3 Ways Automated Approval Workflow Cuts Approval Time

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With an enterprise-level accounts payable automation solution, automated approvals are a standard feature that should be included within the solution. The ideal automated approval workflow consists of hierarchical routing/business rules, automated escalations, and vacation re-routing. With these features, your accounts payable department is able to get large numbers of invoices quickly processed and approved, regardless of changing or unexpected circumstances.

1. Hierarchy and Business Rule Routing Introduce Smooth Flow

With hierarchy routing, approval limits are set for each individual. So, if an AP employee has an approval limit of $5,000 and reports to their AP Manager, an invoice for $7,500 should automatically route to the manager after the employee approves it. Enterprise-level automation allows your business to dictate what type of limits and hierarchy you want in place to ensure invoices are approved by the right person every time. In an automated approval workflow, certain business rules can also be created for special situations, where certain users may typically only have a certain approval limit, they can be granted a different/higher one. This is especially common in the case of an AP manager overseeing a special project that requires having a higher approval limit than they typically would.

2. Automated Escalations Prevent Slow-Downs

While hierarchy and business rules typically create a smooth flow, it won’t always work if an approver is falling behind or not prioritizing approvals. Since the AP department would rather not have the entire approval process slowed down by one person, an allotted time can be set for the approval. If the approval isn’t made within the allotted time, appropriate personnel are notified, and the invoice is automatically escalated to the next approver. This keeps the automated approval workflow smooth and consistent.

3. Vacation Re-Routing Keeps Approvals Flowing

With a vacation re-routing feature, your AP department won’t have to panic if an approver is out sick or on vacation. If the approver will be out, they can automatically set their approval to be re-routed to the next appropriate person. This means there will be no lag in approval while the rest of the staff waits for them to come back. So no more worrying if a clerk is out on a two-week vacation—invoices will still be processed and approved on time—if not early.

A More Efficient Department with Automated Approval Workflow

These are three vital features to have in a high-functioning automated AP department. While invoices getting processed fast is always good news, you can’t forget how important it is—and how long it can take—to get them approved. With enterprise-level features that come with automated approval workflow, long approval times, spanning over a month (or months), are a thing of the past, and can easily be cut down to times that average within a week.

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