It can take a long time to get an invoice approved. The invoice must be entered into the system, checked for any errors, and then sent to the customer for approval. Any clarifications are usually provided by staff to the person who ordered the goods or the person in charge of accounting.
This can be time-consuming and frustrating for both your company and your suppliers. The manual invoice approval process can delay good cash flow and make it more difficult for businesses to distinguish between credit worthy and non-credit worthy clients. By automating the process, you can take the hard work out of approving invoices.
What is an automated invoice approval system?
An automated invoice approval system is an invoicing solution that monitors incoming invoices and verifies and approves them automatically for payments if there are no exceptions. In case of exceptions, it routes them to the authorized persons through designated workflows.
It helps companies to automate the invoice process, and reduce overheads while improving the cash flow and customer satisfaction.
Invoice Approval Workflows Are Made Up of These Steps:
1. Receive Invoice
The company has received an invoice from a vendor or supplier from any source, including e-mail, FTP upload, Forms, EDI, or a supplier portal. Wherever it is required, the invoice is automatically retrieved (i.e, email or FTP).
2. Extract Data
The document is processed using AI-Powered OCR, which extracts content from structured or unstructured documents.
3. Verify the Invoice
The extracted data is then sent to a pre-built three-way matching component, which performs three-way matching with the purchase order, goods receipt note, and invoice.
This ensures that all information, such as line items, quantity, and pricing, is matched. The invoice is automatically approved if there are no errors.
Price disparities and missing information, such as a PO number, are examples of exceptions. If an invoice is flagged, the parties who received it are contacted to address and rectify any issues before the invoice is resent through the approval workflow.
5. Invoice Approved
After the exceptions are cleared, the invoice is automatically approved and sent for payment processing.
Automating Your Invoice Approval Workflows Offers a Number of Benefits.
Save Time and Eliminate Errors
Instead of spending time on the phone or sending emails, allow Finance professionals to focus on analyzing expenditure for efficiency gains.
The workflow automation software guarantees that each invoice is sent to the appropriate approvers.
Losing Track of Invoices
Because all invoices are processed through automated workflows, users will never have to worry about missing them again.
With automated notifications and reminders, you can virtually eliminate bottlenecks caused by invoice approvals going unnoticed.
Managers can also approve invoices on the go with full mobile-responsive forms and electronic signatures, so being out of the office does not have to delay approvals and payments.
Early Settlement Discounts & Better Supplier Relations
By automating the invoice approval process, businesses can reduce late payments and take advantage of early payment discounts. This can help businesses build stronger relationships with suppliers, which could lead to better deals in the future.
How to Automate Invoice Approval Process
Automate the Invoice Approval Process in just 2 steps
1. Start with an automation workflow template or design from scratch
Start by creating the flow in Bautomate workflow designer. The drag-and-drop visual modeler allows users to map out the stages of the approval process.
Users can also create conditional routing rules, such as additional approval spend thresholds. Bautomate’s drag and drop form builder can also be used to start a business workflow.
2. Run Your New Invoice Approval Workflow
Deploy the process of invoice approval workflow, sit back and relax.
You can quickly identify bottlenecks and optimize your workflow in real-time to increase efficiency as you collect data on invoice approvals and analyze it using the built-in/ custom KPIs and reports.
Consider a complete procurement automation solution that automates your entire workflow and includes your entire approval process in the larger process if you want to streamline your entire procurement process.
You’ll be amazed at how much more powerful and simple the implementation is when you speak to one of our Accounts Payable automation specialists.