Verifying utility bills

This procedure shows how to verify utility bills.

A utility bill is an invoice for electricity, water or gas. In many cases, utility bills do not have an invoice number. The lack of an invoice number can be problematic for ReadSoft Online Office users because they must devise their own invoice numbers and enter them manually every time they process a utility bill. Fortunately, ReadSoft Online can automatically create invoice numbers based on information found on the utility bill, so Office users only need to enter the invoice number manually one time for each supplier. After the initial manual entry, ReadSoft Online learns the format you entered, so you do not have to enter the invoice number again on subsequent utility bills.

How it works

For each supplier that sends you utility bills, you need to show ReadSoft Online how you construct the invoice number field. You do this by manually entering the invoice number field during verification. After you enter the invoice number manually the first time, ReadSoft Online learns the format you entered, so you do not have to enter the field manually again for utility bills from the same supplier. In order for ReadSoft Online to recognize the field format, it must consist of a customer account number and the invoice date combined with a separator character. The customer account number must be at least six characters long. The separator can be any non-alphanumeric character, such as a space, dash or asterisk. The date can be a numeric date format.

The result is an invoice number in this format:

CustomerAccountNumber-Date

...where CustomerAccountNumber is the customer account number found on the utility bill, "-" is a separator character—such as a dash, space or asterisk—and Date is the invoice date in a numerical format.

After ReadSoft Online learns the field format, if the invoice date cannot be found on subsequent utility bills, the current date minus seven days is used. In the examples that follow, assume a space is used as the separator character, and the date format you choose is MMYY.

Example 1

Assume the customer account number on the utility bill is 123456777 and the invoice date is 22-01-2020. In this case, the invoice number would be "123456777 0120".

Example 2

Assume the customer account number on the utility bill is 123456777. The invoice date is not found, but today's date is 14-03-2020. In this case, the invoice number would be "123456777 0320" because March 14 minus 7 days is March 7.

Example 3

Assume the customer account number on the utility bill is 123456777. The invoice date is not found, but today's date is 01-05-2020. In this case, the invoice number would be "123456777 0420" because May 1 minus 7 days is April 24.

Verifying utility bills

The first time you verify a utility bill from a new supplier, you must enter the invoice number value manually using the format described above. The next time a utility bill is processed from the same supplier, ReadSoft Online will recognize the invoice as a utility bill and automatically fill in the invoice number value. In order to successfully recognize invoices as utility bills, these criteria must be met:

  • An invoice from the same supplier must have been identified previously with a verified invoice number.

  • The computed value of the invoice number must be longer than the value of any captured invoice number on the invoice.
  • The computed value of the invoice number cannot be found in any other captured values on the invoice.
  • The customer account number must be at least six characters long, and it must be found on the invoice.