Invoice Processing with Automation. Improving Accuracy and Speed
Updated: Nov 15
Do you feel overwhelmed by paperwork or time constraints?
If so, you are not the only one. Many experts agree that document management is a tedious, time-consuming process when done manually. Considering the evidence;
The average annual paper use in North America is 504.84 pounds.
The fee to file a document is $20, to locate a missing file is $120, and to reproduce a document is $220.
However, in today's fast-paced era, there has to be a better way of doing things. Fortunately, there is document automation software like Graip.ai that can ease the process of dealing with documents.
Invoice processing automation is a solution that takes the stress out of issuing invoices since it’s 99% error-free.
With invoice automation, you can track payments and manage cash flow. You can even automate other parts of your business to improve its efficiency overall!
Advantages to Speed up Invoice Processing
Enterprises with a large number of suppliers, risk losing early payment reductions and making mistakes when paying their bills in bulk. Delays in processing timeframes also place a burden on relationships with suppliers, damage an organization's reputation, and cause disruptions in the supply chain.
Investment in technology to streamline the invoice-processing procedures of large enterprises is more important than ever.
Supply chain stability,
streamlined processes, and
reduced costs can all be accomplished with the use of automated AP processing.
Self-Service Tools for Suppliers
Enterprise's large amounts of time are lost by accounts payable departments as they attempt to piece together and correct erroneous supplier data and respond to supplier questions.
It's inconvenient for both parties to have to manually contact vendors to obtain missing data.
Self-service solutions are essential for accounts payable departments because they allow vendors to submit necessary contact details, transaction history, W9s, and banking information without having to contact the company directly.
By connecting all of your suppliers digitally, you can save time and strengthen your connections with them.
AP departments can stay current with much less work if they provide suppliers with an intuitive interface where they can make changes to their information and see the status of transactions.
So that payments can be made without interruption, AP personnel can deal with suppliers in a pleasant, low-friction manner.
Automate Exception Resolution
Data entry errors, wrong supplier information, and missing PO information are just a few of the common causes of invoice exceptions.
Exceptions take up a lot of time and effort for AP departments because they must be handled one by one. Invoice discrepancies are a significant expense for enterprise AP departments.
Using AI, advanced analytics, and sophisticated algorithms, modern technology systems let AP departments get rid of invoice exceptions. Incorrect or unmatched invoices are automatically "corrected" or returned to the provider by the platform.
Even if the problem cannot be fixed by technology alone, the platform may help by automating the process of finding a solution through intelligent processes, taking the pressure off of the accounts payable team.
As a result of implementing 100% STP, firms can save money and allocate resources elsewhere.
Digital Connection with Suppliers
Most major organizations work with a wide variety of vendors who each submit invoices in their own unique format to certain individuals at the company. To reap the benefits of AP automation, finance teams across enterprises must acquire invoices in a standard digital format.
Businesses that insist their suppliers use only one type of billing have a hard time getting it adopted by all of them.
Regardless of the supplier's size, complexity, or billing method, a modern procure-to-pay platform with a supplier network may establish a direct digital relationship. Speedy and accurate invoicing and payment are made possible without the hassle and expense of electronic data interchange (EDI).
Supply chain partners may keep doing what they've always done while still having access to their data in real-time with the help of global document translation or direct API connectivity. This maintains contented suppliers and fosters enduring connections with those suppliers, both of which are beneficial to the company's growth.
Some businesses handle hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of invoices annually.
It's incredible how much work goes into coordinating everyone's responses to a variety of individual transactions, as well as ensuring that everything is approved and processed on time.
Most modern accounts payable teams use predictive algorithms to analyze mountains of incoming invoices and inventory data in search of previously undetectable trends.
Real-time dashboards track transaction cycle durations and exceptions, categorized by the supplier, to give insight into every element of the supply chain.
The heads of AP and Procurement can find possible problems in the supply chain as well as development opportunities by depending on technology to analyze large amounts of data.
Streamline Your Invoice Processing Strategy, Why?
Reducing admin costs, boosting cash flow, and expanding profit margins are just some of the benefits that can result from streamlining invoicing and payment procedures.
Essential Steps of Invoice Automation
Throughout the years, the procedure for handling invoices has evolved in step with the development of new technologies.
Invoice processing automation can be achieved by implementing the following stages:
1. Analyze Current Invoicing Processes
It is critical to have a clear image of the invoicing process within your company. How long does it typically take to process an invoice?
What is the typical invoice processing time? Where does the invoice get received? How is it sent to AP? How is it validated? What is the proper way to handle an invoice?
Understanding the causes of constraints and bottlenecks, as well as the expenses involved with them, is essential for eliminating them.
You will likely discover some room for development in your current practices as you examine them.
2. Organized Invoice Management
To better manage your invoices, you may choose to set up a shared or centralized solution. Make sure your suppliers know they should be sending their invoices to your accounts payable department.
In a study of its members, the International Association of Accounts Payable Professionals (IAPP) found that 64.7% of respondents rated centralization as extremely important (5 on a scale from 1 to 5).
Invoices should be captured in a standardized, electronic format. Scanning and indexing documents might be the first step.
Use a standardized method and central electronic file system to expedite the manual approval process if you need to collect invoices from multiple locations. Your immediate priority should be to begin collecting invoices so that you can set yourself up for automation in the future.
3. Regulate Practices and Policies
Standard procedures and policies for processing purchase orders (PO) and non-PO invoices should be defined and documented, including checks for duplicates and mathematical integrity, corresponding conditions and tolerances, workflows for resolving discrepancies and approving payments, etc.
Working capital optimization strategies, such as the use of early payment discounts, should also be documented.
The major objective is to make it very clear to your organization's accounting department how invoices are to be handled. This will serve as a road map for the manual processes you are now using and get you ready for the automated policies and procedures that are on the horizon.
You may start automating once you have defined your policies, procedures, and controls. When you're ready, you may choose and install a technological solution that includes all of the automation features.
First, implement a single "processing engine" to automate validation, coding, matching, dispute resolution, payment authorization, reporting, and analysis.
No matter how many different ways you choose to collect invoices, in the beginning, you want to streamline that process into a single, unified automated workflow.
Scanners, optical character recognition software, and manual keying can all be used to convert paper bills into digital form at the front end.
You want to reduce the number of invoices that require human intervention as much as feasible while also streamlining the process of resolving discrepancies as much as possible.
Following the establishment of such a capacity, the front-end capture procedure can be refined in small steps.
5. Facilitate Supplier Self-Service
With invoices being handled in the same electronic fashion, it's simple to provide suppliers with access to status updates through a protected, self-service online site.
The objective here is to reduce the number of time accounts payable (AP) staff spends fielding phone calls from suppliers inquiring about the status of their invoices and when they may expect to be paid.
6. Request Early Payment Discounts
By speeding up the invoicing process, you can take advantage of early payment discount conditions offered by your vendors.
Aside from taking advantage of chances when they arise, you might also consider requesting such price cuts while negotiating for future contracts.
Over time, this might add up to significant savings after you have a firm grasp on invoice processing.
7. Utilize Information to Improve Sourcing
There are a few ways in which automating invoice processing might help your company's procurement division in improving its sourcing efforts.
First, they will have more accurate data for expenditure analysis, which can help them consolidate their supplier base and source other tasks.
Second, if your company has a solid track record of timely payments and makes it simple for vendors to handle their accounts receivable with you, those vendors may be more inclined to work with you to negotiate better prices and conditions.
8. Start by Document Automation
Once you've automated your invoice processing in the back end, you can shift your focus to developing more effective methods of invoicing in the front end.
In small steps, you can achieve this by switching to electronic invoicing with your biggest clients and trading networks and/or by incorporating features like invoice upload and "PO Flip" into your supplier site.
The efficiency of each of these techniques will increase as we move toward automated invoice processing.
Benefits of Invoice Automation
Processing bills, both incoming and outgoing, is one of your finance team's most tiresome, repetitive, and low-value activities.
As is the case with many similar tasks, automating them allows you to free up employees from repetitive tasks and put them to better use elsewhere.
1. Cost Savings
The costs of manual labor, paper and postage, and tax and late payments can all be minimized by converting to electronic invoicing.
Specifically, invoices without accounts payable automation solutions cost $7.03 each, whereas invoices with automation solutions save $35.60 each.
2. Efficient Time Management
Saving time is the primary benefit of automating invoicing processes. It can take up to 30 days to prepare invoices manually.
Invoices can be approved in minutes with no human involvement when you use an automated solution.
Moreover, a study discovered that 87.6% of enterprises in Western Europe and over 90% of enterprises in the United States often experience late payments, with Great Britain having the greatest proportion of past-due bills in its region at about 50%.
A study with the Institute for Finance & Management found that timely electronic invoicing may eliminate 39% of late payments.
3. Lesser Chances of Errors
Human error cannot be prevented; according to Billentis, 20–30% of all bills "have to be regarded as special cases in one form or another," and erroneous invoices are responsible for roughly 16% of overdue payments in the US and 15% in Western Europe.
Automated invoice processing helps in improving invoice accuracy, uniformity, control, reporting, accountability, transparency, and archiving.
4. Flawless Compliance
Many countries rely heavily on invoices as proof of tax payments, even though tax audits can happen years after the commercial transactions they refer to. When invoices are written on paper, they are much more likely to get lost.
On the other hand, electronic invoicing (or "e-invoicing") includes the immediate transmission of invoices and supporting documents to tax authorities via electronic means.
Directly sending purchase orders to suppliers means they can immediately begin processing the data and checking the accuracy of their invoices.
A legal invoice can be generated from a purchase order with just a single click, eliminating the need for manual discrepancy checks.
Two-way invoice-buy order matching and other country validations can be used to further guarantee that no exceptions exist.
With automated invoicing, not only are you assured of tax compliance and legal safety, but you also save 37% to 39% on associated expenditures.
5. Reduced Job Security and Dependability
Invoice automation not only boosts productivity but also allows organizations to reduce the number of people they need to dedicate to accounts payable without worrying about the quality of their work.
As a team gets smarter and more productive, the dependence on speedy recruitment drops off, too. Companies can select the most qualified candidates for open positions and expand at their own pace.
When it comes to boosting output and the bottom line, this is a wise move.
With the help of an electronic invoicing solution, keeping tabs on outstanding invoices has never been easier. This attribute is credited with improving transparency and accountability at all levels.
Most invoice automation platforms also necessitate explicit authorizations from authorized personnel before beginning important actions, such as invoice payments, providing the company with more transparency without requiring its direct participation.
Best Ways of Better Invoicing
Today, every business owner is looking up toward digital transformation to its fullest potential to save costs, improve profitability, and streamline operations.
Profitability and return on investment (ROI) are strongly tied to a company's capacity to cut costs and maximize efficiency.
Today's human resources don't have the skills to guarantee the accuracy of traditional invoicing procedures. Therefore, document automation software is what you need!
Following are a few of the best ways of better invoicing:
Reminders of Overdue Invoices
A company's operations cycle can be negatively impacted if overdue invoices aren't tracked and official reminders for overdue payments and invoice creation aren't sent.
Focused automation software can be quite useful for automating invoice reminders, which can help a company's bottom line significantly.
If you provide the software with information about your suppliers, as well as a schedule for creating invoices and making payments, it will be able to keep track of everything for you and send out timely reminders to your suppliers.
Schedule Recurring Invoices
Regular invoicing can be set up in the same way that patrons' recurring payments might be. Invoices can be automatically sent out to repeat clients, saving you time and effort.
This is especially useful if you have consumers who frequently use your products or services.
Plan to send these invoices out monthly (or at any other interval you see fit) and then ignore them. The program will send out invoices to customers electronically without any input from you.
Automatic Account Balance Checking
Accounting departments, no matter how big or little must ensure timely and accurate account reconciliations with all of their business partners and suppliers.
To be paid in full, suppliers must ensure that their invoices and purchase orders are in sync with one another.
By using invoice and document automation software, you may save the time-consuming task of manually reconciling each invoice, as the program will handle it automatically.
Create a Payment Portal
By including a "Pay Now" button on your company's electronic invoices, you may streamline your billing process significantly.
If a consumer receives an electronic invoice that includes a "Pay Now" button, they can quickly and simply pay the bill with a credit card using an online payment portal.
You can expedite your payments by providing a link to your company's payment gateway, which gives your customers a quick and easy way to pay you.
A more streamlined procedure can be achieved by connecting the invoice directly to your company's payment portal.
A definitive Case Study of Automation
Prestigious Automotive Company
The industrial sector makes a large economic impact worldwide. This sector accounts for 15% of global GDP, although 72% of its processes are still performed by hand.
With the advent of industry 5.0 comes a greater need to bridge the gap between information, technology, and services to enhance manufacturing businesses' operational efficacy and their capacity for leadership and management.
So, the sector will expand due to the use of cutting-edge technologies like robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML).
About The Company
A reputable Indian automaker. Since 1980, the company has produced and sold light and medium commercial vehicles in India. They make and supply state-of-the-art buses, paramedics, tankers, etc., and customized vehicles.
They are exporters of automobiles with a substantial presence in places like Nepal, Africa, Europe, and North America.
The client had problems with invoice backlogs, which slowed down payment processing. Every day, they had to manually process thousands of dollars in invoices from fifty or more suppliers.
They needed an RPA solution to restructure their billing processes to eliminate bottlenecks and speed up processing times.
The automotive company looked at the current process and incorporated RPA where it made sense. Invasiveness was not an issue with the RPA solution that was provided to the client. This is how we automated the bill-paying process:
The software accesses Outlook and saves invoices in several formats.
The system then uses ABBY solutions to scan all invoices and extract the necessary information.
The information is subsequently sent to the Interior Buyer and Retail departments for double-checking.
The bot then logs in to SAP and generates invoices based on the confirmed information it has received from the relevant departments.
The bot processes invoices and notifies the right person through email once it's done.
The bot will send an exception email to the relevant user if there is a problem processing invoice.
Importance of Integrated Document Automation
When a company expands, so does the volume of paperwork it must create, organize, and keep on file. If you're still utilizing inefficient manual methods to generate and track your paperwork, this might soon become a mountain to climb.
Document automation can facilitate these procedures and facilitate the production and management of massive amounts of content.
Document automation can also help you produce higher-quality work. The more you can automate, the more time you'll have to devote to other areas of document preparation, like a content generation or design.
Also, employing established routines and templates will assist guarantee your documents are uniform and up to code.
Why Do You Need Integrated Document Automation?
Saving money and time while improving document quality is possible with document automation. You should seriously consider transitioning to an automated document management system if you are still using manual processes.
These are some ways in which integrated document automation can be useful to you. These include:
Create and manage documents with ease.
Document quality will increase as a result.
The time spent on document production will decrease as a result.
It might help you save money on administrative expenses related to document production and maintenance.
It is a useful tool for making sure your business is in line with all applicable rules and regulations.
Best Document Automation Software
Choosing the right document automation software has significant effects on the organization's ability to successfully automate processes across the board. It is vital to settle on a system that can be easily adapted to your specific needs.
To provide you with the best suggestion, we have done our homework. So, let’s have a look at the best document automation software!
Graip.AI – The Best Document Automation Software
When documents are processed manually, not only is it a lengthy and error-prone procedure, but it also wastes a lot of time.
Graip is an AI platform that consistently automates manual, repetitive processes while granting your organization greater freedom.
It streamlines business processes, allowing you to spend less time doing repetitive tasks. Software of this type allows users to create, modify, update, and manage documents depending on a wide range of data inputs.
How Does Graip Work?
Automating tasks that necessitate complicated decision-making is now possible with the help of Graip, which combines the strengths of Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence.
Graip.ai performs the following functions:
Uploading data to a 3rd party’s system.
Other functions include:
Read (document recognition)
Process (intelligent processing)
Create (Integration library)
Graip.ai – All About Process Automation
What are the Benefits of Graip.AI?
Graip.ai provides the following benefits:
Increase in process efficiency.
Reduction in human errors.
Increase in employee productivity.
Improvement in process accuracy.
Reduction in processing costs.
Why Should You Choose Graip.AI Document Automation Software?
You should choose Graip since it is the best document automation software designed specifically for the sales process, and it is best used to create papers that can be electronically signed.
Sales teams can improve transaction throughput by streamlining the proposal, quote, and contract creation, review, and signing processes.
Moreover, it offers features like invoice capture, invoice recognition, data export, and data matching.
How Document Automation Can Help Businesses?
Businesses rely heavily on documents because they are the backbone of their daily operations. With the use of contract automation software, you and your department may cut down on time-consuming and unnecessary tasks like certifications and routine reviews.
Document automation can help your business grow in the following ways:
Instant Cooperation and Negotiation
Software for document automation also enables immediate cooperation and negotiation. For instance, without any intermediate delays, either party may accept or reject amendments to any contract.
Additionally, automation lessens errors. A contract's unintentional grammatical errors might have serious financial consequences.
Workflow automation ensures that all variants are captured in one centralized spot and that all contracts are automatically updated and readily available to all parties.
As a result, there is no possibility of using an old contract or sending the wrong document by email.
The tone of any business process may be traced back to the initial document created or generated within the contract management lifecycle. Searching for more than simply document automation is essential to the growth of your business.
The enhanced stability of contract workflows is described in the following additional benefits when a complete contract management system backs those operations.
Sign Better Agreement in Future
Utilize information from earlier agreements and contracts to enhance future deals. When you document the workflow of your contracts, you can see what stage of the procedure took the most, what caused delays, and what has to be changed or adjusted for your subsequent agreements.
The DOCX system makes it simple to combine with Word documents when you store your contracts, agreements, and related documents in a cloud-based storage facility. You can still export results to Excel using this system.
You can track all of your workflows with the aid of these contract management analytics, which give you vital information about how long it takes you to execute particular contracts and the precise reasons behind any delays.
With the help of document automation software embedded in an all-encompassing CLM solution, businesses can manage and streamline their terms and conditions in a way that ensures full compliance with only a few clicks.
By automatically populating new documents and optimizing document workflows, document automation software significantly cuts down on time spent and errors. So, pick yours to enhance the speed and accuracy of your business.