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Invoice matching


Increase Visibility and Efficiency with Intelligent Invoice Matching

In this blog post, we’ll walk through the various ways that modern invoice matching and accounts payable automation can drive record levels of efficiency and help you gain visibility into the AP process for better insight into the entire business.

What counts as intelligent invoice matching?

When you hear the term invoice matching, a couple of different technologies may come to mind. But the key to finding success and achieving true intelligent matching relies on a couple of different factors, and just any average matching engine won’t make the cut. This requires a high quality matching engine that is both flexible and specialized. Flexibility is needed to be able to dynamically match invoices on different levels (such as line item, line total or header) for the same vendor, depending on what information is available, and match against purchase order information. 

Specialized matching functionality enables the matching engine to run a completely touchless – meaning no human intervention – workflow for your AP. It supports all relevant matching scenarios and well as the ability to automate management of additional fees, like freight or customs charges. 

The Caveat: The matching engine is not everything  

While the matching engine is important, it is not the end-all, be-all for reaching a touchless AP process. Industry acknowledged accounts payable best practice is to structure a vision and clear action plan to optimize each area of the AP process. That starts with the quality of the data you’re entering into your AP invoice automation system and working with suppliers to get the data you need in a usable format. From there, it’s critical to streamline the process for what may currently be manual steps in the process, like deviation management. The connection to your ERP needs to be seamless, supporting synchronized data feeds so that the figures you’re working with in real time are accurate and trustworthy.

Once you start, don’t stop optimizing

The process of turning your AP workflow into a touchless one has no fixed start or end date. It’s essential that you identify the KPIs that are crucial for your business and utilize the reporting capabilities you have in your AP automation solution to measure and monitor them regularly. Some potential KPIs may be:

  • Touchless Ratio of invoices
  • End-to-end process time
  • Savings from early payment discounts
  • Percentage of PO-based invoices

Set goals for these metrics based on available accounts payable benchmarks, and identify the issues or bottlenecks that are keeping you from hitting those goals.

Benefits of highly automated matching levels

Time and cost savings are the most obvious benefits of a touchless process. By leveraging best practices, your AP team is able to focus on more strategic or business-critical initiatives, rather than spending hours on tedious, manual tasks. They can now keep up with resourcing, reporting and process analysis, becoming owners of the touchless process responsible for its continual optimization. And those time savings stretch into the business users as well, who can spend less time dealing with administrative tasks.

The rewards from implementing intelligent invoice matching are much more than process efficiency, though. When you can match invoices at a detailed level, you gain acute insight into your business as a whole, such as the true cost of the products you sell and your bottom line revenue.

How to start your journey towards a touchless invoice process

Sign up for this free Learning Lab: Optimize invoice matching for a touchless process.

This eLearning series will provide you with educational resources that you can consume at your convenience. It will give you a comprehensive overview of AP automation and help you get ready to take the first steps introducing AP automation in your organization.

Meredith Grace

Meredith Grace

AP Automation Editorial Team