ipayables

Invoice Visibility with AP Automation

By iPayables | April 7, 2022

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An accounts payable department that relies heavily on paper often faces difficulty maintaining organization and keeping track of invoices. Lack of invoice visibility can cause turmoil during audit times, or if a supplier calls and has a dispute about an invoice or payment. Even some automation can still make it difficult to gain access to your invoice. With poor or no search functionality, limited invoice accessibility, and a lack of innovative features, lower-level automation can be just as frustrating as digging through paper records.

With enterprise-level accounts payable automation, you immediately have digital access to your invoice as soon as it’s uploaded. The invoice stays easily accessible all the way up to payment, and even after for archive and auditing purposes.

Immediate Availability

With enterprise-level AP automation, you have easy access to your invoice, no matter how it was submitted. If your suppliers submit the invoice through online entry, the information they key is uploaded through the online portal and becomes instantly available to you. If a supplier chooses file upload, an enterprise-level AP automation solution will utilize state-of-the-art AI and OCR technology to read the file. Once the invoice is checked against your validation and edit requirements, it uploads to the portal and also becomes instantly accessible.

But what about suppliers who insist on only sending paper invoices or emails? Will those invoices have to be dealt with separately and locked away in their own filing cabinet? Thankfully, with high-level automation, a supplier can send their invoice directly to the solution provider through the mail or email, and the same AI and OCR technology are validating the information the moment the invoice is received. Once the information has been validated by a team working 24/7, it is uploaded in the same manner as a file upload, and is available to be accessed through the portal.

Easy-to-Navigate Approvals

One of the most frustrating manual processes in many AP departments is obtaining invoice approvals. Not only does this process typically take a long time, it also is hard to keep track of exactly who has already seen the invoice, and if it’s reached the correct authority before payment is due. With high-level AP automation, the approval process is automatically routed according to your given guidelines, so your invoice goes through the proper channels before being approved for payment. This way, it’s all automatically recorded, so you don’t have to wonder who the invoice has gone through, or where it is during the approval process.

Clear and Instant Supplier Communication

Keeping track of supplier phone calls and disputes can be a real hassle in an AP department. Luckily, through an online portal with greater invoice visibility, communications with suppliers can be initiated and resolved directly on the invoice. This means that if there are disputes between suppliers, no one has to call and remember or write down a message to let others know. Not only do these communications create high visibility during the invoice process, but they are also recorded permanently on the invoice, so they can be reviewed at any point in time.

Intuitive Searchability

In addition to invoice visibility, the searchability of an invoice also makes the AP process easier. An enterprise-level automation solution will have comprehensive search functionality that is easy to navigate. This type of functionality will typically include the ability to search by different categories, such as:

  • Vendor name
  • User the invoice is assigned to
  • Invoice number
  • Invoice type
  • Invoice date
  • Invoice status
  • PO number
  • And more!

A Clear View of Your Invoice—Every Step of the Way

Enterprise-level AP automation makes invoice visibility easier at each stage of the process. With this kind of next-level automation, processes are expedited and accurately recorded. You never again have to wonder where your invoice is located, who has seen and approved it, or if there are any potential disputes with suppliers. This leads to a beautifully functioning AP department with clear visibility and precise record-keeping, which is essential to any successful business.

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