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6 mins read

Automated Invoice Processing

Six Accounts Payable Invoicing Best Practices

by Yooz on 09.17.2018

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In today's increasingly complex and competitive economic environment, automated invoice processing is one of the inevitable technical trends for intelligent companies who want to gain increased control over their cash flow and improve their operational efficiency. The reasons are clear, including cost reduction, process optimization, data security, fraud prevention, regulatory compliance, and many, many more.


However, getting positive results means careful consideration of which steps to follow. Therefore, if you are considering automating your Accounts Payable (AP) and invoice processing workflows (or even already considering solution providers), following a few basic guidelines is a good way to avoid common pitfalls and achieve greater success on your digitalization journey.

 

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Accounts Payable Invoice Processing Best Practices

 

There are six principal Accounts Payable (AP) accounts payable invoice processing best practices:

 

  • Reduce the time and cost it takes to process invoices.
  • Understand the AP process from the vendors’ and suppliers’ point of view.
  • Don't forget the need for legal compliance and audit trails.
  • Choose an all-in-one AP automation solution provider.
  • Pick an AP automation platform that utilizes end-to-end, modern technologies.
  • Try before you buy with a risk-free AP automation solution.

 

Let's explore each in further detail.

 

ONE: Reduce the cost and time it takes to process your invoices.

 

People have been telling you over and over that invoice management causes constant frustration in the accounting department and ill feelings when suppliers complain about not being paid on time. It becomes even more of a nightmare when invoice volumes rise to an unmanageable level. So, what do you do about it?


It is time to figure out the key factors of invoice processing: the cost of processing each invoice and on average how long it takes your Accounts Payable (AP) team to complete. You are going to discover one of three things: it’s either very expensive and someone is sure to start wondering why you didn't do something sooner, the cost is marginal and you’re missing out on a relevant project that could have made you look good with your financial leaders, or for the lucky few everything is balancing out (unlikely as there is always room for improvement but still possible).


Once you have a better understanding of the cost of your current process you can evaluate what kind of difference using an Accounts Payable and invoice processing automation solution would make for your business. We at Yooz have found that on average our clients are shortening their cycle times from days to hours, eliminating late payment fees, and allowing them to even taking advantage of early payment discounts. And, when it comes to overall cost savings, companies can save eighty percent by implementing automation into the invoice processing and payment workflow.

 

TWO: Understand the AP process from the vendors' and suppliers' point of view.

 

Auditing all the weak points in each process, finding past due bills or invoices, replying to e-mails from angry suppliers - it’s like reading a medical dictionary! You end up convincing yourself that you have all the symptoms of a disease: Acute Excellentosis, a highly addictive condition involving incurable paper consolidation, contagious double-sided reporting, or repetitive storing of invoices in cardboard file folders and metal cabinets. It is an endemic phenomenon that even the top experts in automation technology have not been able to eradicate. 


One way to cure this condition is to look at your Accounts Payable process from start to finish from an outside perspective, specifically that of your vendors and suppliers. How easy is it to submit an invoice to your company? How long do they have to wait until they are paid on each invoice? How often are you late in your invoice payments? Is it easy to contact your Accounts Payable team to find out the status of an invoice? After all, just as your business depends on them, they depend on you.


With an Account Payable automation solution like Yooz you can ensure your vendors ease of use when submitting and processing their invoices. Invoice submissions via email directly into your Yooz platform create a paperless process from the beginning. Smart data extraction, machine learning powered by AI, and automatic PO matching are a few of the technologies that automate the invoice process in a highly efficient and accurate manner. Easily find the status of every invoice within your workflow with traceability and visibility offered by Yooz. And of course, the part your vendors will love the most, automate payments faster and easier.

 

THREE: Don't forget the need for legal compliance and audit trails.

 

With ever evolving and changing regulatory guidelines and requirements things like legal and audit problems can easily arise in Accounts Payable. One way to prevent and combat these problems before they start is to utilize an Accounts Payable automation solution that has built in traceability and audit trails as well as the ability to automatically check and account for compliance regulations. Yooz is continuously working to stay up to date on any regulatory changes and will automatically update the software for each Yooz platform without the need to request a change or interrupt your workflows.

 

FOUR: Choose an all-in-one Accounts Payable automation solution.

 

It may seem like you need to buy and implement multiple solutions to automate your invoice processing and payment workflow because really, purchase orders, electronic document management, expense reports, and invoices have nothing in common, right? Wrong! It is possible to use one solution that can automate the complete Purchase-to-Pay (P2P) process and that solution is Yooz.


In addition, ensure you are selecting an Accounts Payable automation service provider that will integrate with an existing financial information system and/or Enterprise Resource Platform (ERP). Yooz currently seamlessly integrates with over 250 ERPs and information systems and is constantly adding to that list with additional integrations being created for ERPs all over the world.

 

FIVE: Select an Accounts Payable and invoice processing automation solution that utilizes end-to-end, modern technologies.

 

Human error is a real issue when it comes to processes like manual data entry. Humans can make mistakes especially when they are over-worked and buried under paper, such as entering the wrong numbers or duplicate information. This is one area where technology excels at doing the work. In Accounts Payable automation there are a few top (modern) technologies your service provider should have: OCR (optical character recognition), smart data extraction, PO matching, machine learning powered by artificial intelligence, and dynamic workflows. Trust us, your employees will thank you!


The combination of all of these technologies working together automatically in the background of your invoice processing automation solution will save on those human made mistakes by automatically reading the invoice or document, pulling out the needed information and assigning it to the correct locations, validating invoices, routing them to the next person for approval, etc.

 

SIX: Try it before you buy it with a risk-free AP automation solution.

 

“Try for free!” “No risk!” “Money-back guarantee!”


Yeah, yeah. You have heard that before. It all sounds good until you read the fine print. With Yooz there are no tricky contracts to get caught in. We offer a two-week free trial to all our potential customers because we know that once you start using Yooz you will see the difference it makes in your invoice processing and Accounts Payable workflows. After that, Yooz is a monthly subscription so you are not locked into any long-term contracts. You only pay for the documents you process with Yooz each month. Nothing more.


Plus included with every Yooz subscription are an unlimited number of users, workflows, and companies. There are zero IT costs, and all our updates are free and transparent. No nickel and diming with Yooz. Try for free, pay for what you Yooz, and stop anytime.

 

What Are My Next Steps?

 

These were just six Accounts Payable invoice processing best practices to keep in mind when looking to improve your Accounts Payable and invoice processing workflow but there are more -16 more, to be exact. We cover them all in our satirical whitepaper, How to Mess Up Your AP Automation Project, available for download now. And for tips on how NOT to mess up, we have developed a checklist for you so you'll be prepared for your conversations with AP automation solution providers you may be considering.

 

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