How Invoice Matching Done Right Helps Achieve Touchless Processing
- 17 May 2019
- Best Practice & Strategies
Invoice matching is the comparison of information on an invoice with supporting documents such as contracts, purchase orders, and goods receipts. The process is to ensure accurate accounting of costs and vendor payment, compliance with applicable contractors, and detect possible fraudulent invoices.
The AP team knows it is a time-consuming and tedious task that is necessary. Handling this project manually is labor-intensive and leaves room for error. AP automation performs routine tasks, such as invoice matching, touchlessly to help the AP department increase productivity and improve overall efficiency.
Make an Automatic Connection
AP automation solutions automatically connect incoming invoices with the correct PO in your ERP for optimum accuracy without taxing human resources. Intelligent invoice matching includes the ability to integrate data from ERP systems and apply business rules to connect invoice data to the correct purchase order. This technology can also be used to identify data anomalies, for example when the same product number used by two different vendors for different products. And this can be instantly recognized in the future. The role of ERP data in invoice matching and payments has changed the relationship between ERP and AP automation systems. Entering and maintaining high quality data in the ERP is key to successful invoice matching and critical to enable a touchless AP process. Touchless processing can reduce the time it takes to process an invoice to as little as one day. The goal is to minimize or eliminate the need for manual processing.
Some businesses still use their ERP systems for accounts payable but then often miss out on powerful and flexible invoice matching capabilities that best-of-breed AP automation solutions can offer. Robust AP automation solutions help get invoices right to payments without changing the ERP. As a result, the AP department gets the benefit of touchless invoice matching without spending endless hours to detect discrepancies or recreate existing systems.
Touchlessly Match Invoice Data On Line-Level Detail
Effectively matching invoice data on line-level detail helps to ensure a high touchless processing ratio. The benefits of receiving electronic invoices is mainly data accuracy. The invoice data is presented in a standardized format that makes it easier to match against PO data and reduce the risk of errors and deviations.
Taking a holistic approach to automated invoice management helps ensure compliance, reduce or eliminate costly errors, and encourage collaboration within the business and with its vendors. AP automation verifies all underlying information and helps reduce invoice errors by validating invoices before posting payments. The smart use of AP automation solutions reduces the risk of overpayment, minimizes operating costs, and helps companies improve cash flow by taking advantage of early payment discounts.
Identify Deviations Immediately For Faster Approvals
The adoption of cloud AP automation helps reduce or eliminate late payments because updates are made in real-time and are easily accessible by anyone in the organization, regardless of time or location. Automated solutions can quickly identify and review deviations to minimize approval times and avoid late payments. This also helps organizations maintain better relationships with vendors and suppliers, which could result in future discount opportunities for loyal customers who pay early or on-time.
Also, the adoption of AP automation solutions reduces the chance for errors associated with the time-consuming, and often frustrating, process of manual invoice matching. With touchless automated processes in place, the AP team has more time for thoughtful tasks such as finding money-saving opportunities by making early payments.
Use Analytical Tools to Identify and Solve Bottlenecks
With AP automation, the AP department can more easily identify and solve process bottlenecks. The analytical tools provided by AP automation provides crucial insights that help organizations save money and increase cash flow. Cloud-based automation enables real-time collaboration between organization members as well as buyers and suppliers. Automated processes bridge the information gap that leads to delays of invoice matching and processing. Plus, AP automation vets suppliers and monitors applicable policies before a transaction is concluded.
Industry benchmarks show that companies using best-of-breed AP automation solutions have achieved touchless ratios well above 90%, meaning 9 out of 10 invoices are processed without any human touch. Merging automation with digital payments helps generate new sources of revenue and increase cash flow.
AP automation has changed the face of invoice matching by helping organizations achieve truly touchless processing. The long days of matching invoices and verifying information manually are over. The smart use of automated solutions helps companies save time and use valuable AP human resources more wisely.