5 automated invoice processing benefits
Automated invoice processing reduces manual work and creates efficiency both in the accounts payable and also among all invoice approvers. Further, automated processing reduces the risk of errors and fraud, and brings transparency and speed to your processes. With improved quality and clear processes, automation also helps strengthen business partnerships and improves employee satisfaction in the AP team.
Here’s how we summarize these 5 common benefits of automated invoice processing.
Automated invoice processing reduces manual work
One of the clearest benefits of automated invoice processing (invoice automation) is that it saves working hours. Processing can be fully automated for most purchase invoices, which saves significant amounts of time and reduces costs associated with manual invoice processing. Eliminating repetitive and time-consuming tasks naturally free up the accounts payable to focus on higher-value tasks that require more skill and expertise.
Further, automated invoice processing allows for refining the data on your purchase invoices. Data can be rather easily extracted from the received invoices and automatically updated, supplemented or modified with rule-based automation. For example, if invoices come in with data such as the contract number in an inaccurate field, invoice automation can recognize that and copy the data to the correct field. Similarly, postings can be set automatically, including VAT, GL account, cost center, etc.
Even though you can automate a lot of the invoice matching to purchase orders or other documents, the odds are you’ll still want some manual approvals in certain cases. A user-friendly and accessible user interface minimizes the time needed for your approvers and reviewers to check their invoices and pass them forward in the workflow. This can further help to improve productivity and free up staff to focus on higher-value activities.
Automation reduces risks and errors
Manual invoice processing leaves a risk of errors and inaccuracies that often lead to a need for additional inquiries and manual fixes, and sometimes even to late fees, financial losses, or compliance issues.
Automated invoice processing significantly reduces these risks. Leveraging next-generation automation and machine learning techniques to automatically process invoices provides a high degree of accuracy. In addition, the earlier-mentioned invoice data refinement will also help ensure that your financial records are accurate and that your relevant financial systems, such as your accounting or ERP systems, are up-to-date.
Finally, invoice automation can reduce the risk of fraud or other financial crimes that can cause direct financial harm. For example, automated processing can help to ensure that only invoices from authorized suppliers and known suppliers’ bank accounts are passed forward to the ledger without special scrutiny.
Automated processing creates transparent & fast processes
Transparency to workflow and invoice status helps create continuous improvement. The best-automated invoice processing software allows the accounts payable to define and optimize their own workflow, as well as manage invoice automation rules and processing setup even in-house, without an expensive consultation. For example, automatically assigning invoice approvals to the relevant people or part of the organization (even to the operational level) links expenses to where the purchased services and goods are used.
This data can further be used to gain a better understanding of spending patterns and to identify cost savings potential. It streamlines your AP operations, brings efficiency, and increases profitability.
Less risks help strengthen your partner relationships
The reduced risk of errors and delays that comes with automated invoice processing helps in building solid business partnerships. Automation allows demonstrating that you can be relied on to handle invoicing and payments accurately and efficiently. Trust and reliability can lead to not only better collaboration, but even to reduced risk reserve that your suppliers require in the contract terms.
Further, when all purchase orders, order responses, shipment advices, and invoices, are brought together into exchangeable data that can be matched in automated invoice processing, it’s beneficial for the entire supply chain. It brings significant savings and increases efficiency, but the smoothly flowing supply chain data can also smoothen out your partnerships.
Automated invoice processing improves AP satisfaction
Speaking of smoothness, automated invoice processing frees accounts payable employees from repetitive tasks, so they can focus on more meaningful work. Providing an intuitive and user-friendly invoice workflow solution makes it easier for the AP to get their work done on time, in high quality, and without unnecessary stress.
Even though processing automation might raise some resistance in the AP teams that are accustomed to the manual methods, in the long run, it’s likely they’ll embrace it. AP teams that use automated invoice processing tend to find their tasks effortless, intuitive, and value-adding, which can overall lead to a happier and more engaged workforce.
Overall, automated invoice processing brings cost savings through increased efficiency and productivity. This is especially true for routine, low-value tasks such as data entry or invoice matching, which can be time-consuming and prone to human error. Invoice automation reduces risks and errors as well as provides real-time visibility to the invoice processing statuses.
This all, of course, goes perfectly together with our multi-channel Invoice Receiving service, which gathers up all your electronic, PDF, and paper invoices. When you get all invoice data, no matter how you received it, into your workflow and then use automation for processing, data refinement, and matching, you’ve got yourself the best-automated invoice processing software – and setting it up is easier than you’d think.
If you’d like to see how automated invoice processing could fit your accounts payable, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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