End to End Accounts Payable Automation for Invoice Processing

Accounts Payable departments are constantly being asked to simultaneously reduce costs and improve services to save time and money. Many of the errors, exceptions, and delays occur in the Procure-to-Pay (P2P) process while processing invoices for payment and procuring resources and materials. This is largely due to manual data entry and processing that is often required for invoice coding, validation, and approval routing.

In an effort to reduce errors, processing time, and costs, many organizations are choosing to invest in intelligent automation products, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) , Enterprise Content Management (ECM), and Intelligent Data Capture software. These platforms can be used independently or in concert to reduce or eliminate manual data entry and processing for invoices in Accounts Payable.

Each department and workflow is unique, but in this White Paper we will share industry standards and best practices for automating manual tasks and activities in Accounts Payable.

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White Paper Excerpt

There are a lot of active processes and workflows across the Accounts Payable department, but invoice processing typically requires the most attention, time, and resources. Getting invoices paid on time, or early, prevents penalties, creates opportunities for discounts, and ensures that products, materials, and resources are available to help the business operate.

At the center of this process is the invoice, which is why Accounts Payable Automation (AP Automation) focuses on invoice capture, coding, validation, and approval routing. The following graphic demonstrates how Intelligent Data Capture, ECM, and ERP applications can be used at different steps of AP Automation.

AP Automation Solution Diagram with ERP, ECM, and Intelligent Data Capture

Most Accounts Payable Automation solutions include some combination of ECM, Intelligent Data Capture, and data integration with an ERP. Typically, the ECM platform will be designed to capture invoices from different sources and then pass them to an Intelligent Data Capture product. Header Data and/or GL Coding data will be automatically extracted and verified, then exported back into an ECM workflow with the invoice image. Any remaining coding, exception handling, or coding verification will be completed in workflow.

At this point, invoices may be routed for approval using the ECM workflow, or invoices may be exported to the ERP for more robust approval routing. Additional products, such as RPI’s proprietary Yoga SMS Approvals, may be used with your ECM or ERP workflow to facilitate approvals via SMS text. When all approvals have been captured, the invoice payment can be processed.

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