Invoice Approval Process for Accounts Payable
Published on: 14 May 2021
Companies are discovering the value of digitally transforming their operations. From human resources to field operations, organizations are taking advantage of SaaS software and digital tools to boost productivity, have more transparency, and reduce costs.
Rather than being seen as a threat, automation and AI technologies are being used not only to avoid adding more staff, but to help employees be more productive, have less stress, and be freed from drudgery.
The invoice approval process for finance departments, both large and small and in every industry, are still operating with paper procedures and processes. Instead of introducing automation that can remove repetitive work, finance teams are using file folders, file cabinets, email, spreadsheets and other manual work formats to process their vendor invoices.
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Accounts payable is the hub of all transactions. If an organization still has a commitment to paper processes, the job of the AP team or finance administrator tends to revolve around maintaining multiple files (and multiple stacks) of paper. Time is spent chasing approvers either through email or phone calls, recovering lost invoices, and using Excel to try to organize it all.
Whether you are a one-person finance department or a large company with an AP team, one of the biggest challenges you have is entering invoice data into the ERP. Many organizations are stuck with entering the data manually — a time-consuming task that’s both resource-intensive and fraught with error.
Because of manual input methods, invoice approvals taking too long, missing documentation and increasing invoice volumes, AP departments and finance administrators are spending excessive time and resources in the processing of invoices. If there are multiple approvers for one invoice, delays are even more commonplace.
Approximately 50% of larger companies say there are 12-24 employees outside of AP involved in invoice processing and management. Most companies use a combination of email and spreadsheets to keep track of communications with non-AP staff.
In smaller companies, finance administrators are frustrated by the time and effort it takes to manually input and approve each vendor invoice.
The risk of fraud is magnified by paper processes that do not link the actions of employees in the organization. This lack of control and visibility into the AP process can increase the risk of fraudulent activity.
Businesses that automate the invoice approval process benefit from shorter approval cycles and more transparency around purchases. That’s because an automated approval workflow lets finance administrators manage the approval process from one central dashboard complete with a time-stamped audit trail.
Solutions like Rillion give you the option to manage complex accounts payable approval workflows where there are multiple approvers and levels in the organization. Rillion has drag and drop functionality and a graphical interface that shows you how the approval workflow is setup for each vendor.
During the setup phase you map out the approval workflows with our success team. Once the business rules are established, automation ensures that invoices go to the appropriate approver once they are received into the admin dashboard.
For companies with a large number of purchase orders, Rillion has a PO matching engine that automatically matches purchase orders to invoices.
Rillion gives you metrics to watch the productivity of your AP staff. That gives you confidence in your team and lets you address areas of improvement when you see the need.
Rillion is great for small companies who need a simple to use interface and an approval workflow to other team members. Employees can approve an invoice on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Invoices can be posted to different projects, a great time-saver for project managers.
Rillion streamlines your approval workflow so that invoices are handled by the right person in the right order. Business rules are based on projects, cost centers or amounts.
You can communicate with your colleagues directly in the system. Add a note to the invoice or send messages to each other, or email directly from the dashboard with an invoice as an attachment.
You automate the approval workflow and then approvers can approve an invoice with one click in their email or on a mobile device. Workflows can be re-routed without having to pay for coding or additional user license costs. And every relevant role in the organization can be connected to the approval workflow.
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