Increasing automation in the invoice process is the next step for organizations that aim to maximize invoice processing efficiency. And like most successful business process improvement initiatives, the path to top notch invoice management is a step-by-step one that combines a clear strategy with the appropriate technology and organization.
One of the most important factors to reveal during the assessment period is simply to understand how much of current manual labor is related to poor invoice quality in order to maximize efficiency. To understand this, organizations need to set up KPIs that monitor and measure the quality level of supplier invoices.
Some of the most important KPIs identify the following amounts, contributing to manual processes:
- Paper and PDF-invoices that need manual interpretation
- Invoices that need re-classification downstream in the process
- Match-able invoices that lack order reference
- Non-match-able invoices
Improving supplier invoice data quality is an outbound activity. Organizations need to work with their suppliers to reach the desired position. In many cases, accounts payables realize huge benefits by combining these improvement activities with procurement to ensure that these parameters can be incorporated into standard supplier management activities alongside the supplier quality audits and communications that are already in place.
Another good way to improve the situation is by setting up standard e-invoice policies, offering to accept a wide range of e-invoice solutions, as well as establishing solutions that provide self-service, free-of-charge e-invoicing for smaller suppliers.
Accounts payables can also push for suppliers to abandon paper invoices, and opt for an electronic PDF-process as a smooth transition towards e-invoices. For non-e-invoices, scanning is also an appealing option, as it improves the quality of the process already in place.
Looking for ways to lower the number of invoices from error-prone suppliers can also minimize exceptions. Offering collective invoices often minimizes administration.
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