Advanced technology delivering superior performance
SoftCo’s ecosystem of Smart Automation solutions, including Vendor Management, Procurement, AP Automation, ExpressAP eBilling and Compliant Archive, are built on SoftCo10, a single, fully-configurable and secure platform that is deployed either on-premise or on the cloud. The single platform ensures that specifications are quickly configured across all solutions. SoftCo10 delivers a simplified, Amazon-like user experience across all devices, requiring minimal on-boarding and training, leading to increased user adoption. It also integrates with existing ERP and finance systems at a single point, enabling real-time analytics and accurate reporting for better decision-making.
The SoftCo10 platform incorporates a core set of modules – capture, workflow matching, archive, lifecycle management, analytics, and integration. These modules offer a base to meet the specific needs for every type of organization. Uniquely the Smart Configurator intelligently collates the functionality of each module so different SoftCo solutions can be deployed rapidly without custom development.
SoftCo’s capture technologies automate invoice data capture, validation, and posting to ERP finance systems. Information is captured in various formats including paper, email, PDF, XML and EDI and from mobile or desktop platforms. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) electronically reads data from scanned documents to reduce or eliminate manual key entry. Machine Learning technology works in tandem with OCR to extract the required data for matching.
The SoftCo Workflow Processor is a system that automates several routine tasks within the accounts payable and procure-to-pay processes to improve efficiency. The processor automates a sequence of pre-defined steps, with relevant stakeholders assigned to each steps of the workflow where manual intervention is required. The Workflow Processor operates off a set of conditions that determine the flow of the sequence, from one step to another. The SoftCo Workflow Processor is pre-configured to provide best practice workflows for Procure-to-Pay and Accounts Payable automation, depending on business needs.
One of the key challenges of invoice processing is matching invoices to purchase orders (PO) and goods receipt notes (GRN). The SoftCo Dynamic Matching Engine overcomes these challenges by analyzing the incoming invoice data and extracting the unique identifier, often an order number, between the invoice and appropriate PO and/or GRN to which the invoice relates. The matching engine then performs an automatic 3-way match between the three documents. If a unique identifier does not exist, the system will perform a 2-way match between the invoice and PO, based on the total amount, and send it for approval.
Where there is no unique identifier between a PO and invoice, such as an order number, Confidence Matching intelligently searches for cases where the line item amount is the same across both POs and invoices, before presenting relevant and appropriate matches. The engine is configurable to determine the confidence level above which straight through processing is accepted. Where an invoice and purchase order have discrepancies in terms of the specific goods or services listed on both, Aggregate Matching is applied to automate the process. A single invoice item may relate to multiple items on a PO. For example, 10 identical items may be referenced in one line on the invoice, but the PO lists 5 lines of identical pairs of items. In this case, if there is also no unique identifier for product code, Aggregate Matching will be applied, given that the total amount on both the PO and invoice are the same.
SoftCo Robotics Automation eliminates manual tasks, such as the coding and routing of invoices for approval. SoftCo Robotics Automation works by learning and mirroring the keystrokes of regular processes to grab data within fields on documents and assign them to other required fields, thus removing the manual elements of coding and approval routing. For invoices that need to be coded and assigned to a general ledger/cost centre, Robotics Automation handles this process automatically based on the vendor number associated with the invoice. This removes the need to manually route invoices to approvers and cost centers.
Content Addressable Storage (CAS) technology provides fast access to fixed content by assigning it a permanent location on a hard disk. Once the data is stored, it cannot be duplicated, modified or deleted. CAS technology is designed to facilitate efficient storage and access of large amounts of data. It allows data to be archived for long retention periods, indexing and categorizing all data upon capture, enabling a compliant and flexible search and retrieval process.
Unique Digital Fingerprint technology ensures retrieved documents from the SoftCo system are the original, unaltered document and also provides a full audit trail, vital for regulatory compliance and reduces preparation times for audits. All data is encrypted when stored at rest and while in transmission, ensuring that data is always safely and securely managed. A full audit trail of all aspects of the SoftCo solution is maintained.
SoftCo manages the entire lifecycle of documents, from initial storage, to search and retrieval, auditing and reporting, right through to contract renewal. The document lifecycle management technology provides a full audit trail for any changes made to documents during their lifecycle. For any documents that have defined lifecycles, the SoftCo platform provides ‘digital shredding’, rendering files unreadable by overwriting them several times with other data. This ensures compliance with all jurisdiction document retention policies.
SoftCo provides comprehensive security, through a number of different features, to ensure the security of the solutions. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a type of multi-factor authentication that confirms users’ claimed identities by using a combination of two different factors – a password and a code sent to their phone. The token value is then sent to the user’s mobile phone number, which must then be validated on the SoftCo portal login screen. SoftCo also provides single-sign-on, allowing users to securely authenticate their account with multiple devices upon first login. This enables fast and secure login to the SoftCo system across multiple devices.
SoftCo has over 30 years of experience seamlessly integrating with all major finance systems, databases, and ERP systems via SoftCo Connect standard adaptors. To date, SoftCo has integrated with over 200 different systems, using a variety of different methods including RESTful API, sFTP and SQL. RESTful application programming interfaces (APIs) use HTTP protocols to view, create, post, and delete data from one system to another. File exchange via sFTP enables data files to be securely transferred between SoftCo and the ERP system. Additionally, SQL direct integration allows SoftCo to access ERP data via a standard SQL view/stored procedure against the underlying ERP database. The ERP system remains the master record for key financial information such as GL codes, cost centers, and product IDs while SoftCo financial solutions extracts and posts data back to the ERP system in real time.
The SoftCo Analytics and Reporting engine enables KPI reporting across multiple areas to drive better decision-making. Pre-configured reports are accessed quickly and easily, without the need to build dashboards from scratch. The platform provides real-time information and visibility over all AP activities including straight-through processing percentages, active invoices by status and invoices by exception reason. The Analytics and Reporting engine presents key spend metrics including spend vs budgets/location/vendor and enables evaluation of vendor performance. Compliance is also ensured through Prompt Payment reporting and Payment Practice & Performance reporting.