There are a few key metrics to judge the quality of an invoice processing and approval workflow:
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 location, account, department, or other information commonly used for general ledger coding or reporting. 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 good accounts payable workflow system will penetrate deep into an organization resulting in a high number of users for that organization. The goal of a good accounts payable workflow is to eliminate the effort in the payables department. For example, if your payables department has to route everything themselves, the workflow is not functioning efficiently. iPayables has 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 the customer’s 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 good 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 (and 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 users that 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.). Accounts payable workflow adapts to various situations with functionality like Vacation Reroute, Job Sharing, Passive Approvals, Next in Line Overrides, Proxy Approvals, and more. 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 insures invoices are properly routed and users can see the amounts in their own base currency.