Organizations are looking to optimize their finance administration and Accounts Payable is one area that is looking to be disrupted. That’s because many companies in North America are still using paper processes, email, spreadsheets, phone calls and other manual methods to manage invoices and get approvals.

Times have changed, and invoice management software (or accounts payable automation software) is giving finance professionals a better way to work. Vendor invoice management becomes much easier when the accounts payable process is digitized and automated.

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How does invoice management automation work?

One of the fastest ways to accelerate invoice processing is to solve the “capture” problem. Many organizations are still manually entering vendor invoice data, either from paper and/or emailed invoices coming from suppliers. This creates bottlenecks as well as manual errors and missed invoices. 

A good invoice management automation system incorporates invoice capture technology that collects all the essential data on vendor invoices received and stores the information in a database. Superior invoice scanning capture solutions can intuitively recognize invoice layouts and perform all the necessary mapping of digital data. Modern invoice OCR technology can do this with a 95% accuracy rate.

What is the invoice management process?

Once invoice data has been digitized the invoice will show up in a central dashboard of the invoice management software. Digitization is where the invoice management process starts. This is where the finance administrator can apply approval workflows for project managers and supervisors. Once the approval workflow is setup invoices will automatically flow to the approver once the invoice enters the system. Ad hoc routing in the invoice management system is also available, without having to hire a developer, as the system has a drag and drop interface for this purpose.

Approvers can see the invoice on their device and approve with one click in email, a step that saves team members from having to login into the system.

For PO invoices that do not match, the invoice is flagged in the administrator’s dashboard and the exception is sent to the approver with all the documents necessary to reconcile. Variances are set inside the administrator system settings to cover small amounts that are over or under quantities and dollar amounts. 

A complete invoice management system will also provide administrators with a complete searchable invoice archive. Once an invoice is approved, the invoice is sent to the ERP for recording and payment. Once the invoice has been paid, the invoice management software retrieves the invoice and stores it in the cloud. 

Another essential function in the invoice management process is an auditing function. That usually includes a time-stamped invoice log showing messages, documents, and all the activities related to the invoice approval process. Finance administrators appreciate this because it saves time when the company is being audited by an outside firm, or if internal investigations are required at tax time or month end.

What are the benefits of using an invoice management system? 

The benefits of a robust invoice management system include: 

  • Dashboard gives finance administrator visibility into bottlenecks 
  • Ability to grow without adding to headcount
  • Invoice data capture – eliminating manual data entry
  • Approval workflow that speeds up cycle times
  • Automated PO matching in the background
  • In the cloud – no need for servers or upgrades
  • Integrates with the organization’s ERP
  • Searchable invoice archive in the cloud
  • Audit trail for internal and external investigations

For PO invoices, a good invoice management system will automatically match invoices to purchase orders and goods receipts. A “matching engine” matches invoices to the PO at both the header and line level, which means even an invoice or PO with hundreds of lines gets matched – all within minutes of receipt.

Integration with Popular ERPs

Rillion’s invoice management software provides a complete AP automation suite complete with an invoice capture solution, approval workflow, automated PO matching, invoice archive and comprehensive audit trail. It’s a components based system that grows with your organization.  It integrates with popular ERPs including; Dynamics 365, Dynamics NAV, Dynamics GP, Sage Intacct, NetSuite, SAP Business One, Acumatica and more.

For more information about Rillion’s AP automation solution