Ten days. That’s the shocking length of time it takes companies in the US to process a single invoice, according to market researcher Ardent Partners. Their most recent report “The State of ePayables 2021” lays out the simple reason why it’s taking accounts payable and accounting teams so long to pay vendors and suppliers: “The average AP operation is still handling too much paper and spending too much of their time focused on the simplest of tasks.” Shuffling lots of paper, in short, has serious downsides. A manual invoice workflow risks falling behind as more and more organizations automate their invoice approval process.
The alternative is automated invoice processing, a surefire way to save time and money, impact cash flow and capture early-pay discounts while minimizing the risk of errors and fraud. A secure cloud-based platform such as Yooz automates the entire process from purchase to payment, racking up 80% percent in cost savings and cutting processing times for an invoice down to days, sometimes only hours. The Approval process is made easy, and accounting teams receive all the information they need to help improve their workflow.
How To Speed Up Your Invoice Approval Process
Ardent has done the math and reports that companies with end-to-end AP automation are able to process an invoice in just 3.3 days and at a cost of $2.25 compared to $10.95 for all other enterprises. The exception rate, an indication of how much additional work the AP team has to put in when an invoice is flagged, goes down from one in four to only one in ten invoices.
So how can you speed up the invoice process for your company?
By embarking on the journey to digitally transform and, most importantly, automate the entire invoice approval workflow process from purchase to payment. It’s still the biggest bottleneck holding back too many companies.
When Yooz commissioned its first global survey on the “State of Automation in Finance”, more than one-third of finance leaders said time-consuming processes were the biggest problem related to manual accounts payable tasks. Issues such as manual validation of invoices, reliance on paper documents that needed to be printed and shared across the business for authorization, result not only in delays but also a risk of errors and loss, especially in organizations with multiple sites.
Yooz Improves The Invoice Approval Process
Having an outdated invoice approval workflow also means late payments that can lead to fines, affect credit terms and impact cash flow up and down the supply chain. Taking too long to pay can undermine supplier relations.
With Yooz, all those problems are no longer an issue. As a cloud-based solution that provides unmatched speed, security, and savings, the invoice approval workflow is streamlined and supercharged with a constantly updated toolset of robotic process automation (RPA) and machine-learning algorithms. Humans still play a key role in the AP function, but they no longer have to deal with repetitive, manual tasks such as capturing, coding, routing, and paying invoices.
Straight-through processing requires as little human touch as possible. An organization can be up and running in a matter of hours and earn a return on their AP automation almost instantly.
The Five Steps to an Optimal Invoice Approval Process
- Capture: Regardless of the invoice format, whether it’s on paper, fax, an email attachment, a photo from a smartphone, an FTP upload or EDI submission, the system can ingest the vast majority of invoices with almost no training. Yooz is smart enough to recognize all this information, such as a batch of invoices, and split them up correctly.
- Extract: Optical Character Recognition combined with smart data extraction enables fast and accurate extraction of all relevant data and correct GL-coding, automatically matching an incoming invoice to a purchase order. The risk of costly typos or erroneously paying an invoice twice goes down dramatically, while the cycle time drops.
- Approve: Forget about sending invoices around departments or mailing them to the head office for approval. Yooz will automatically route invoices to the right recipient for approval or further review if it detects an exception. Since it’s cloud-based, managers can approve an invoice from anywhere, anytime, including on their mobile device. If several parties are required to give their approval, the system automatically sends an invoice to the right recipients in the right order. Interruptions such as work-from-home mandates no longer create a backlog of invoices or risk drying up your cash flow. With Yooz, going paperless plus intelligent automation ensures businesses can keep going in times of crisis and keep growing when things calm down again.
- Pay: An invoice approval workflow that’s worthy of its name must cover the entire lifecycle, from purchase to payment. Yooz also automates the payment part with its payment partners and the new YoozPay module. In one web interface, the AP team only has to choose the amount and a manual or automated payment schedule. Vendors can be onboarded with just an email address and one click to select their payment method. If they want to be paid by virtual credit card, electronic payment arrives instantly in their account.
- Export: When payment has gone out, Yooz isn’t done yet. It automatically exports the data to more than 250 of the most popular finance software and ERP systems to mark an invoice as paid and reconciled with the PO.
Automated Invoice Approval -- The Future of Work (-flow)
Automation is the one best way to lend superpowers to your company’s invoice approval workflow and save significant amounts of time and money. But there’s more. Since Yooz understands all the data contained in every single invoice, the entire company benefits from a stream of real-time financial intelligence.
Everyone can now use those insights to build a better relationship with suppliers, negotiate more favorable terms perhaps, and -- last but not least -- experience more job satisfaction.
Yooz turns what used to be a time-consuming and complex process into a breeze. Once your hands and heads are freed from hunting down invoices, chasing colleagues for a signature or stamp, cutting checks, and archiving documents, you’re catching a glimpse of the future of work.