7 mins read

Accounts Payable Automation

Supplier Invoice Processing: How to Improve Efficiency Through Automation

by Yooz the 07.26.2023

Supplier invoice processing

In today's technology-abundant world, every single finance department is coming to realise a simple yet salient fact: optimising or automating the Accounts Payable (AP) process is no longer a mere "nice-to-have" or a "maybe", but a crucial necessity for staying competitive.


And, among all the components within the Accounts Payable department, one area that often becomes a major bottleneck is supplier invoice processing.


We've all experienced it; despite many businesses adopting Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, some still rely on manual invoice processing. Consequently, when it comes to the process of making purchases and obtaining approvals, we're left waiting... and waiting... and waiting.


However, with the remarkable Accounts Payable automation software available today, businesses can streamline their supplier invoice processing at scale, leasing to reduced costs and also stronger supplier relationships. As suppliers play a pivotal role in the business network, improving these relationships is key for success.


Find out more about why supplier relationship management matters.


What is supplier invoice processing?


Supplier invoice processing refers to the Accounts Payable (AP) function responsible for handling and managing invoices. This process starts with the invoice receipt and continues until the payments are made and recorded in the general ledger.


Regardless of the format in which the invoices are received (PDF, mail, e-invoice, or others) the information is initially scanned (either manually or automatically), and then entered into the accounting system. From there, it undergoes a specific workflow for approval and subsequent payment.


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Understanding the supplier invoice processing workflow


A supplier invoice processing workflow is comprised of a series of steps that must be followed to effectively process invoices.


Typically, these workflows start with a supplier or vendor submitting an invoice for payment. Next, the individual or department responsible for ordering products and/or supplies carefully reviews the invoice and cross-references supporting documents to ensure all the information is accurate. This phase is often referred to as the capture stage.


The invoice is then advanced to the approval stage. In a manual workflow, it is sent to various departments for evaluation, which can lead to issues like duplicate payments, late payments, and, ultimately, dissatisfied suppliers and vendors.


Once the invoice is approved, it is processed for payment via a previously determined payment method. Finally, the invoice is archived and recorded in the general ledger for auditing purposes.


However, this type of invoice management process lacks scalability and sustainability, especially for Accounts Payable departments that handle numerous supplierS and/or vendor relationships.


How to improve invoice processing efficiency in your Accounts Payable department


In today's fast-paced business environment, improving invoice processing efficiency is crucial for organisations to optimise their cash flow, strengthen supplier relationships, and reduce operational costs. Embracing modern technology in the form of AP automation solutions and implementing streamlined processes can significantly enhance the efficiency of the Accounts Payable department. Here are some actionable steps to help achieve this:


  1. Embrace AP automation solutions

    Manual invoice processing is cumbersome and susceptible to errors, but organisations can overcome these challenges and more by replacing them with automated invoice processing software.

    Advanced software solutions such as Robot Process Automation (RPA) and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology allows business to extract critical supplier or vendor invoice data accurately and automatically, reducing the need for manual intervention. This not only speeds up the process and minimises errors, it also allows your staff to focus on more strategic, value-adding tasks.

    Discover more ways to improve your AP process

  2. Centralise invoice management

    Disorganised invoice management can lead to misplaced or lost invoices, delays in approvals, and increased processing times. To avoid these pitfalls, establish a centralised invoice management system using cloud-based platforms or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. Both of these provide a centralized depository that facilitates real-time tracking, collaboration, and seamless communication between departments involved in the invoice approval process.

  3. Implement a digital approval workflow

    Replace outdated paper-based processes with a streamlined digital approval workflow. Digital workflows offer transparency and accountability at every stage, allowing managers to access and review invoices electronically, approve or reject them, and provide comments for those rejected. This ensures faster approvals, reduces bottlenecks, and eliminates the risk of misplaced invoices or manual routing delays.

  4. Capture invoices early 

    Encourage suppliers to send electronic supplier invoices directly to your Accounts Payable system as soon as a transaction occurs. By sending invoices as early as possible (and in a format suitable for the target system), you can reduce the chances of lost invoices, duplicate invoices, or delayed processing times. Timely invoice capture also improves supplier relationships and cash flow management, with the added benefit of possibly allowing you to take advantage of early payment discounts.

    Find out how e-invoicing can save you time and money

  5. Conduct regular audits and set KPIs

    Regular audits of your invoice processing system (or approach) will help to identify inefficiencies, potential errors, and areas for improvement. Establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as the number of invoices processed or time taken to process, to measure and track the effectiveness of your department. This helps identify areas that need further optimisation.

  6. Leverage machine learning for fraud detection

    To safeguard your organisation's financial health, implement Machine Learning (ML) algorithms for fraud detection. These algorithims can analyse historical invoice data to flag suspicious patterns and identify potentially fraudulent invoices. This proactive approach reduces the risk of falling victim to invoice fraud.


By implementing these measures, your Accounts Payable department can achieve a significant boost in efficiency, reduce manual errors, and foster better supplier relationships. Embracing automation and leveraging technology are the key drivers to achieve a streamlined and efficient invoice processing system.


Revolutionise your process with AI


Revolutionise your accounting process with the right AP automation solution


In today's fast-paced business world, manual data entry is outdated, and automation is the key to streamline financial activities.


However, with so many options available, it's crucial to choose the right tool for your specific needs. The good news is that even automating a small percentage of financial operations can lead to significant gains.


At Yooz, we remove all barriers to AP and Purchase-to-Pay (P2P) automation adoption by providing a powerful, easy-to-use cloud-based solution designed to cater to the needs of the modern financial department. Our aim is to remove all barriers to automation adoption and make the process as easy as possible for you. The benefits of Yooz include:

Unmatched savings, speed, and security

Our solution ensures that you save tinme, money, and resources while maintaining the highest level of security for your financial data.


Zero-risk subscriptions

We believe in our product and offer zero-risk subscriptions that allow you to experience the potential of Yooz.

Trusted by thousands

With over 5,000 satisfied customers and 300,000 users worldwide, Yooz has already proven it's value in the market.

AI and RPA integration

Yooz's unique approach leverages AI and RPA technologies, providing an incredible level of automation combined with simplicity and traceability.

End-to-end customisability

Tailor the solution to suit your organisation's specific needs and processes, making it a perfect fit for your financial department.

Seamless integration

With over 250 native connectors, Yooz seamlessly integrates into various information systems and ERPs, surpassing any other solution on the market.


Ready to transform?


If you are ready to take your AP process to the next level, embracing automation for maximum efficiency, let's have a chat. The future of financial operations is at your fingertips.


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