When you think of the benefits of electronic invoicing, what comes to mind is the way it speeds up the process of paying and getting paid. Yet an often-overlooked benefit is the way a start-to-finish automation solution makes all that invoice data searchable.

From both the vendor’s and the AP department’s point of view, AP automation that offers excellent visibility and searchability on current or past accounts payable is vital. Where once you might have spent hours searching through file cabinets for a certain invoice, the right AP automation solution brings it up on the screen in seconds. Not only that, but the coding of invoices ensures that data is organized and easily retrievable according to specified search criteria. Every invoice is stored in a format that can be easily searched and accessed by not only AP staff but authorized personnel in other departments.

Data within invoices should be searchable as well. Dates and amounts are only part of the information your AP department might need to know. A strong AP automation system should provide a history of the entire transaction, from purchase order to required approvals to payment. Changes, errors that were corrected, errors that perhaps were not corrected – all this information is tracked and made available.

The benefits of AP automation and its searchability become even clearer in the event of an audit. Auditors obviously need access to your data, and the easier the access, the, better for them. Conversely, the less help auditors require from your staff, the better for your AP department. InvoiceWorks® keeps electronic data files easily navigable, and those files can be accessed as read-only for everyone’s protection. Specific data can be retrieved and reconciled with a few keystrokes. Audits are never fun, but they’re a lot easier with InvoiceWorks®.

Any accountant will tell you that organizing your electronic files and the data they contain, then making them easily searchable, can save enormous time and headaches. So, do yourself and your AP staff a favor and start preparing yourself for AP Automation today.