Want to Achieve Touchless Invoice Processing? Apply These Tactics!

Feb 12, 2020 9:15:05 AM

AP or accounts payable is the expense side of the finance aspect of a business. It is the process by which companies pay for the supplies, materials, and services they have purchased. While accounts payable deals with the outflow of funds, it has a lot of strategic value. With the optimization of the AP process, you can reap many benefits, including a better overview of your spend.

However, the AP process is complex and detail-oriented which makes it expensive and labor-intensive unless you automate the process. One of the main aspects of processing the accounts payable process is that of invoice processing. 

Invoice processing involves several steps, including the receipt of invoice, capture of data, verification with purchase order, matching the parameters, and resolution based on various parameters. Today, technology has come to the rescue, which means that you can enable touchless invoice processing. The key is to find the right AP automation solution to achieve this.

At To-Increase, we have a best-of-breed accounts payable automation solution, To-Increase MediusFlow. To help you understand the impact that our AP automation solution creates when compared to other similar products, we give below the following numbers.

In most companies, the expenses are either planned and backed with a purchase order. Here are some interesting facts on what a truly touchless invoice processing solution can help your company achieve for PO-based invoices.

Criteria for improvement

With To-Increase MediusFlow

Other AP automation solutions 

Best touchless % 97% 76%
Average touchless % 68% 55%
Best processing time  1 day

3 days

Average processing time  6 days

11 days

For those purchases that are not planned, there would non-PO-based invoices for which the numbers are given below:

Criteria for improvement

With To-Increase MediusFlow

Other AP automation solutions 

Best automatic distribution % 

>99% 65%
Average automatic distribution %  55% 35%
Best processing time  1 day

8 days

Average processing time  5 days

13 days

Now that we have looked at the improvements that the right AP solution can help you achieve, let us take a look at the list of tactics that can help accomplish this:

Making sure that the quality of data is right: You must have an optimum method to capture information to match with the purchase order at line level. Also, talk to suppliers to ask them to provide you with e-invoices that have the same kind of elements, including purchase order numbers, product description, and alignment of currency and unit measurements.

Matching of invoices: Intelligent invoice matching is an invoice matching process driven by a flexible and specialized high-quality matching engine. If your solution can match invoices at a line level, head level, purchase order, goods receipt, and other factors, then the steps can be fully automated, with waterfall matching.

In situations where there are no exceptions, then the invoice can be ready to be paid with coding and purchase order matching. Your solution can also factor in exceptions like freight, packaging fees, pallets, other taxes, coding tolerances, etc. In such situations the solution needs to match with unit price, quantity, due date, and tolerance factors.

Depending on the number of supporting documents that an invoice needs to be matched against, there are three different levels of automated invoice matching, as shown below:

  • 2-Way Invoice Matching
    It involves verification of an invoice match with the corresponding purchase order.
  • 3-Way Invoice Matching
    It involves verification of an invoice match with both the purchase order and the goods receipt.
  • 4-Way Invoice Matching
    It involves verification of an invoice match with the purchase order, the goods receipt as well as the acceptance or inspection documents, if applicable.
To-Increase MediusFlow - 3 min Introduction Video













Resolution of exceptions: While the resolution of anomalies cannot become touchless, you can still automate it to a great extent. The AP solution can isolate unit price, quantity, and due date exceptions so that these can be approved or rejected. The solution can set these exceptions to be routed to the purchaser, inventory or goods manager, category manager to accept or decline with automatic coding.

ERP integration not a limiting factor: If you want to leverage all the benefits of true matching then the data from your AP solution should match the ERP-specific criteria. This can include PO and GR status, rules to handle freight and other charges, item costs, etc.

From your end, you will need to ensure that your company has a philosophy of continuous improvements in processes, technology, quality practices, etc to keep getting the benefits of touchless invoice processing. These include shortened lead time, lesser manual efforts, better cash flow forecast, better pricing and costing practices, reduction in manual errors, and discounts from suppliers.

To-Increase MediusFlow is one such solution that can enable you to reap all the benefits of touchless invoice processing.

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Learn how touchless invoice processing can help improve your accounts payable process!

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About Author
Martien van Dam

Martien van Dam

Having started his career with To-Increase, Martien has honed and contributed his expertise across multiple roles and domains for 15 years now. Besides Microsoft, he’s also worked closely with all kinds of stakeholders in the ecosystem—including software vendors, CFOs, Accounts Payable (AP) clerks/managers, logistics managers—and is cognizant of their challenges and needs. Therefore, as a Sales Specialist for our Business Productivity and Accounts Payable domains, Martien brings a balanced mix of different market perspectives from various global associates to the table. On the personal front, Martien enjoys meeting people and experiencing cultures, and has visited around 75 countries. He's passionately involved in voluntary work and loves spending time with his three kids in the great outdoors. Martien holds a Bachelor of Commerce in International Marketing Management and Business Process and Project Management.

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