Ensuring suppliers and vendors get paid on time can be complicated and time consuming. The protocol for invoice processing usually involved routing the document for review and approval, which is typically either done in one of two ways:
- One person walks a paper copy of the invoice to one or more other people who have to "sign-off" on it.
- This same method for invoice processing takes place via email with an electronic copy of the file.
Invoice processing becomes a challenge when paper documents are misplaced or lost - and even after an invoice has been scanned, the digital version can be difficult to track. Finding out where an invoice is in the approval process and verifying reviews and approvals requires visibility that many companies lack. Other information - such as private supplier financial information - might be too visible.
As different people review an invoice, different versions are often saved in network file folders and in other business systems (ERP, CRM, etc). Without an effective document management system in place, finding the most current version of an invoice can be time-consuming. Multiple work sites and remote employees further complicate things, and can make the process of ensuring the right people have reviewed and approved invoices a nightmare for the accounts payable team. If the right people can't quickly locate the right invoice, they can't approve it in a timely fashion.
Organisations large and small can fall prey to these invoice processing challenges, any of which can result in delayed payments and, as a result, strained relationships with suppliers. All of these challenges negatively impact an organisation's overall efficiency. Time wasted searching for documents and manually managing invoice processing workflows represents a huge cost that can be avoided with a document management solution.
Increase invoice processing efficiency by automating common tasks
Invoice processing is a common use case for companies that have deployed a document management system because of the ability to easily manage workflows. Automatic notifications can be set up for review and approval steps, and managers can easily track the status of invoices at any time.
Companies that have automated invoice processing workflows cite significantly faster processing of incoming invoices and reductions in errors. Employees gain fast and easy access to invoice files and data, and the ability to streamline the review and approval process ensure invoices are paid in a timely manner, which improves relationships with suppliers.
Access accurate versions of invoices from any business system
Document management solutions make it possible for users to ensure they're accessing the accurate version of an invoice from any business system. By integrating and intelligently linking invoices from a document management solution to accounting, ERP, CRM and other business systems, invoices are no longer tethered to a specific location. They can be accessed and synced between various systems and devices with no duplication of content. the result is instant access to the most accurate and up-to-date versions of invoices from any system or database.
Provide easy and secure access to authorised users, restrict access to others
In addition to improved efficiency and accuracy, a document management system offers the opportunity to better protect sensitive and confidential information.
Leading document management systems make it easy to ensure that confidential information is available to the people who need it, and inaccessible and invisible to those who aren't authorised to access it. The result is the ability to minimise risk by enabling easy enforcement of information security policies as well as tracking all document access and revision activities.
Document management systems can also provide mobile access options for authorised users. Remote staff can be given the ability to view and approve accounts payable documentation from their mobile devices so that invoices can be processed without delays even they're out of the office.
Introducing an intelligent document management solution has been proven to deliver many far-reaching benefits for invoice processing. Suppliers will appreciate being paid in a timelier manner and employees will appreciate the time saved by automating previously manual tasks. With dramatic improvements that are visible to both employees and suppliers, leveraging a document management system to automate and simplify invoice processing is a very achievable goal.
If you would like to know more about how a document management system can help your business or even trial our solution, please contact us today. We're happy to assist!