Accounts Payable Automation

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  1. Accounts Payable Automation Tool
  2. Accounts Payable Automation Netsuite
  3. Concur Accounts Payable Automation
  4. Best Practices Accounts Payable Automation
  5. Accounts Payable Automation Companies

Accounts Payable automation (AP Automation) refers to technology that is used to streamline and automate accounts payable processes, removing manual tasks and providing better visibility and control over important financial data. SoftCo Accounts Payable Automation processes your vendor invoices electronically from capture and matching, to invoice approval and query management. The solution manages all PO and non-PO vendor invoices. All invoice data is captured using SoftCo’s Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology or via SoftCo’s outsource data capture service. Accounts payable automation ensures that every invoice is matched against initial purchase data and order forms, supporting accuracy. End-to-end visibility means stakeholders always have the granular control they need over the accounts payable process. AP automation (accounts payable automation) is technology that organizations use to automate time-consuming manual AP work, such as invoice processing, PO matching, and payment reconciliation. AP automation helps companies save time and improve financial controls. AP automation software was designed as the genesis for improvement initiatives in modern accounting.

Struggling with Accounts payable automation in QuickBooks?

Do you feel that you have outgrown the QuickBooks system and need to upgrade to a better system for Accounts payables? Don’t change the system yet!

Read on for a step-by-step process on how to automate the accounts payable process in QuickBooks using a Accounts Payable automation software that works with your current environment.

In our experience working with 100’s of companies using QuickBooks (Online or Enterprise), CFO’s or Controllers struggle with the following when it comes to Accounts Payable processes in QuickBooks

Segregation of duties and compliance risk

Though QuickBooks has improved the access management in the newer version, it still lacks the controls you would need to ensure that there is segregation of duty.

For example, you want to segregate paying vendor bills vs. entering the bills. That is currently not possible so by default, the person entering the bill and can also pay it.

That leads to fraud and compliance risk.

Second, there is no workflow in the QuickBooks system to route bills for approval before they can be marked as approved.

Accounts Payable Automation

In terms of compliance, there is no way to know who approved the bills unless you are attaching email logs with the bill.

If you are looking to scale the company or raise funding, these are the basic controls you would need to have in place.

If you would like to see how ProcureDesk can help you with AP automation and reduce the invoice processing time by up to 40%, click here to schedule a free demo.

The inefficient invoice management process

Chief Financial Officers (CFO”s) care about the productivity across the board so no wonder they are frustrated with the inefficient processes in AP that are sucking up invaluable resources.

Here are some of the symptoms that you have inefficient Accounts Payable processes.

1. Your team is spending too much time entering invoices across multiple systems, multiple entities, and chasing people for approvals. We call this Invoice maze.

2. The supplier bills are not in one single place. There is no central place to capture supplier bills.

3. You are spending a lot of time answering vendor queries on when their bills would be paid.

4. The purchase authorization process/purchase approval process starts after the invoice is received from the suppliers and not before the order is placed.

5. There is no cost control and you continuously struggling to keep purchases under Budget.

Do you see any of the above challenges in your entire AP process?

If you answered yes, then read on to find out how to reduce the time spent on invoices through accounts payable automation.

1. Accounts Payable (AP) automation workflow in QuickBooks

Let’s first list down the key steps in the accounts payable process so that we can look at automating them.

A common theme we see with our customers is that they have tried to automate the AP process in the past but have not been successful.

The reason…

They look at individual pieces of the AP workflow and then try to automate specific pain points. Instead of looking at how the end-to-end process works.

For example, you don’t have a scanning solution, so you purchase an app that will scan the paper invoices for you and integrate them with various accounting packages.

But now you have that, what happens to approvals of invoices?

Well, you guessed it, there is another app for that.

What you have then are siloed components that don’t talk to each other.

What is required is to look at the end-to-end process and understand what is being used today and what gaps need to be closed.

A typical process flow for AP

1. Invoice capture

2. Matching with a Purchase order

3. Invoice approval

4. Exception management

5. Vendor Payments.

When you look at AP automation software, your goal should be to streamline the end-to-end process and that starts with understanding what you currently have.

All you need to do is to a simple audit to understand the current state.

Here is a template you can use, below is s sample

Process stepHow it is done today?
Invoice CaptureFor example, manual data entry
Matching with a purchase orderManual or no match at this time
Invoice approvalEmail approvals
Exception managementEmail approvals
Vendor PaymentsChecks, manual payments

2. Not so obvious benefits of AP automation

You can find many articles on the web that talk about the benefits of AP automation like reduced invoice cost but you already knew that.

What we trying to do here is to assess objectives and how automation is going to help you scale the company and reduce risk.

Quantification is important for two reasons

1. It helps you identify the key objectives for the investment.

2. It helps you justify the business case for the investment.

So let’s look at some not-so-obvious benefits of AP automation and more so how to quantify the benefits.

Moving from people to technology-driven process.

One of the main issues with small to mid-sized companies is that their processes are very people-driven and not system-driven.

What do we mean by that?

QuickBooks is very limited in access controls. You can do everything or you can do nothing. For example, if you can pay bills, you can create bills too without any approval.

Let say you want only one person to manage the vendor register. That is not possible unless you have manual paperwork done before entering the vendor in QuickBooks.

That increases the risk of fraud.

To avoid the risk, companies limit access to QBO to ensure that only trusted people have access to that information.

Now if you only have one person, that doesn’t help because when the person is on vacation or out sick, you can’t do anything in the system.

Even worst, if that person quits, your entire knowledge base just walked out of the door!

So how does AP automation helps this?

Accounts

Automation transforms your AP department from people driven to a system driven process. The knowledge about how to process supplier invoices, managing receipt exceptions, etc. are coded in the system process rather than with an individual.

So when you need to scale the department or if you lose the headcount, retraining the new resources is a breeze or almost simplified!

Avoiding compliance risk – Segregation of duty

When you have a small team, segregation of duties becomes an issue because the same person might be doing multiple steps in the process.

For example, a best practice for procurement compliance is that the person approving the purchase requisition should not be approving the supplier bill otherwise it increases the chance of fraud.

Now if you only have one bookkeeper, then that person might be entering the purchase orders and entering the invoices.

To avoid fraud, you should segregate controls on who can create invoices and who can approve invoices.

By automation of the accounts payable process, you can implement better controls and segregate the purchasing process from the billing and payment process and hence reducing the compliance risk.

Improvement in working capital management

Many AP teams struggle to close books on time because they are missing invoices and there are invoices that show up at the last minute and need to be indexed.

The side effect of this problem is that it leads to poor working capital management.

For better working capital management, you need advanced purchase visibility. If you are currently relying on invoices to shows up before you know what you owe, you know what are talking about.

So by having an integrated purchasing and invoicing process, you would know exactly how much cash you need to settle the outstanding AP balance.

Better Spend management

Would you like to review purchases before the vendor ships the product for you?

Would it helps the capital allocation process if you knew how much you are spending where and with whom?

If you answer yes to these questions, then that is what Accounts payable automation is going to deliver for you.

You would have granular visibility into what you are purchasing and more important a cost control framework that allows you to reduce cost.

3. AP automation software options for QuickBooks

Let’s look at the different pieces of technology you would need to automate the AP process in QuickBooks.

You could put together a solution by simpling picking different technologies for each of these areas or you could just implement a solution with integrated purchasing and AP automation capabilities.

a) Paperless invoice capture

Accounts payable teams’ invoice workflow starts when an invoice shows up. Depending upon the volume and the process, the invoices might be coming to one single place or it is all over the place.

So the first step to ensure that the suppliers are sending the invoices the way you want it to be sent. What do we mean by that?

We recently introduced a concept of Supplier-Channel fit. We covered this in detail in setting up a paperless invoicing process.

By channel, we mean ways in which a supplier can send an invoice to you. Our approach is that there is no single channel that can work for all suppliers.

So you need to assess the capabilities of your suppliers and match them with an efficient channel.

Some of the most common channels are described here

Electronic Invoices

This channel allows suppliers to send invoices electronically using methods like EDI or cXML. You can read more about the supplier invoice channels here. The idea is that the invoice data is transferred from machine to machine without the need for manual intervention.

Supplier portal

The supplier portal allows a supplier to log in to a website and submits the invoice against a purchase order. For small suppliers or where the volume is low, this is a good option. To ensure higher adoption, make sure that the solution you choose doesn’t charge suppliers anything for using the portal. Otherwise, that could lead to lower adoption.

Email

Suppliers can send you invoices electronically by sending an invoice to a common email. For example [email protected] That is the path of least resistance for your suppliers but does increase work for your team since they now have to index the invoices in the system.

Accounts payable teams’ invoice workflow starts when an invoice shows up. Depending upon the volume and the process, the invoices might be coming to one single place or it is all over the place.

So the first step to ensure that the suppliers are sending the invoices the way you want it to be sent. What do we mean by that?

We recently introduced a concept of Supplier-Channel fit. We covered this in detail in setting up a paperless invoicing process.

By channel, we mean ways in which a supplier can send an invoice to you. Our approach is that there is no single channel that can work for all suppliers.

Payable

So you need to assess the capabilities of your suppliers and match them with an efficient channel.

Some of the most common channels are described here

This is the least desirable option from a company perspective because that includes scanning of invoices by your team. This method should only be used where you don’t have the option to choose another supplier. For example utility companies. Otherwise, your suppliers must use one of the above-mentioned channels.

b) Invoice matching

Once the invoice is captured, you would need to match the invoice with an existing purchase order. There are generally two possible outcomes

1. Matching purchase order and Invoice

In case you use a purchase order approval process then you are authorizing purchases before the vendor ships the product and then sends you an invoice.

If you do use a purchase order, do make sure that your vendors are adding a purchase order # on the invoice.

In case of a lower adoption of the Purchase order process, you could always implement a no PO No Pay policy. In other words, an invoice must have a matching purchase order # for it to be paid.

Once you have the purchase order number, you can match the invoice with the purchase order and pull other information like GL coding

If it aligns with the purchase order, then no further action is required and the invoice is approved payment.

We recommend an integrated purchasing and invoicing system, so the teams don’t have to spend time locating purchase orders in another system. Also by having the data in one system, it is much easier to do the matching.

2. No matching purchase order or no purchase order

In case there is on matching purchase order, then the invoice needs to be routed for approval.

The invoice should be approved using your regular authorization matrix because it is no different from a request for purchase.

For that, you would need a workflow engine which is the subject of the next section.

c) Approval workflow / Exception routing engine

In a perfect world, your invoices match the purchase orders or there is always a purchase order for every invoice.

In reality, that is not always going to be that way, so you would need a workflow engine to route the exceptions and non-PO invoices for approval.

Let’s take a few examples

Let’s say you placed an order for 10 widgets for $10 each, the vendor sends an invoice with an $11 unit price.

This is what is called an invoice exception and it needs to be resolved before the invoice can be paid.

With the help of an approval engine, you can define how an exception should be resolved and the workflow engine can do the rest for you.

Let’s say you want the original buyer to review the pricing with the vendor or the vendor might have already communicated the new price but the buyer forgot to change it on the purchase order.

Some companies have dedicated buyers to review these exceptions by working with vendors and internal stakeholders.

The second case is where you don’t have a matching purchase order. It is not uncommon to see invoices for services where there is no purchase order, for example – legal fees.

In such a case, just define the workflow in the system and let the system route such invoices for approval.

Once the invoices are approved, it is approved for payment.

d) Integration with QuickBooks

Having an integrated purchasing and invoicing system is of no use if the data is not automatically synced to QuickBooks (Online or Enterprise).

So your AP automation should also include the capability to automatically sync the data to the QuickBooks system. Following are some of the integration touch points.

Master Data syncs with QuickBooks

This includes pulling the master data to be used in transactions. For example, Chart of accounts, suppliers, payment terms and classes, etc from your QuickBooks company. This could be a one-way (Quickbooks -> System) or another way around. You can read more about the QuickBooks interfaces here.

Purchase order integration

If you are using an integrated purchase order and invoicing solution, then it makes sense to integrate the purchase order data with QuickBooks Online. That way, the data is available for you to view even when the vendor has not submitted the Bill.

Bill integration

When the Bill is matched with the purchase order and it is approved for payment, it needs to be posted to QuickBooks. Otherwise, you need to manually enter the Bill and that defeats the purpose of AP automation!

e) Payments gateway

AP automation is not complete without automating the payment process. If you are already using a payment gateway, then that needs to be integrated with the rest of the pieces. The idea is to automate the payment process so that you can issues payments electronically (ACH) or using credit cards. If the vendor accepts checks only, then some of the payment platforms handle that too.

Most of our customers use one of the following options for paying their vendors.

Bill.com

Bill.com is a widely used payment gateway for sending as well as receiving payments. The Bill.com team works with the vendors to set them up for ACH payments and that takes away the extra burden on your team to follow up with the vendors.

Bill.com is also integrated with the QuickBooks platform, so when your invoices are ready for payment, they can be automatically picked up by the payment gateway, and then payment is made as per defined schedule or terms.

ProcureDesk integrates with Bill.com to receive the payment information or alternatively, we can pull the information from QuickBooks once the payment is made.

QuickBooks Bill Pay

Intuit recently released a new feature for bill payments. It is an embedded solution but is only available in QuickBooks Online.

It allows vendors to choose the preferred payment method, for example, check or ACH.

You can read more about it here. QuickBooks payment platform

4.Metrics for QuickBooks AP automation

So how do you know if the automation process is increasing the efficiency of your AP team?

Here are some Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) you should track to measure the ROI of AP automation in QuickBooks.

If everything is working smoothly in the AP automation workflow, you would see a reduction in the following metrics

a) Cycle time for processing invoices

As the name suggests, this is the complete cycle time for processing the invoice.

The lifecycle of an invoice starts from when it is submitted and when it is paid.

In this case, let’s ignore payment for now because that is dependent on the cash flow situation of the company.

Sometimes companies might intentionally pay early because they want to take advantage of early payment discounts. In some cases, you pay late because of the cash flow situation.

So what should be the cycle time then?

The cycle time for processing the invoice is the time difference between when the invoice was keyed in the system and when the invoice is sent for payment. In other words, the invoice is approved and ready to pay.

If you didn’t have a Purchase order process and you implemented that along with the invoice automation, you should see a significant decrease in the average cycle time.

The factors which drive the decrease in cycle time are

1. No need to key in invoice data as it is done electronically or by the suppliers.

2. Invoices are automatically matched with the purchase orders.

3. Discrepancies between PO and invoice are automatically identified and approval workflow triggered for exception review.

b) Reduced manual journal entries

One of the main reasons why it takes time for A/P teams to close books on time is the number of manual journal entries they have to do to accrue expenses.

There are mainly three reasons for that

1. The product/services have been ordered but not received yet.

2. The product/services have been received but the invoice has not been received yet.

3. The invoice has been received but it awaits approval before the bill can be entered in QuickBooks.

With AP automation for QuickBooks, you should see a reduction in the above-mentioned issues due to the following factors

1. With a purchase order system, the vendors get better visibility into the purchase orders. Also with the catalogs, you can ensure that the correct lead times are set up.

With the supplier portal, suppliers can acknowledge the orders.

You are not waiting on the delivery date to pass and then realize that the vendor never got the order.

2. With the invoice capture process in AP automation, you are centralizing the way invoices are sent to you. That reduces the chances of invoices being lost or a stakeholder sitting on them for a long time.

Accounts payable automation tool

3. With AP automation, you now have an integrated purchasing and invoicing process. So the time it takes to review invoices should drastically go down. The system should take care of the matching process for you.

c) Reduced vendor queries and complaints

With a manual AP process, the chances are the vendor invoices were never received even though the vendor sent it to someone in the business.

That leads to delay in processing invoices and of course delays in payment to the vendor. That of course leads to unhappy vendors.

Now, in reality, you might say, I don’t care about all the vendors.

But you do care about strategic vendors and you don’t want to set up different processes for strategic and non-strategic vendors.

With centralizing and automating the invoicing process, you certainly reduce these errors.

The invoices get processed on time and the vendors are paid on time.

Now your turn!

To get AP automation right, you have to make sure that you look at the end-to-end process.

So rather than automating the invoice capture process, look at the end-to-end purchase-to-pay cycle and select a technology partner that can help you automate the whole process.

You gain efficiencies of an integrated purchasing and invoicing process and of course, and the solution is much cheaper.

The second area to focus on is to ensure that the selected technology piece is integrated with your QuickBooks environment, so you are avoiding redundant data entry.

And that’s all you need to get started with AP automation in QuickBooks.

Over half of all organizations say that manual accounts payable (AP) processes are inefficient.

Not just that, but 16% of organizations admit that they experience fraud issues associated with manual accounts payable processes.

Rather than struggle with slow, error-prone AP workflows, companies switch to accounts payable automation solutions.

They cut out mistakes, reduce processing costs, and build stronger supplier relationships.

Read on for some concrete accounts payable automation examples and learn why your company should implement accounts payable automation.
Want to skip ahead? Click here.

What’s Accounts Payable Automation?

The accounts payable process is the final part of the procure-to-pay cycle.

The AP process begins when your company receives a vendor invoice and finishes after the invoice is paid and filed. During the AP process, invoices are checked against the purchase order and goods receipt, and any discrepancies are addressed.

The problem with manual AP processes is that not only are they slow, but there are also often errors in the invoice data. An invoice error means that the paper invoice has to be sent back to the supplier, delaying the process further.

Accounts Payable Automation Tool

Not only do 42% of business leaders agree that automation software can speed up repetitive, manual tasks, you’ll also find that the auto-validation capabilities of accounts payable software prevent errors from occurring. This leads to higher levels of accuracy and prevents error-related delays.

Payable

Plus, by automating the accounts payable process, you reduce the possibility of fraud.

Currently,one in five organizations experiences procurement fraud, while nearly 30% of firms experience accounting fraud.

(Image Source)

Automated accounts payable software reduces the chaos associated with your manual process.

Fraudsters often take advantage of this disorganization to commit fraudulent acts. Since an AP automation solution centralizes all incoming invoices and internal approvals, this streamlines the process and cuts out the opportunity for fraud.

What’s more, AP automation software makes it easier to implement extra approval layers. With multiple levels of approval, fraudulent activity is easier to spot.

Accounts Payable Automation Examples

There are several examples of where you can automate activities in the accounts payable process.

Populate Forms with Invoice Data Automatically

Invoice processing can be a slow business when done manually. When invoices are received from the supplier, the accounts payable department has to manually enter data into the system to kick off the invoice approval process.

When you automate accounts payable processes, you can connect your database to the workflow. That way, your digital forms automatically pull key data from your databases to reduce the need for manual data entry.

Automatically Validate Invoice Data

In a conventional manual process, if there are errors or discrepancies, the invoice is sent back to the supplier. This causes a delay.

With automated accounts payable software, digital forms automatically validate to ensure all invoice data is correct.

This prevents errors or discrepancies delaying the process.

Automate Invoice Approvals Processes

Invoices will often need to be approved by senior staff members. You may have a conditional approval process where invoices need to be approved by more than one staff member if a certain amount is exceeded.

With manual accounts payable processes, this requires staff to manually hand over paper invoices for approval. Not only does this increase the chances that paperwork will get lost, documentation often gets buried on a manager’s desk that’s piled up with paperwork, causing delays.

With an automated accounts payable solution, you can design complex workflows so digital forms automatically route through the appropriate approvers based on the information in the forms.

Approvers get an automated notification to let them know that an approval is pending. They’ll also be sent an automatic reminder if they fail to sign the document electronically. You can also set escalations so that if there’s a big delay in approval, documents are automatically passed to a secondary approver.

Communicate with Suppliers Automatically

Accounts Payable Automation Netsuite

If you’re handling invoices by hand, you’ll need to manually email your suppliers whenever there is an update to their payments. This step can be time-consuming and it’s easy to forget.

With automated AP software, automatic communications are forwarded to suppliers to keep them updated as to the approval status of their payments. An email lets them know that their invoice has been approved and that their payment is on the way.

Automate Record-Keeping

With manual accounts payable processes, record-keeping is done by hand. Documents are scanned into the system and staff are tasked with huge amounts of data entry.

These processes are prone to mistakes. Errors in the audit trail can cause compliance issues.

By automating AP processes, you can integrate your record-keeping systems with your automated AP software. All documentation automatically uploads to your record-keeping system to keep a complete, up-to-date audit trail.

Why Switch to Accounts Payable Automation?

If you still use a manual process to handle accounts payable, you’re likely running into a whole bunch of issues.

Over half of organizations agree that the process is inefficient, while a third admit that they suffer from lost or missing invoices, and 23% cite errors as a problem.

Plus, a quarter of companies say that duplicate invoice issues plague their accounts payable department, while 37% agree that manual routing is a hindrance.

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There are also huge security issues involved with manual AP processes: 16% of firms report fraud issues, while a further 16% have run into compliance problems.

AP automation can help put a stop to these glitches. Here’s how.

1. Prevent Payments Fraud

Over 80% of organizations have been a victim of payments fraud.

While 61% of payments fraud cases are down to compromised business emails by external hackers, almost half of reported losses of $100 million or more were inside jobs.

(Image Source)

Unfortunately, internal fraud happens across all levels of the company. 34% of fraud is committed by middle management, 31% by operations employees, and 26% by senior management.

Accounts payable automation is crucial in the fight against fraud.

In fact, 30% of organizations strongly agree that AP automation reduces fraud.

While manual AP processes are easy to manipulate and hack, AP automation provides a digital audit trail that’s automatically validated. As calculations are automated, and data is validated, it’s tougher to manipulate invoices.

Plus, AP workflow automation software automatically routes documentation through as many approvers as necessary. Making it easier to authenticate documentation on multiple levels creates more opportunities for senior staff to spot fraudulent activity.

2. Accelerate the Accounts Payable Workflow

Manual AP processes are slow. Not only is manual data entry time-consuming, manual approvals mean paperwork needs to be taken to approvers in person.

What’s more, there are often delays in the process.

For one thing, errors in a paper invoice mean the paperwork has to be returned and resubmitted. Plus, busy approvers often leave paperwork buried at the bottom of inboxes, delaying approval processes.

Automated invoice processing significantly speeds up the workflow.

In fact, AP automation can accelerate invoice processing time by 73%.

On top of this, 64% of organizations agree that AP approvals are quicker with automation.

It’s not just that automation cuts out repetitive tasks and reduces manual data entry. Automatic routing and approval notifications mean approvals get signed quicker, while automatic validation cuts out errors, removing the time spent on remedial work.

3. Reduce Errors in the Process

Manual AP processes are riddled with data entry errors, missing paperwork, duplicate invoices, and double payments.

Errors result in late or incorrect payments, as well as extra expenses to remedy issues. Inaccuracies in paperwork can also cause compliance problems.

Automation reduces errors by automatically validating data before it’s submitted.

Thanks to this capability, 36% of organizations agree that automation leads to fewer exceptions and duplicates in the AP process.

What’s more, 30% of organizations say AP automation helps improve compliance.

4. Cut Back on Costs

Manual AP processes are costly.

Not only are they slow and cumbersome, requiring lots of staff and manual labor hours, they’re also error-prone. These errors lead to extra remedial costs.

Plus, delays in the process often lead to late payment costs, which mean that companies miss out on an early payment discount.

On top of that, manual processes require overheads for processing, such as paper, printer ink, and filing system supplies.

Over half of organizations say that AP automation results in lower processing costs.

In fact, these costs are significantly lower — AP automation can lead to an 81% reduction in invoice processing costs.

By implementing an AP automation solution like frevvo your AP process is faster and more scalable, meaning you need to pay fewer staff to do the same work.

On top of that, there are fewer remedial costs as data is automatically validated, cutting out mistakes.

Due to this, over a third of organizations say they experience fewer costs from late payments when using AP automation, while a quarter say automation makes it easier to capture the early payment discount.

5. Improve Supplier Relationships

As manual AP processes are slow, error-prone, and susceptible to frequent delays, they can compromise your supplier relationships.

Suppliers want fast payment, and you want your goods and services on time.

When paperwork is accurate, and AP processes are swift, this is possible. Unfortunately, manual AP processes don’t lend themselves to doing this well.

By switching to intelligent automation solutions for accounts processes, you can initiate faster payments that execute on time.

Plus, you’ll have a better audit trail for suppliers to increase transparency.

That’s why 28% of organizations agree that accounts payable workflow automation improves supplier relationships.

How to Automate AP Processes

There’s no need to keep struggling with manual AP processes. It’s simple to switch to frevvo’s no-code software to streamline your accounts payable system for faster, cheaper processing.

1. Pick a Pre-Built Accounts Payable Workflow Template

While you can build your own accounts payable workflow from scratch on frevvo, there’s also a library of pre-built templates to make the process easier.

Select the basic invoice approval if you have no need for conditional routing.

If you need to route your invoice to extra approvers based on the amount in the invoice, select the conditional routing template.

2. Customize Your Accounts Payable Workflow

Next, customize your accounts payable workflow to route automatically based on your AP process.

You can add and remove steps in the process, as well as edit each stage to suit your internal policies.

For example, you can edit the messaging of the email sent to suppliers to let them know their invoice has been approved, and adjust the invoice amount required for conditional routing to a VP.

At this stage, you can assign approvers by role or individually. You can also set escalations that trigger when an approval hasn’t been attended to.

3. Create AP Approval Forms

Create digital forms for your invoice approval process.

You can customize the template form using the drag-and-drop editor in the dynamic form builder, or you can create your own digital form from scratch.

When this form is connected to your SQL database via the Database Connector, it will automatically populate with key data to reduce manual data entry.

Don’t forget to add relevant instructions to each section of the form.

Adjust business rules to program the form’s dynamic behavior. For example, you can set the form to calculate payments automatically.

4. Generate Dynamic PDFs

Create dynamic, editable PDFs from your forms or add your own templates.

These PDFs can be sent to your supplier automatically for record-keeping to ensure a complete, accurate audit trail.

You can also save these PDFs directly to your system. They’re especially useful if you’re using Google Apps for record-keeping.

Concur Accounts Payable Automation

5. Set Access Controls

Set access for your accounts payable workflow to prevent fraud.

By limiting access, you restrict who can edit data, providing a better level of accountability.

Use the Settings to adjust who can initiate and carry out the workflow, as well as who can edit and view submissions. You can also set access so that only certain people can edit the workflow and audit trail.

6. Integrate with Record-Keeping Software

Integrate your AP workflow with your accounting software to automate record-keeping. This ensures you have a complete, accurate audit trail at all times.

While your audit trail will automatically save to frevvo’s built-in repository, you can also integrate Google Apps, SharePoint, and many other financial systems.

Built-in insight reporting also helps you to keep track of payments and identify any common bottlenecks in the process.

Conclusion

There are plenty of accounts payable automation examples that model the benefits of automating your AP process. Why not switch over to take full advantage of these benefits?

Best Practices Accounts Payable Automation

With faster AP processing, lower costs, and fewer errors, AP automation helps you to build stronger supplier relationships and tackle fraud head-on.

Accounts Payable Automation Companies

Ready to try it yourself? Give frevvo a go — sign up for the free trial today.

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