International Invoice processing at BSH

1.6 million invoices per year – sites throughout the whole of Europe and the rest of the world – different spoken and written languages – various currencies and special country-specific considerations. These were the requirements that BSH Hausgeräte GmbH , Europe’s largest and one of the world’s leading manufacturers of household appliances, had for modern and sustainable invoice processing. Added to this were the well-known problems associated with processing invoices in the conventional way.
At BSH, most invoices had previously been captured manually, resulting in an enormous amount of work, high susceptibility to errors, inadequate data quality and incomplete invoice information for downstream processes. In short, a low level of efficiency at the very beginning of the invoice process, at all national subsidiary sites throughout the world.

“Processing international invoices with a standard product – this is what impressed us about Insiders from the very beginning. Today, we process our incoming invoices in more than 30 international subsidiaries using Invoice Management from Insiders – highly efficiently and conveniently.”

Markus Schweinberger, Head of Accounting Standards and Principles, BSH Hausgeräte GmbH

SIIM – Standardized Incoming Invoice Management

The go-ahead for the SIIM (Standardized Incoming Invoice Management) project at BSH was therefore given. The primary aim was to standardize the processing of incoming invoices with an automatic, paperless process throughout the entire company and at all international sites.

The company chose the Invoice Management solution from Insiders, with the smart INVOICE TABLE standard product. At BSH, the universal, creditor-independent invoice reader extracts header and footer data and the important item data from all incoming invoices. Numerous logical checks and intelligent database matching procedures ensure that the extracted invoice information is of a high quality. A standard interface then transfers the data to the downstream workflow.

Faster and more Efficient Invoice Process

From the very beginning, the key criterion for the success of the project was a very short invoice throughput time. Now, with FI invoices (invoices without an order reference), information about the approver of the invoice who has responsibility within the workflow is also already added when the invoice is captured using smart INVOICE TABLE. In this way, the invoice can be automatically forwarded to the employee responsible when it is transferred to SAP. There is no longer any need for subsequent time-consuming assignment in the workflow and the invoice can be checked, approved and posted immediately. The danger of losing discounts is a thing of the past.

At the same time, the account associations for FI invoices are already captured in smart INVOICE TABLE. If required, the invoice line items are broken down and assigned to the correct impersonal accounts. This also saves BSH time spent handling the invoice in subsequent bookkeeping steps and speeds up the entire process.

International Roll-out

Today, BSH processes more than 1,600,000 invoices every year via all its national subsidiaries using the Insiders solution. After start-up in Germany and Spain, the solution was launched in the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, plus the Baltic region with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. They were followed by Poland, Turkey, Russia, China, India, Singapore and South Africa, among others. In between, the Insiders products are in use at BSH in over 30 countries.

The solution’s subsystem capability in particular ensures that it can be deployed internationally. This makes it possible to integrate other national subsidiaries without a great deal of administrative work. BSH is currently in the test phase for use in Malaysia.

The solution’s language independence is of great benefit to BSH in this context. For example, all the characters and currencies for the various countries are already included in the standard product. Country-specific requirements, e.g. checking for VAT compliance, meet all of BSH’s needs. And what is more, to ensure that order correlation also works outside of the Euro zone, two currencies are extracted if required, i.e. the order currency and the national currency.


Intelligent Process Controlling

Comprehensive controlling allows to monitor and control the entire invoice process and supports BSH when implementing optimizations while the system is running. Clear and intuitive graphical reports provide complete, transparent and constantly up-to-date information about the processing procedure. Data concerning the invoice processing performance is therefore always available and BSH employees can supply information about the status of all invoices at any time.