Accounts Payable Invoice Capture

Download PDF

Scope Of The Service

Iron Mountain Accounts Payable (AP) Capture is a basic invoice digitisation service that captures electronic images of incoming supplier invoices and credit notes by scanning, delivers the scanned images to you electronically and archives the paper originals.

The service does handle documents other than invoices, such as legal notices or any other document that you expect suppliers might send to your AP function. It also covers incoming electronic images, such as invoices received by fax or email.

If you’re looking for more options than offered by this service, or for a wider range of AP business process outsourcing capabilities, ask us about our other AP services. These include Iron Mountain AP Enablement, an end-to-end service covering the whole process of receiving, validating, indexing, scanning and storing your invoices.

How It Works

Iron Mountain AP Capture is designed to help you digitise your AP process, removing the reliance on moving pieces of paper around, which can be slow and expensive.

It’s a cost-effective way to get invoices converted to electronic form for direct import into your AP or ERP system, or to a fileshare or document/records management system that people can access from anywhere. It’s a straightforward service that leaves your existing AP processes essentially untouched, but relieves you of the cost of having to invest in scanners, software, maintenance of hardware and software, or people’s time to scan invoices or manage the digitisation element of the process.

The AP Capture Service Doesn’t Include:

  • Storage of electronic invoice images.
    Iron Mountain offers these capabilities through different services that you can take alongside the AP Capture service.
  • Provision of AP Workflow software.

Service Setup

The service involves a variety of options that you can choose between and we test every part of the process thoroughly before going live. Service setup and testing takes up to 30 days, including sign-off by you after user acceptance testing and a live batch test.

Getting Invoices To The Iron Mountain Scanning Facility

Paper invoices (or other documents included in the service) are posted to us by you or directly by your suppliers, to one or more addresses agreed with you during service setup (multiple addresses can be used as a mechanism to sort invoices for different legal entities or business units). Although the addresses are Iron Mountain facilities, they can use your company name.

Alternatively, we can offer a chargeable collection service (by Iron Mountain or a partner courier) – ask us if you’re interested.

We’ll also accept electronic invoices sent to an agreed email address. These will be ingested automatically into the Imaging platform, and processed with the same controls as a scanned paper record.

Pre-Scanning Acceptance Check

Our first step is to check that all pages fulfil the requirements for scanning, which are:

  • Paper size:from ISO A5 (148mm × 210mm) to A3 (297mm × 420mm).
  • Paper condition: pages must be in a condition to be scanned without any trimming or repair of edges, but we will remove fasteners and bindings.
  • Document type:documents must be invoices, credit notes or other document types included in the service scope.
  • Electronic format and quality: incoming electronic documents must be in TIFF, JPEG, PDF or PDF/A format.

We won’t scan pages that fail any of these criteria. We’ll either deal with them as agreed with you (e.g. destroying advertising flyers), return them to you by post or email or, if necessary, contact you to find out how you want us to proceed.

Pre-Scanning Quality Check

  • If a document is judged not to be human-readable we may reject it and return it to the sender, or scan it as an ‘other’ document type.
  • Any document that is readable but of poor quality is scanned with the addition of a Poor Quality Notification sheet. This may include documents sent to us electronically that aren’t of the agreed minimum resolution (a minimum of 200dpi or 300dpi, depending on your workflow requirements).

What We Won’t Check

  • When we receive envelopes or emails we don’t compare against any sort of ‘blacklist’; all documents received are checked and, if they meet the scanning criteria, scanned.
  • We don’t do any data validation, such as checking that dates or PO numbers have been included on an invoice or are of the correct format.

Note: This is available as part of our AP Enable service.

Document Identification And Indexing

We attach a unique barcode to each document accepted for scanning. The basic service includes no indexing but you can optionally choose to have us manually index documents with up to five index fields, with a maximum of 20 characters per field.

Scanning And Output

We’ll scan single- and double-sided documents and remove any blank pages. For the basic service you can choose between 200dpi or 300dpi black-and-white scans. Greyscale or colour scans are available as options.

Each scanned document is saved separately as a multi-page TIFF, PDF or PDF/A file as agreed with you, with the filename being the document’s barcode identifier.

The basic service doesn’t include optical character recognition (OCR) but the provision of searchable PDFs (or PDF/As) is available as an option.

Delivery Of Captured Images

We load the scanned files to a dedicated file transfer area via secure electronic transfer, with each image file accompanied by an associated CSV, XLS or XML index file suitable for importing into your AP system.

All documents are scanned and uploaded within one working day of receipt.

We don’t permanently store the scanned images as part of this service and we remove uploaded images from the FTP area after 30 days. If you want us to store the images, however, you can take our DRCi (Digital Record Centre for images) digital archive service.

Rescan Requests

If there’s a problem with one or more scanned images and we haven’t identified the original as poor quality, you can request a rescan within 30 days.

Options For The Physical Documents After Scanning

With scanning and upload complete, the original paper documents can be:

  • Grouped into batches and posted to an agreed address after 30 working days. We can reduce this to one working day (24 working hours) for certain agreed document types such as legal notices.
  • Couriered back to you if agreed as part of the service.
  • Sent to a document archive facility if you’re a customer of the separate Iron Mountain Records Management service.
  • Securely destroyed via the separate Iron Mountain Secure Information Destruction Service.

Chain Of Custody

From receipt to return of documents we track their whereabouts in the process and retain a full chain-ofcustody trail that you can ask for proof of at any time.


As part of the service we provide a daily report covering:

  • Number of processed documents and scanned pages.
  • Performance against SLAs (see below).
  • Issues and actions.

Service Level Agreements (SLAS)

The SLAs below are typical, but your actual SLAs are specified by the terms of our service contract with you.
We’ll agree with you an average daily volume of documents to be processed and, as long as the actual volume is 75-115% of that average we’ll typically be able to commit to the following:

Activity SLA time(in working hours)
Acknowledgement of emails to the agreed processing email address 24h after receipt
Document scanning and upload 24h after receipt
Return of rejected documents 24h after receipt
Immediate forwarding of document types agreed with you 24h after receipt
Rescan and upload following rescan request 4h if requested before 1300 local time
By 1300 next working day if requested after 1300 local time
Responding to infrastructure incidents 4h after incident ticket raised
Sending paper originals to you Not less than 30 working days from receipt

If we fail to meet any of these SLAs, the penalties and conditions of penalty payment will be as specified in our service contract with you.

Data Quality SLA

After a ramp-up period of six months, and subject to certain minimum quality requirements for the original documents (see below), we typically commit to achieving these data quality standards 99% of the time, measured monthly:

  • Delivery of an electronic file in the agreed format and resolution that is human-readable and a complete representation of the received documents.
  • 95% accuracy between any indexing we’ve done when compared with the final versions of the relevant fields extracted from your database.

If we fail to meet the data quality SLA, the penalties and conditions of penalty payment will be as specified in our service contract with you.

Data Quality Requirements

For the data quality SLA above to apply, inbound paper and electronic documents must meet the following requirements (measured every quarter):

  • They must be human-readable.
  • More than 99.5% must be machine-processable without special trimming or repair.
  • Fewer than 1% must be handwritten.
  • Physical documents must be undamaged.
  • Electronic documents must be in TIFF, JPEG, PDF or PDF/A format and scanned at 300dpi or more.

If any of these criteria aren’t met there might be additional charges as the result of a change request process.

Service Charges


You can choose to pay for the service setup activities as a one-off charge due when your service goes live, or to have the setup costs amortised over the initial contract period through the per-document scanning price.

Printing Of Electronic Invoices

If we receive documents electronically within the scope of the service, there’s a per-page cost to print these prior to sorting, indexing and scanning.


There’s a per-document charge for indexing up to five fields (with a maximum of 20 characters per field).

Document Scanning

We’ll agree one or more per-document prices with you based on the average number of pages per document and options such as colour scanning or creation of a searchable PDF. The base price includes agreed initial sorting, application of a barcode to each document with a unique document identifier.

If your per-document price includes setup amortisation, it will be adjusted downwards at contract renewal.

We invoice for scanning once a month, with an agreed minimum charge (usually for around 75% of the agreed average volume) even if actual usage is very low.

Posting Documents Back To You

Postage is charged at cost, with a percentage administration fee (specified in our contract with you) for document handling and management of the postage process.

Transportation Charges

If we collect or return physical documents via an Iron Mountain transportation service or through a partner courier, there will be additional transportation charges, agreed with you in advance.

Customer Service And Change Management

Service Support

To request support or report an issue you would call or email your agreed single point of contact, who may be an account manager, service manager or customer relationship manager (CRM). They will log your contact and either help you directly or co-ordinate the response and provide you with updates by phone or email until the issue is resolved and the ticket can be closed.

Escalation Process

If you need to escalate an incident or rescan request, the process is:

  • Call or email the CRM, who will log the contact and escalate to the regional operations manager.
  • If the problem can’t be fixed at this level it will be escalated to the head of AP Capture.

Change Management

Change management follows a standard Iron Mountain project change request (PCR) process:

  • Requirements are captured and documented by us in a PCR document.
  • The change is reviewed and a cost and timescales issued and sent to you for signature.
  • Once signed by you and us, the PCR is logged into the software development lifecycle system.
  • The PCR is tracked and managed by the CRM or project manager, depending on the complexity of the change.
  • The PCR is implemented in the test AP Capture system.
  • You test and sign off the change.
  • The change is migrated to the live AP Capture system.