Paperless invoice processing has become commonplace for many middle-market businesses. As a result of this technology, many companies are enjoying faster processing and all-around easier payment management while also no longer having to rely on the wait times and costs associated with paper invoices. The accounts payable process in particular has been simplified thanks to paperless invoice processing, as businesses are able to effortlessly pay vendors digitally. Additionally, businesses can better manage their shipping and invoicing process using paperless methods. With automated digital invoicing, businesses can possibly reduce the amount of paperwork they handle.
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What is AP invoice processing? AP stands for “accounts payable.” When you hear the term “AP invoice processing,” that is simply referring to the way in which accounts payable invoices are processed. Without paperless technology to speed up the AP process, the invoice approval process can be time consuming and tedious for an accounts payable team. As the world shifts from excessive physical paperwork to streamlined digital payment processes, it could be important for businesses to adapt to these changing needs.
Paperless technology can be especially useful for larger enterprises that manage multiple different suppliers and clients and don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of shuffling through large swaths of paperwork. Oftentimes, paperless invoice processing is more secure than physical invoicing because there could be less risk of losing important documents. Instead, they can be safely stored in a digital space.
AvidXchange’s software could assist with invoice processing and business operations. In fact, this is where AvidInvoice could come into play. AvidInvoice is an automated invoice management software designed to streamline the entire invoice process by digitizing your paper invoices while matching current approval workflows. This software can help you speed up your existing payment and invoices systems, offering the potential for increased productivity and time savings.
When implementing a paperless invoice system, it is often important to have a vendor invoice processing checklist to ensure that you hit your key targets and goals. Teams can lose track of the different vendors they are managing, and it’s all too easy to forget to pay a certain bill on time. Creating an accounts payable checklist template can help you determine the appropriate steps to take with the payment process, as well as who has been paid and when. Processing invoices for payment doesn’t have to be stressful as long as you keep things organized.
The customer invoicing process can also benefit from following an outlined checklist. Likewise, your client invoicing process should follow a set of specific guidelines for how to manage your client invoices. It might include vendor billing instructions for each of the vendors you partner with. Regardless of how you decide to craft your checklist, it’s important to have one in order to stay organized and make sure you don’t miss a payment.
Of course, it could be worth taking into account your vendor’s needs and desires. The AvidXchange software comes with a built-in supplier network of over 700,000. These suppliers’ payment preferences are baked into the automation so AP teams don’t have to worry about figuring out how each supplier wants to get paid.
In addition to using a checklist, accounts payable teams might also consider drafting an accounts payable invoice processing flowchart to help keep track of their billing and invoice processes. The accounts payable cycle can be a challenge to manage, and it can vary depending on your vendor’s preferences and habits, so detailing your accounts payable process steps can be tremendously helpful for your organization. An accounts payable process flow diagram is similar to a flowchart in that it helps companies organize and manage their AP processes.
There are numerous benefits to having an accounts payable invoice processing checklist in place or any sort of reference template. For more information on how to implement accounts payable invoice processing best practices, you might also look to see what other businesses have done to stay on top of the accounts payable process. No two solutions are alike, just as no two companies are alike. That is why an accounts payable process flow chart in SAP can prove to be valuable.
Perhaps most important, simplifying the accounts payable process could help boost efficiency. AvidXchange can help your AP team process invoices more efficiently by automation. Not to mention, AvidXchange can also boost visibility and trust with leadership by providing real-time reporting on accounts, growth, and performance.
Having access to a quality invoice processing system can potentially save middle-market companies time and resources. Moreover, it could also be important to have clear invoicing policy and procedures in place. Your invoicing process flow can possibly be expedited with the help of efficient software. At the same time, it could be severely hindered by a system that is ill equipped to handle your company’s invoice processing procedure. It’s important to have a thorough understanding of how this software will impact your existing invoice processing steps.
Ideally, your processing software of choice should be flexible. You should be able to scale it based on your company’s usage. This software could also provide security and be able to manage invoices in a way that protects vendor privacy. While digitizing a process that involves so much sensitive information can be an uncertain process, understanding the basics of your processing software and paying attention to potential security risks can help you avoid potential issues in the long term.
Moreover, the best invoice processing software available on the market tends to use OCR technology to reduce manual data entry and errors. This could save time for your AP team, and that time could instead be spent on more value-added tasks. An accounts payable team may not have the time or resources to spend a large portion of the day manually sorting through and processing traditional paper invoices. This is why they could benefit from using this efficient software system by AvidXchange.
An invoice processing flowchart can help speed up your invoicing process. Depending on your company’s invoicing policies and procedures, you can design this chart to align with whatever it is you want—or don’t want—the system to look like. For instance, you may want to set restrictions around which approvers can manage which workflows. Having an invoicing policy template can clarify these rules and set them into motion on day one.
It’s important to note that there isn’t necessarily one standard operating procedure for invoice processing, as each company does business differently. However, there are certain elements that all organizations should consider when designing a flowchart or template to help them stay organized. First, it can be helpful to have an invoice processing checklist that keeps track of the steps involved in processing invoices. An invoice verification checklist might also inform you of vendors that have yet to be paid. Implementing these simple measures can improve your invoice processing process flow.
AvidXchange’s software can automate invoice approval based on the company’s rules and workflow restrictions. These rules and restrictions help eliminate the hassle of reaching out to an approver every month about the same dollar-amount threshold. All approval amounts can be set during implementation.
Invoice Billing Process
Many times the invoice billing process involves routing the bill to a manager for approval. The invoice processing cycle, then, can be made easier by having a system in place that codes invoices according to type. That way, they can be routed to approvers faster.
Of course, some may ask: what is coding in invoice processing, and why does it matter? In this context, coding typically just refers to the process of categorizing invoices. When creating an invoice approval policy, it’s important to consider the different types of invoices and payments you are managing so that you can designate appropriate labels to sort them.
AvidInvoice can automatically code and process incoming invoices. The software automatically codes and categorizes the invoice, assigns it to the appropriate workflow, then routes it to corporate leaders for approval.
Coding invoices might sound difficult and tedious, and in many cases, it is. This is especially true for larger businesses that regularly manage different types of payments from various different vendors and customers. While an invoice checklist format or template can help your business keep track of their invoices, having an automated invoice processing system or software is even more beneficial for AP and billing processes.
Some companies may struggle with properly categorizing their invoices and sorting them in a way that’s both accurate and efficient. Understandably, the more invoices they have to process, the more challenging this process can be. Manually checking every invoice and determining where it belongs can be time consuming. Not to mention, not many companies can afford to invest an enormous amount of time and resources in managing their invoice process. There are many other aspects of business operations that demand their attention, so having to devote all that energy to invoice coding and processing can be a huge burden.
Thankfully, the billing and invoicing process doesn’t have to be such a pain. With automated invoice processing software, all of your invoices can be automatically coded, assigned to the appropriate workflow, and routed electronically for approval. Once approved, they can even be paid automatically.