One of the biggest headaches for accounts payable departments that still rely on paper is chasing approvals. Luckily, iPayables’ approval workflow simplifies and shortens that process–with proven success of lowering a company’s approval time by as much as 80%. Along with shortening the invoicing process, at iPayables, we offer in-depth functionality when it comes to automating your workflow. Unlike other accounts payable automation software, our team works with your AP department to learn the rules and guidelines you currently have in place. This way, your processes can be automated with flexibility, so you don’t have to change the way you do things. When it comes to AP automation, there are a few key metrics to judge the quality of an invoice processing and approval workflow:
The purpose of automating your workflow and invoicing process is to make things easier for your department—not harder. However, many automation solutions force you to comply with their standard rules and guidelines, meaning your organization has to change and re-learn the way they approve and process invoices. At iPayables, we believe that true enterprise-level automation entails customizing our solution to fit your process needs. We understand that processing thousands of invoices at a time means that it simply isn’t possible to disrupt your processes to learn a new system. During the implementation process, our team works with your department to learn what rules and guidelines are in place for your current processes. From there, we tailor your automation to work in accordance with your rules by recording and digitizing your team’s tribal knowledge. In addition to complying with your organization’s rules, our entire workflow system is audited to meet several compliance standards, including SOC, ADA, HIPAA, and more.
When it comes to processing non-PO invoices, coding is an important aspect that allows for better tracking and organization in accounts payable and throughout the company. Luckily, as technologies within accounts payable automation continue to advance, coding is becoming easier. iPayables has two major benefits in place to ensure that coding is simple for AP. First, we offer both header- and line-level distributions and coding. This makes it easier for approvers to track all necessary information throughout the invoice. Second, iPayables has introduced machine learning technology that evaluates historical data of non-PO invoices to determine the proper general ledger coding.
This first iteration of auto-coding can deduce simple distributions and automatically populate areas such as:
In order to ensure accuracy, the system either auto-populates or suggests a value based on the machine learning confidence level. This form of artificial intelligence through machine learning allows us to continue delivering a high level of accuracy while continuing to reduce the manual effort involved in invoice processing.
A thorough, enterprise-grade accounts payable workflow system will penetrate deep into an organization resulting in a high number of users for that organization. The goal of an efficient accounts payable workflow is to eliminate the amount of manual effort in the payables department. For example, if your payables department has to route everything themselves, the workflow is not functioning efficiently. Having worked with mainly enterprise customers, iPayables has tens of thousands of users in different organizations approving invoices through our InvoiceWorks® accounts payable workflow software. Our automated routing can be interfaced with your human resource management systems to maintain up-to-date information and make sure hierarchies and approver information are always accurate. The end result is the e-invoice goes to approvers and not to the payables department. As one payables manager put it, “We love InvoiceWorks! Everything is automatically approved by management. Suppliers check their own status and we don’t touch these invoices at all!”
iPayables uses a robust combination of entry points, business rules, and hierarchies to enforce our customers’ approval workflow policies. When a system properly enforces all the audit rules of a large organization, it can often result in more than a few approvers on a single invoice. If an accounts payable workflow system simply sends the invoice to one person, or allows forwarding for approval without enforcing any business rules, it will most likely cause problems during audits. Auditors love to see iPayables’ detailed history of approvers along with the iron-clad enforcement of company policies in entry points, business rules and hierarchies.
In addition to penetrating the organization and enforcing business policies, a true enterprise-level accounts payable workflow system needs to ensure that invoices move through the approval workflow process quickly. iPayables’ simple user interface makes approval easy for users. Escalation emails remind users (as well as the people they report to) that invoices have been sitting on their work list for too long. Analytical tools within the AP approval workflow software allow administrators to view comprehensive details about their users. These details indicate those who may cause delays or pose potential risks for losing discounts. The end result with iPayables accounts payable workflow automation is an approval time that is shortened to just a few days.
Even with thousands of approvers and numerous approvals per invoice, iPayables’ AP workflow automation moves invoices from submitted to approved within a few days. Entry points and business rules can be built off of any fields on the invoice, including customer specific fields. Multiple approval limits for a user can be set based on customer specific fields (such as department, accounts, project code, etc.). iPayables’ accounts payable workflow has a multitude of features that can adapt to various situations, such as:
iPayables is also an international organization. In fact, the iPayables application is available in 22 languages and uses region-specific settings for date formatting, time placing and currency conversions. This functionality ensures that invoices are properly routed, and that users can see the amounts in their own base currency.
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