Increasing automation in the invoice process is the logical next step for organizations that aim to increase the efficiency of their invoice process. The idea of automated – “no-touch” – invoice processing is nothing new, it’s been the end-game scenario for many organizations, and strategies and process blueprints for have been tried and tested for a number of years. But what are the key strategies for organizations that are looking to improve process efficiency? Regardless of current situation.
Invoice process automation relies heavily on three key areas: invoice data, matching data and business rule logic. Together these areas form the basis for invoice automation. To deliver automation, captured invoice data is matched against PO or GRN data and then automatically set up for payment leveraging appropriate business rule logic.
Yet problems arise for many organizations when any, parts of, or all factors in this simple equation falters.
This leads to missed opportunities and frustration for all parties involved, including missed or late payments, redundant manual labor, lack of transparency and control as well as cumbersome and in many cases unnecessary exceptions management.
To address this situation and improve their invoice management process, organizations can assess their situation in five dimensions to ensure that the optimal outcome is achieved regardless of current state.
- Invoice data quality
- ERP data quality
- Level of matching data
- Level of automation for non-matching invoices
- Invoice process bottlenecks
Intriguingly enough, this simple model can be used for improvement in almost any organization, regardless of invoice processing maturity. It’s as valid for organizations looking to start their journey towards no-touch invoice processing as it is for mature organizations looking to increase their competitive edge by streamlining already efficient and automated processes.