Invoice Processing Steps


Last month we discussed how automating invoicing can significantly improve your organization’s efficiency by reducing potential invoicing errors and reducing time spent on a repetitive and mundane process. With the release of UI flows, Power Automate offers the ability to automate the invoicing process, enabling your organization to realize the benefits from automation. Today, engineering lead Ashvini Sharma shares the steps for creating an automated invoicing process leveraging AI Builder and the newly launched UI flows in an easy to follow instructional demo (video 1) as part of our new Power Platform series on Microsoft Mechanics.

Invoice Processing Steps. Recommended Practices. Payments to suppliers usually require a purchase order or supplier contract, which are set up by Procurement. 5 Steps to Calculate Price per Invoice. What Is the Journal Entry for Invoice Processing? 5 Steps to Calculate Price per Invoice. According to experts, the cost of a paper invoice can range between $12 to $30 to process with an average cost close to $15. While larger companies with a more complex accounts payable process can cost nearly $40 per. Accept Electronic Invoices. The first step is to eliminate paper invoices as much as possible and to.

Video 1. How to create an Automated Invoicing Process with Power Automate

Automating your invoice approval process

How to do invoice processingProcessing

Ashvini’s demonstration, starts with a standard invoice and illustrates how to route approval requests from group email to stakeholders in Microsoft Teams using Power Automate. Teams is one of the hundreds of built in connectors that enable easy automation across the most common enterprise apps, as you build out your process steps. He then goes on to train AI Builder to extract relevant fields from incoming invoices to augment the detail in approval requests by infusing “Dynamic content” within process steps. Finally, he ends by showing you how to use UI Flows for Robotic Process Automation to minimize manual data entry into your legacy apps.

Importantly he shows you how you can build your confidence in building these types of automated Flows by testing along the way, with all steps completed within minutes. If this all sounds sophisticated to you, don’t worry, as Ashvini demonstrates, this is within your reach. Power Platform is emerging as one of the most powerful and prolific platforms in the industry today for automation, due to it’s low to zero code foundation. This means whether you are an experienced developer or someone with no coding experience you can quickly learn how to build custom automations around your data and business processes. Let’s now dig into a few recommended best practices to help you to get started.


Best Practices for Creating a Flow

  1. Some Training Pays Dividends: Power Automate is built to serve professionals of all skill levels, from end users to more technically experienced developers. If you are an end user, we recommend you still put some time into understanding how Power Automate can be best utilized. Low-code, no-code services do not mean ‘no practice required’ services. However, the benefit from a low-code service like Power Automate is the incredible potential that can be achieved with some practice. A great example of what end users can accomplish with Power Automate was typified in our recent story of how Microsoft enhanced its payroll process enterprise-wide. A single end-user learned the basics of Power Automate from our online training modules (figure 1) and was able to create a sophisticated automation to handle payment of Microsoft’s off-cycle paychecks across the globe. We recommend that any Power Automate user puts some effort to train themselves on the basics. This will make the process of building flows much easier and effective.Figure 1. Microsoft Power Automate learning modules webpage
  2. Ensure that your IT Has Visibility: while Power Automate and the Power Platform are designed to encourage and support end users to create their own solutions, it is still important to make sure IT has visibility into the work that is being done. IT can especially help a departmental service scale and become enterprise wide and ensure that the project meets the overall governance requirements of the organization. Always make sure that IT is part of the development process to provide insight and guidance when needed.
  3. Have an outline for steps of the process: regardless of the process you are automating, having an outline of the process flow steps will make it simpler to design your flow. For example, with the invoicing process, we know that the steps almost always follow the process outlined in figure 2. With this outline, the maker understands that the flow will require the forms processing capabilities of AI Builder, an approvals process, and the new UI flows which enables robotic process automation to complete updating the non-api based invoicing application. You can use Visio to sketch your process (and even create a flow from your Visio diagram!).Figure 2. Invoicing process steps
  4. Label/Name Your Flow and its Steps: much like coders leave comments in their code, makers should make a point to label their flows and the steps accurately (figure 3). This makes the process of troubleshoot much easier. Appropriate labeling also is good practice for flows which often are shared between stakeholders so that anyone can easily understand what each step of a flow does. The maker in our video does not label each step simply because the flow was built only for this video. In general, labeling/naming each step should be considered a best practice.Figure 3. Clearly labeling/naming the flow step should be done as a best practice when creating flows
  5. Test Your flow as you Build: be sure to test your flow steps through the development process. Troubleshooting your flow is much easier when you test the flow at discrete steps of the process. Also, each subsequent step is impacted by the previous step, so it should always be a best practice to test your flow as you create the steps. As you see in the video, our maker checks the flow steps in the development process. Around 4:15, the maker checks the flow to see if the notification occurs on Teams. This notification is one discrete step on the invoicing automation process and serves as a good test point to ensure the flow is running properly up to this part in the process.

Of course there are more steps that can be taken to facilitate the creation of flows, but all makers should try to follow the steps we outline here in order to unlock the full potential of the automation capabilities offered with Power Automate.

Invoice Processing Steps

Enhance Your Digital Transformation with Power Automate

We hope that you benefit from this step-by-step guide with Ashvini and our best practices for creating enterprise flows. Please keep following our to see how you and your organization can start benefiting from powerful and secure automation. Additionally, be sure to join our growing Power Automate community and participate in discussions, provide insights, and even influence product roadmap. If you’re not already, be sure to follow the Power Automate blog to get news on the latest Flow updates, learn how Power Automate is a secure service, and read our whitepaper on best practices for deploying Power Automate in your organization. Also, be sure to check out the Power Automate tutorials page and our video channels hosted by Power Automate engineers who will demonstrate how to create sophisticated flows within a matter of minutes. Go to, to get started with Power Automate today!

Invoices and Payments

When a supplier payment needs to be generated, the recording of the invoice received from the supplier (or other payment request documentation such as a check request) is approved and entered as an invoice into the accounts payable module in Oracle. Invoices can be entered prior to the date the check is to be produced. Based on the payment terms entered (for example, Immediate, Net 30) the invoice is selected to be included in the payment process, which is done overnight by RF central office. The payment process generates the check.

Types of Payments

In addition to payments to vendors, an invoice must be processed for the following types of payments:

  • Human Subjects - If a project director is using a checking account to make cash payments to human subjects, the project director must be on the
    Supplier File to draw a check to fund the checking account. Refer to Paying Human Subjects for more information.
  • Participant Stipend (see Participant Stipend Payments for more information)
  • Reimbursement of Employee Expenses (see Out-Of-Pocket Expenses Reimbursement for more information)
  • Honoraria
  • Independent Contractor
  • Wire Transfers
  • Subrecipients
  • Central Stores and Service Center
  • Petty Cash - An invoice must be processed to generate a check to fund petty cash. The payee must be on the Supplier File.

Types of Invoices

There are several type of invoices such as

  • Recurring Invoices - A recurring invoice is an invoice for an expense that occurs regularly and is usually not invoiced. For example, a recurring
    invoice could be set up for a one year lease once and the system would automatically create the invoices necessary and produce the checks
    each month.
  • PO Matched - The invoice is matched to a purchase order and must meet defined tolerances. The invoice is matched by item not by total
    amount. A system hold will be placed on an invoice that does not meet defined tolerances. Refer to 'Tolerances' and 'Invoice Holds' for
    more information.
  • Direct Payment - Direct payment invoices are not matched to a purchase order.

Multiple Invoices for One Supplier Site

Multiple payments processed in a payment batch for one supplier site are automatically included in one check unless individually coded otherwise in the Supplier File. The supplier site, payment alternative region contains a 'Pay Alone' field. If coded, pay alone, all payments processed using that supplier site will produce a separate check.

Equipment Purchases

Equipment purchase that require property reporting are identified by designation of an appropriate expenditure type. There are 33 application expenditure types that may be assigned.


The following table outlines the invoice/payment process:

Invoice Processing Steps Pdf




Receive an invoice or request for payment from a supplier.


Manually approve invoice/payment.


Determine if the supplier is on the Supplier File. If not, request that supplier is added and/or campus site information is added to the Supplier File. Refer to 'Supplier File Updates' for more information.


Enter the invoice information into the accounts payable module.


Review invoice information.


If invoice is matched to a purchase order, perform the match to P.O. on-line.


Approve invoice online.


Review invoices on hold and take appropriate action. Refer to 'Invoice Holds' for more information.


Checks are generated for approved invoices when central office performs the batch payment run. Refer to 'Check Production and Distribution' for more information.

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Invoice Processing Steps 2020

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