Step 3: Send a document into Lightyear

Step 3: Send a document into Lightyear

Here, we'll take you through how to get your first bills into Lightyear and then what to do with them. Use the table of contents above to skip ahead to the section you need.

Alternatively, you can watch this video:

Sending Bills into Lightyear

Before Lightyear can extract data from your bills, you'll need to send your bills into Lightyear. Currently this can be done via email, or through the Upload function in the Processing tab. Once a bill is uploaded and in your Processing awaiting action, a symbol on the far left of the email line will let you know how the bill was sent into Lightyear.
      Desktop Upload
      Send via Email
      Uploaded via Mobile App

Sending bills via email

Every Lightyear account has a unique email address, e.g. You or your suppliers can send bills to this email address to send them into Lightyear. If you're not sure what your Lightyear email address is, you can view it at the top of the Lightyear window.

If a bill is received via email, it will go to one of two places:
  1. Processing Tab: If this is the first time Lightyear has received a bill from this supplier, you'll need to apply a map before we can extract the data. Click here for a guide to our Processing tab to learn more about finding and applying maps. If Lightyear receives a file type that doesn't support automatic data extraction, it will also go to Processing awaiting Manual Entry or Smart Extract.
  2. Approvals Tab: If you have previously received and mapped a bill from this supplier, Lightyear will automatically extract the data and send it through to the Approvals Tab awaiting approval.
Click here to see what file types are supported and what happens if Lightyear receives an unsupported file type. In addition to this, there are file size limits on attachments being sent into Lightyear. More info on that can be found here.

If you want to send a document into Lightyear and make use of Smart Extract, you can add +bill (to upload as a bill) or +receipt (to upload as a receipt) to your email address i.e.

Uploading Bills from your Desktop

Bills can be uploaded directly from your Desktop. 

When in the Processing Tab, you can use the Upload button in the top right corner of Panel 1 to upload bill to Lightyear directly from your computer.

Click this, and you'll be presented with the option to directly drag and drop a file into Lightyear, or browser your computer to find a file to upload.

You can add up to 50 files to upload at a time. Once you have selected your files, click the green Upload button.

You'll see a notification at the top of the screen once the upload has been successful. 

The Document will arrive with the users logged in email address as the source. 

The Document can then be managed through the usual Lightyear workflow as if it was received via email.  This means it will go to one of 2 areas : 
  1. Processing Tab: If there is no map associated to the Bill and your email address, you'll need to apply a map before we can extract the data. Click here for a guide to our Processing Tab to learn more about finding and applying maps. If Lightyear receives a file type that doesn't support automatic data extraction, it will also go to the Processing Tab awaiting manual entry.
  2. Approvals Tab: If you have previously uploaded and mapped a bill from this supplier, Lightyear will automatically extract the data and send it through to the Approvals Tab awaiting approval
There's a limit of 10MB per file. Any file above that size will not upload. Supported file types are below, however only PDF currently supports automatic data extraction.
  1. PDF
  2. PNG
  3. TIF
  4. JPG
  5. JPEG
Lightyear will warn you if you try to upload an unsupported file, and will not add this to the upload queue

Each file uploaded, even if uploaded at the same time, will show as a separate email. See the example below where 3 files were uploaded at once.  Therefore please ensure to group any separate pages into one file before the upload process.

Sending Bills via the Mobile App

Extracting your Data

Lightyear can extract your data in one of two ways:
  1. Smart Extract
  2. Mapping
Smart Extract uses Lightyear's AI Technology to extract your data. Click here to find out more on how and when to use it.

Mapping is essentially the creation of a reusable template on your invoice. If you go the route of a map, when you receive a PDF from a supplier for the first time, it will route to your Processing Tab as Lightyear hasn't been shown what you'd like the system to do with it yet.

You'll want to find a map that can read the data from inside the PDF. Clicking on your document in Panel 1 will present the PDF preview in Panel 3. 
If Lightyear detects certain unique fields from the PDF metadata (like a tax number, company reference or email address for example) it will query it's database for existing maps, and will suggest to you the best extraction based on how many times a map has been used. If no map/extraction is suggested to you, fear not...  this does not mean that no map exists...
As maps are available to everyone in the Lightyear community, there's a strong chance that a Map already exists for the supplier, so the first thing you'll want to do is search for an existing Map.

Find Map

Select the document in Panel 1:
Then click the large Map My Data button to the left in Panel 2:
You can also click the Find Map  button. Both Map my Data and Find Map have the same function.

You'll get a pop up with some fields which you can use to search for an existing map. These are pretty straight forward:
  1. Mapping Type: You can filter what type of map you'd like to find.
  2. Country: Should be set to the country the supplier is located in. It's possible that suppliers will have locations in more than one country.
  3. ABN/VAT Number: Search for a supplier using their ABN/VAT Number, which is usually located on the bill itself.
  4. Supplier Name: Pretty simple, just search for the name of the supplier.
  5. Mapping Reference: Each map has it's own unique ID. If you know the ID of the specific map you're looking for, enter it here
A country always needs to be selected, but will default to the country your Lightyear account was created as, aside from that only one other field should be populated.

Hit search, and check the results!

You'll be presented with all the existing maps for that supplier in a list form. It's important to note that often a supplier will have more than one Map. This is because different users require different extractions, a supplier may change the format of their bill overtime, credit notes may require a different map than a bill and so on. Anyway, don't be alarmed if there's a few results.

As above. Lightyear may apply and show you the most used map for your supplier, but you can try any displayed results to see if there's another map you'd prefer to use.

You'll be able to see the unique Mapping ID, Mapping Type, Supplier Name, Alternative Supplier Name (if one was mapped) and the number of times the map has been used.

Select a map to apply it to your bill. If the Map fits, you'll be given a preview of the extracted data and will be able to select Use Map to confirm you want to apply it. If you're not happy with the data that's being extracted, you can simply try another map from the list.

Once you've found a map you're happy with, you need to select a Lightyear Supplier next to the Next Step option, if one doesn't exist yet, you can create a new Supplier by clicking the +Supplier option. Creating suppliers in Lightyear is fast, and is where you teach Lightyear which default preferences to apply, automating your Accounts Payable.

After you have created a Supplier profile, or selected an existing one from the dropdown. Simply hit the Send to Approvals button. This confirms your Mapping Rule that will be applied automatically moving forward, skipping this process the next time the PDF arrives form the supplier, landing straight into your Approval Tab!
Lightyear will prompt you at this point, asking if you would like to apply the rule you've created to other PDFs in your Processing Tab. In other words, if your Supplier has sent 20 PDFs that are queued in your Processing Tab, Lightyear will recognise the supplier and apply the rule you've created to all of them, sending ALL 20 to your Approvals Tab!

No Supplier Map Found (or Not Suitable)

If your search brings back no results, or the results that do come back aren't suitable, you'll see a blue Map For Me button.

Hit this button to request a new map from team Lightyear. Select the type of map, hit Confirm with any special notes and we'll create one for you (and the greater Lightyear Community). 

We say the turnaround for a map request is 1 business day, but we always aim (and almost always succeed) in getting them done much quicker than that. As we have to manually create these, it just depends on the volume of requests at any given time.

You can check the status of a map request through the symbol located on the email in the Processing Tab

      A Map for Me request has been sent

      A Map has been created

      We were unable to create a map. Check the notes for an explanation as to why.

Once a map has been created, check the Notes on the bill for the Mapping ID, then just search for it and apply the map! After a Map has been applied, we'll use this map automatically when you receive a new bill from this supplier, meaning any future bills sent into Lightyear will automatically flow straight into the Approval Tray ready for approval.

When moving a mapped bill from the Processing Tab to the Approval Tray. We'll also automatically apply any default GL Codes, Tax Rates or Tracking Categories set at either a supplier or product level.  Click here to get more info on what Lightyear can automate.

Smart Extract (Coming Soon)

If we cannot create a map for you, you can try using Smart Extract. Simply click the Smart Extraction button in the middle of Panel 2.
Smart Extract will begin to extract your data, and in approx. one minute you'll see some results!

For full information on what Smart Extract can extract for you, click here.

Manual Entry

If we can't create a map, or Smart Extract doesn't extract all the required details, e.g. because the bill is missing vital info that we need in order to create a map, such as a key supplier info, or a bill number & date. We'll always let you know in the notes why we couldn't create a map.

All hope is not lost however, as you can still enter documents for approval, manually. Meaning one consistent process for your users. Select the bill in the Processing Tab, and rather than click Map My Data, this time you are going to click the Manually Enter Data button in Panel 2:
Panel 2 will then open up and you will be able to enter your data manually.
It may look a bit intimidating at first but it's really straightforward. Fields marked with a red asterisk are mandatory. We can split the fields into two groups: Bill Details and Line Item Details. Mandatory fields are in bold. Select 'View more fields' to see more options.

Bill Detail

  1. *Doc Type: Select whether this is a Service or Line Item bill or credit note
  2. *Supplier: Select the relevant supplier from the drop-down
  3. *Bill #: The unique invoice number for the bill
  4. *Bill Date: The date the bill was issued
  5. Due Date: Enter a date on which payment for the bill is due (Note that for some Accounting Software integrations, this is mandatory)
  6. Delivery Date: Can be used to enter a deliver date if one is on the bill
  7. Shipping Date: The date the order was shipped
  8. Order Date: The date the order was placed
  9. P/Order #: Where you can enter the Purchase Order Number if required

Line Item Detail

  1. Product Code: Unique code for the line item. This field is only applicable if you have selected a Line Item document type
  2. Description: The description/name of the line item
  3. Qty: The quantity of the line item. This field is only applicable if you have selected a Line Item document type
  4. Unit Price/Amount: The price of an individual unit (if a Line Item document type) or the overall line price (if a Service document type)
  5. Tax Code: Will be set as your Default Taxed/Tax Free, but can be changed for each individual line if needed
  6. GL Code: Select the correct code for the line from your Chart of accounts
  7. Tracking Categories: Shown as Location/Project in the screen above, but this will change depending on your accounting software. Select the correct Tracking Category for the line if you use these

You can add as many lines as needed by clicking the + Line Item button. Once you're happy with the data you've entered, hit the Send to Approvals and the bill will move to the Approval Tab ready to be processed!

Note that Supplier Defaults (such as GL, Tax Code and Category) will automatically apply once the supplier has been selected. Default GL Codes set in Product Details will not apply when a bill is being typed manually.

OCR Extraction of Images (Invoices and Receipts)

Using state of the art OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology, Lightyear can extract data from image files in certain formats (PNG, TIF, PDF (Scans) & JPEG). Find out more here

Click on to see how you can Approve & Export your bills!


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