You've bought Therefore™, and you're keen to understand how you can best use it within your business. If that's your scenario, you've found the right guide. Therefore™ is a huge product and it's key to take in all the learning that will be provided to you by Spectrum during your automation journey. Likely, you've bought Therefore™ to augment a major part of your business and it's absolutely crucial that you use it as efficiently as possible. The guide will be split into a few major parts which you can flick through using the above Table of Contents. As always, we're listening to you and if there's anything you think that's missing, please contact us so that we can best assist you and get the knowledge added into this constantly evolving guide.
The repository is where your documents and data are retained for long-term storage. You will use the repository to find indexed documents by their data (and even their contents). In the repository, menu items will change to accomodate likely actions you'll want to take (opening forms and documents, etc.). It is important to have a clear understanding of the structure of the repository so that you can easily find documents and retrieve them as required.
The structure of the repository is:
Categories appear twice because you can have cases which contain categories as well as standalone categories for more simple document storage. For example, you may have an 'Employee' case with 'Holiday Request' / 'Quarterly Review' categories underneath which contain their respective documents. On the other hand, you may just have a standalone category for storing an 'Invoice / Credit Note'.
What is a category?
Categories are essentially long-term (or short-term dependent on your needs) storage for documents. The aim of the category is to assist you in organising your documents digitally, while storing crucial information against them (you'll notice we call this 'Index Data'). Categories will become really important to you through the usage of your Therefore™ solution as they'll allow you to quickly retrieve a document your manager, colleague, customer has asked for, or they'll allow you to find all documents meeting certain criteria.
How can I best search for documents?
When searching for documents, consider what you already know about the document and use this to filter down the available documents returned from the category search. You know you're looking for an 'Invoice / Credit Note', but this doesn't mean you just search all documents against this category; this is where index data comes in. Index data allows you to refine your search to 'only find documents from X suppliers', 'only find documents with a total gross amount of X', or 'only find documents which X user approved'.
...searching for invoices / credit notes which are of type 'INPO' (invoice with a purchase order) and have a total value greater than 20,000.
What are the different types of category?
At Spectrum, we typically talk about two different types of category which make-up the different functions of your solution, these are:
- Data Categories
- These categories allow you to build datasets (this would usually be external to Therefore™ in an ERP or some other centralised LoB (line of business) application you own.
- Document Categories (main type)
- These categories will store your documents and allow you to store index data against them, making them easily retrievable in the future by searching for them using their relevant information.
- Mapping Categories (assist document categories)
- These categories allow you to add additional data to your external datasets (your ERP doesn't allow you to assign default approvers against suppliers? Do it in Therefore™ instead!).
The different types of categories will be explained to you during development of your project (you likely won't need all of them, but Spectrum will assist you in best designing your custom Therefore™ solution).
How can I bulk-remove / purge documents from the system?
Sometimes, you may come across scenarios where you wish to test elements of the system and remove those documents, or remove documents you've accidentally added to Therefore™:
- Open Therefore™ Navigator.
- Double-click the category you'd like to remove documents from.
- Enter your filter(s) to return only the documents you wish to remove from the category.
- Press CTRL+A (to select all documents) or hold CTRL and click all the documents you wish to remove.
- Right-click on any of the documents and select 'Delete'.
- Confirm you wish to delete the document(s).
To completely purge documents, read on:
- Select 'File' at the top left of the Therefore™ Navigator.
- Select 'Recycle Bin'.
- Select the documents you wish to purge.
- Select 'Erase'.
Purged documents are completely irretrievable and cannot be brought back by yourselves or Spectrum.
The workflow inbox is where your workflows and their relevant tasks will be processed. As a workflow participant, you'll be able to assist with the processing of documents by completing any tasks which may be assigned to you. This ensures documents complete their workflows timely and can be archived away on completion. For example, the end goal of an invoice / credit note might be to ensure it posts into your finance system / ERP.
How can I see my tasks?
You can see your tasks by selecting the relevant workflow and choosing 'My Instances' from the top ribbon:
This will show you the 'Workflow Worklist':
You'll notice I can see tasks assigned to both the 'FinanceManager' / 'FinanceTeam' roles as I am logged in as the Finance Manager and I am a part of both of these roles.
How can I see all tasks (as a manager)?
You can see all tasks by selecting the relevant workflow and choosing 'All Instances' from the top ribbon:
This will show you the 'Workflow Worklist':
You'll notice I can now see tasks assigned to the purchasing team which I am not a part of. However, the Finance Manager is considered a workflow operator with the ability to view all instances. It is crucial someone within your business is assigned this privilege, typically considered by Spectrum as a 'Super User' / 'Power User'; this person will ensure the timely processing of internal workflows and keep your business running when a member of staff is seemingly holding up a workflow!
What are some common manual tasks in different processes?
Within an 'Accounts Payable' workflow, you may encounter tasks such as:
- Investigate Duplicate
- This may be a duplicated invoice, credit note, sales order, statement, or whatever your solution processes. The solution is typically to change the document's identifier to something which doesn't conflict with another document in your Therefore™ system / ERP for the same supplier. Alternatively, you can confirm the document is duplicated.
- Code Document
- This is a common step for overhead invoices and credit notes whereby you are expected to assign the relevant nominal / VAT codes against the document's value. For example, you may have an invoice from an electricity company costing £100. In this case, the task would expect you to fully code that £100 against at least one nominal and VAT code.
- Approve Document
- This task will most likely be part of an overhead invoice flow and you're simply expected to confirm whether you approve / reject the document. Rejecting a document will typically be in the form of 'querying' it or sending it to expect a credit note. Alternatively, you'll be able to approve the document which will continue it down the main invoice flow.
- Resolve Queries
- This task could occur for any different type of document, but it may look different for each type. In a typical Spectrum workflow, this would be triggered for overhead invoices and credit notes manually by a user (perhaps at the last 'Approve Document' step), or automatically by the system where discrepancies are detected on order-related invoices at a line level (invoice quantity vs. order / receipt quantity).
- Review Document
- This task would come along towards the end of the workflow and it is simply asking the user to confirm that the document is all good prior to ending it's workflow (which may result in sending the document to another system). At this step, there'll likely be conditions on the options you can select to ensure you can't submit invalid data into your external system. These checks are usually rigorous but are dependent on your solution so it's best to query this with our team.
- Investigate Missing Document
- This task would only occur if the document which was sent for posting could not be found within the finance system for some reason. This is an important step because it ensures that all transactions you push through our capture and document management solutions are reaching your external system(s).
How can I send a task onto someone else?
You'll find a 'Delegate' option for tasks in workflows where you have sufficient permission (you may need to request this from Spectrum or it may have been decided by the main stakeholder at your organisation). Within the workflow worklist, with the workflow instance selected, you'll find this in the ribbon at the top of the window:
Alternatively, this is achievable by right-clicking the instance and selecting 'Delegate...':
Using either method, you'll find yourself looking at the below where you select the user you wish to delegate to:
How can I view the history / path a document has taken?
From the same place we can delegate workflow instances, we can also view their history. This is extremely useful for understanding why a document took so long to process and pay, and who has done what with it. You'll want to select the workflow instance in question and refer to the ribbon where you'll select 'History':
Alternatively, this is achievable by right-clicking the instance and selecting 'History...':
This will open a new window where you'll find a diagram of the workflow in the top section and a detailed audit / history log in the bottom section:
How can I view workflow statistics and identify existing bottlenecks?
After using your workflow process for a while, you may find that documents take a long time to get to the end of their process and wonder why. Are Finance taking too long to code the invoice, are purchasing taking too long to resolve queries raised against order items or are approvers taking too long to... well... approve? All this can be answered for you with the statistics view which can be accessed again by selecting the relevant process and using the ribbon:
Of course, you can also do this by right-clicking the relevant process and selecting 'Statistics...':
You'll be greeted either way with the following window which will give you an overview of the workflow similar to the workflow history window. This time however, there is no audit log, as you're looking at a holistic view of all documents helping you to understand where they're currently sat in the workflow:
You'll notice there are no green lines (as there is no document movement to identify), but there are numbers against some tasks. The first number you'll see (outside the brackets) is the total number of documents currently at that task. The first number in brackets is the number of those that are overdue and the second number in brackets is the number of those that are soon to become overdue. From the above image, we can identify 8 documents awaiting approval of which 3 are overdue and none will be overdue by midday today.
While not as well-used as categories and workflows, reporting is a underrated feature in Therefore™. It won't give you the functionality of tools like Qlik, and that might be what your business requires, but it can generate scheduled reports in a simplistic format and send these to you (they can also be generated ad-hoc as required).
How can I access my reports?
Reports can be accessed from the 'Reports' section, which you can access via the bottom left of the Therefore™ Navigator window:
You'll find here reports which have been built for you by Spectrum (if reports were requested and agreed to be built within Therefore™). To access them, after clicking on the above button to access the 'Reports' section, you'll want to head back up to the navigation pane (which you use to access categories and workflows):
You may not have any pre-defined reports here, but that's okay! If you're interested, please do get in touch and we'll let you know the best options for achieving your requirement. There's always a solution!
What data can be reported on natively?
Any data you have within your Therefore™ solution can be extracted and reported on. This might be invoice, credit note, statement, sales order, purchase order, remittance, whatever-document-you-can-think-of information. The more documents and data you manage within Therefore™, the more that can be reported on. However, that's not to say that Therefore™ is limited to the data it stores. As long as we have access to it, we can also report on data from any external systems you may have (ERPs, CRMs, scheduling systems, and more).
If you've had a good look through the guide and still can't seem to find what you're looking for, no worries; get in touch with us and let us know so we can assist with the matter and get the knowledge added into this evolving guide. We're here to help and we want to be sure you can get the most use possible out of Therefore™.