The construction sector is highly project-oriented. A great deal of information is gathered, cooperation is intense and sound financial follow-up is essential not only at the tendering stage, but also at the construction stage, when providing maintenance services and post-delivery. Following up supplier invoices is a core process and relates to both project and overheads invoices.

Software and services for scanning invoices facilitate the digitisation and recognition of accounting data, including project numbers, order numbers and contract numbers. This kicks off the digital approval process for project leaders (project invoices) and general services staff (overheads invoices), who can quickly retrieve information, make comparisons and take decisions. Digital approval with the project leader is simple, swift and can also be given offline (on the building site, for instance). The whole process is enhanced by a user-friendly app (for Android or Apple devices). The accounting department receives approved invoices much more quickly, enters them automatically in the books and is given a better overall picture thanks to the reporting capability. Construction firms, irrespective of their size, can switch to this technology due to connectors with leading ERP suppliers like KPD and Centric. Increasingly more suppliers are working with e-invoices, which the Arco cloud service reads in automatically without the need for OCR.

Sales invoices are important documents because proper processing at the customer end ensures prompt payment. Government customers are gradually meeting the obligation of sending e-invoices to the government portal (Open/Peppol). This will be compulsory for the Flemish Regional Government from as early as 1 January 2017! Arco has this service fully up and running and includes many construction firms among its customers, one of which is pioneer company Aswebo, which has been using this service since 2015.

Document management offers construction firms the opportunity to share documents and files, and to follow them up. This promotes knowledge-sharing and means that storing local documents in a centralised facility avoids duplicate storage. The document versions are always up to date. A user-friendly app enables documents to be displayed, and photos to be taken and added.