Arteris is making the process of invoice processing easier by automating data capture—even from paper invoices—linked directly to its ERP finance solutions. Kofax TotalAgility® provides Arteris’ accounting teams with easy access to consistent, accurate and secure invoice information, helping them work more efficiently, ensure regulatory compliance and reduce the risk of fraud.
Founded in 1998, Arteris operates and maintains more than 3,250km of highways in Brazil. The company owns 9 concessionaries that are responsible for the maintenance and operation of roads, toll collection and construction services. Based in São Paulo, Arteris has been controlled since 2012 by Partícipes en Brasil, a joint venture of Abertis Infraestructuras and Brookfield Motorways Holdings SRL.
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Arteris manages its subsidiary companies, contractors and suppliers to complete thousands of roadway projects throughout Brazil. All too quickly, this complex network can run out of control, and Arteris needs to monitor and manage enterprise processes and information both to keep vital works on track and to drive business growth.
Understanding and managing costs is critical to success. Existing invoice processing was a costly and time-consuming task, with largely manual procedures – which often introduced errors.
Márcio Rogério de Lima, IT Manager at Arteris, explained: “All corporate taxpayers in Brazil are required to keep paper based invoices and/or electronic invoices as records of every tax and accounting operation. When we make a purchase, the vendor must generate an e-invoice and send it to our accounts payable department for authorization before any goods can be exchanged.”
“However, some of our vendors will also send us paper copies of the original e-invoice, meaning that we often receive multiple versions of the same invoice. In the past, we processed all invoices manually, which made it difficult to ensure that we were not duplicating or incorrectly capturing information. This exposed us to a degree of error and even the possibility of fraud creeping into the process.”
Márcio Rogério de Lima IT Manager, Arteris... Some of our vendors will also send us paper copies of the original e-invoice, meaning that we often receive multiple versions of the same invoice.
de Lima continued: “As we lacked visibility of invoices, documents often got lost in the shuffle and it took weeks before they arrived at our accounts payable department, by which time they were overdue. This poor visibility also opened us up to risks around compliance. The Internal Revenue Service [IRS] requires us to retain e-invoices and paper invoices for several years, and will perform regular audits to verify we are following the proper procedure. If we can’t provide the requested documents, we can be subject to fines and other penalties. We absolutely cannot afford any problems with the IRS that might jeopardise our public-sector contracts, which could have a devastating impact on the business.”
With so much at stake, Arteris knew that it needed a more effective and reliable way to process, manage and store large volumes of invoices. The company decided to go digital, and to implement a new ERP with a solution that could automatically capture incoming invoices—both electronic and paper-based—and link the electronic content to the new ERP system.
Márcio Rogério de Lima IT Manager, ArterisWith Kofax TotalAgility, Arteris is driving a streamlined, controlled approach to invoice management, which helps teams work more efficiently and reduces risk
The search led Arteris to the Kofax TotalAgility platform. Working with partner TR Process, the company deployed the new solution against a tight deadline.
Márcio Rogério de Lima commented: “Kofax TotalAgility immediately stood out because of its flexibility. We felt it was the perfect solution for automating invoice processing, and saw that it could bring similar efficiencies to many other processes across the business. We also wanted a solution that we could get up and running quickly, with minimal customization, and TotalAgility was a perfect match.
“With help from TR Process, we were able to deploy the solution in a matter of weeks. TotalAgility has worked perfectly from day one; document capture is very smooth, and users have found it easy to get to grips with.”
Arteris has currently rolled out the Kofax solution to ten group companies, and plans to bring its remaining six business units onboard as soon as possible. Today, Arteris takes advantage of TotalAgility to capture and process thousands of invoice documents every month.
The new approach to contract and claims processing has delivered significant benefits. Document capture has been transformed into a fast, low-touch activity, helping the provider handle contract- and claims-related documentation more efficiently than ever before.
As all invoices are accessible electronically, searching and sharing documents is quick and easy, helping accounting teams to work more efficiently.
“We import invoices in batches of around 3,000 documents per company," de Lima said. "In the past, each company had a team of three people dedicated to manually capturing and entering the invoice data, and it took them roughly a week to process each batch of documents. Today, with Kofax TotalAgility, it takes one person just two days to complete the same task. The productivity gains are helping us work much more efficiently and delivering big cost savings.”
Importantly, Arteris now has full visibility into all invoice documentation. This means that there is no longer a risk of files slipping through the cracks, and that compliance with regulatory requirements is almost automatic.
“We have gained better insight and control of all invoice-related information," de Lima remarked. "This helps us to ensure that invoices are paid on time, keeping our suppliers happy, and that we can easily comply with IRS audits, reducing business risk.
Márcio Rogério de Lima IT Manager, ArterisThe productivity gains are helping us work much more efficiently and delivering big cost savings.
“With Kofax TotalAgility we are driving a streamlined, controlled approach to invoice management, which helps teams work more efficiently, and reduces risk for our business. We believe that the solution has the flexibility to grow with our needs, and we are looking forward to seeing the benefits multiply as we extend the solution to all group companies.”
“Lexmark solutions will play a key role in our strategy to elevate the customer experience,” the Vice President of Operations Technology said. “The ability to digitize and streamline many aspects of customer interaction, from contract purchase to claims submission and management, will make it that much easier for customers to do business with us. This will help us increase satisfaction and loyalty, and gain a valuable edge on competitors. We consider our investment in Lexmark solutions to be a game-changing differentiator in the marketplace.”