AP Automation Workflow
Accounts payable workflow automation is easier with Integrify
For instance, while finance teams may use a modern accounting system, the receipt, processing, and approval of transactions (usually invoices) are often still done by hand, with accounting staff manually reviewing received payments and re-keying them into their system of record.
Accounts payable workflow automation replaces most of these manual processes with rules-based decision-making and workflow offloaded to sophisticated automation software. Turning your accounts payable workflows into intelligent, automated ones can save time and reduce the risk of human error.
If you're considering moving to AP automation, here are the software requirements and benefits of an AP automation project:
A form is the front end of the AP process. Vendors will often be filling out forms directly, eliminating paper or static forms, and removing the need for data re-entry. In addition, forms can be built dynamically based on the vendor, location, type of invoice, etc. The ability to customize forms, layouts, dynamic elements, etc., should be straightforward and allow for rapid deployment. Finally, forms should render well across all screens and browsers, including mobile devices.
The process builder provides tools for connecting tasks (human and automated) logically to initiate and manage the entire workflow behind an AP process. Drag-and-drop tools are frequently used to speed development, giving process designers a visual basis for how tasks fit together. Each task should be configurable and customizable to meet the process requirements, and business rules should be intuitive. Task types should include a wide variety of situations, including approvals, milestones, forms to be completed, data import, notifications, etc.
This automated AP workflow shows the process from invoice to payment. You can click the image to see a larger version.
Providing a user-friendly front-end for data entry (forms), status updates, task management, etc. gives visibility into the accounts payable workflow process for those submitting invoices as well as those handling them on the finance side. If desired, invoice submitters can track progress and see the status of their invoices, or this can remain hidden. Finance staff should be able to see invoice submission detail and aggregate data (number of invoices, time to complete, etc.) if desired. The portal itself should be easy to use for a variety of skill levels, as well as be mobile-friendly.
The system should log all interactions and time stamp all actions with names and dates as part of an audit trail. This allows for complete visibility into each transaction which may be required for any organizational or externally mandated regulations. The complete transaction history should be available to anyone who needs it and should be customizable to provide critical information in a logical format. The data should be exportable to a variety of formats and reporting tools.
The AP automation system should integrate with a variety of Accounting, ERP, CRM, reporting tools, and other systems critical to Finance operations. The system should include an open API, allowing for the flexibility to integrate with future systems as needed. The system should complement these other applications like accounts payable software as the workflow manager of record while the applications remain the databases of record.
Integrify customers can download our free "Vendor Invoice Approval & Payment Process" template.
We have a variety of resources to help you with your AP automation project and workflow research:
To see how quickly you can begin automating your AP and finance processes, request a demonstration or trial of Integrify.
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