digital invoices

Invoices scanned, check! But what about the hard copies?

Scanning incoming documents like purchase invoices offers lots of benefits for your organisation:

  • the electronic document is much easier to distribute
  • this document is easier to find
  • no more photocopies and the disruption of having to archive them
  • the approval process is much smoother

The question we’re always asked straightaway is about keeping the hard copy documents. And there’s no easy answer to that… We often have to find a balance between what is tacitly accepted and what the law stipulates.

The legal framework in Luxembourg

Luxembourg leads by example in this area, and the policymakers have pursued their line of reasoning through to the end, legislating on this point by establishing an operational legal framework for electronic archiving. Luxembourg has also defined a PSDC certification scheme – “Prestataire de Services de Dématérialisation ou de Conservation” (provider of digitisation and conservation services). With this certification, suppliers can take care of the legally required digitisation and digital archiving of documents. The hard copy original can therefore be destroyed and the legislation recognises the legal value of the digital document.

How does it work in practice?

The company Labgroup has been PSDC certified since 1 February 2017. We have worked hard to integrate this system so that our users can benefit from this electronic archiving... and destroy their hard copy invoices.

In practical terms, your hard copy invoices (or even emails) are passed on to the accredited supplier. They are then opened and scanned. There is an optional optical recognition (OCR) stage at this point. The documents are then archived in the supplier’s container for their legal value. The results of the supplier’s work (in other words the digitisation and OCR process) are then passed on to a buffer zone to be dealt with by accounts.

The content of the invoice and the image are automatically retrieved by our software. The finance department can see the electronic invoice on one part of their screen, and the accounting details on another part of the screen. All they need to do is confirm the information and enter the electronic invoice in the accounts.

All of this works in perfect harmony with our accounting management software. The work done in advance is retrieved smartly. The image of the invoice is available at any time to be checked and used in the approval and payment workflows. The process is incredibly smooth and incredibly efficient... mission accomplished!