AP Workflow Automated
When it comes to processing and approving invoices, most accounts payable departments have an established workflow. This AP workflow has been tried and tested and is often what companies have found to be most effective for their process and departments. Workflows can vary based on the number of active approvers, number of approvers needed per invoice, and how quickly invoices need to be approved and paid. Additionally, bigger organizations often have more complex workflows, either in the order an invoice is processed or because of safeguards in place to ensure compliance and prevent fraud. It’s no wonder that when companies start looking into automating their accounts payable department, there are questions about how the workflow itself will automate.
Accounts payable automation is meant to simplify the invoicing process, making it easier and more efficient for accounts payable and the rest of the company. Unfortunately, many automation providers propose a one-size-fits-all type solution that sets up the AP workflow in a specific way in order to achieve automation. While this can be affective for some companies, it does not address many of the complexities and concerns that frequently accompany the processes of large, enterprise companies. As such, enterprise-level automation should also be able to automate the complexities and nuances of different departments.
Of course, an automation solution should always encourage best practice for their customers, but best practice may look different depending on industry, company size, invoice volume, number of suppliers, and a myriad of other things. When automating AP workflow, what’s most important is ensuring that companies are able to meet internal and external requirements. If there are rules and regulations in place, automation should make a workflow more compliant and secure. Automation should allow companies greater visibility into and control over their process, increasing productivity and decreasing confusion and the amount of time an invoice takes to process.
At the end of the day, a company’s AP workflow is in place for a reason. While AP automation can simplify the invoicing process, it should not do so at the cost of a company’s workflow. Instead, automation should be flexible, allowing the workflow to remain familiar and efficient.