review

Nanonets can capture 20 unique pieces of information, including table data, from invoices. Once the data is extracted, it is verified for accuracy. You will get notified and can manually review and correct the information if there are any errors or discrepancies.

6. Verify and validate data

Nanonets ensure the data is validated against set standards. For example, Nanonets checks if a given GL code exists in your database and is only valid if found there.

7. Set up approval workflows

You can add as many reviewers as you like for the approval process. Set up rules for each stage of review. For instance, you might want to trigger a review if the invoice amount exceeds $1000.

8. Perform matching

The Nanonets platform allows you to perform 2-way, 3-way, or GL code matching. You can add documents for matching (like purchase orders) and verify if specific values, such as the grand total corresponding to a given purchase order number, match the value in the database.

9. Export to QuickBooks

Go to the invoice detail screen. You can download the data in various formats, including CSV and XLSX, or export it to a CRM or AP Automation software like QuickBooks.

10. Monitor and optimize

Finally, you can monitor the workflow’s performance over time and make necessary adjustments. Nanonets provides comprehensive analytics on the dashboard, enabling you to track accuracy, processing time, and other vital metrics. This will help you identify any areas that might require further optimization.

Final thoughts

Embracing automation in invoice management, as Happy Jewelers did with Nanonets, can significantly enhance your business operations. It not only reduces the time and effort spent on mundane tasks but also ensures a high level of accuracy, compliance, and audit readiness. The seamless integration with QuickBooks further streamlines the process, making your financial management more efficient and reliable.

Remember, the key to successful digital transformation lies in choosing the right tools and implementing them effectively in your workflow. By doing so, you can free up your team’s time, boost their morale, and ultimately contribute to your business’s overall growth and success.

Source: https://nanonets.com/blog/quickbooks-invoice-automation/