How Can Accounts Payable Automation Help Minimize Data-Entry Errors?

Sep 18, 2020 9:54:58 AM

Minimize data errors with AP Automation

No matter how hard we try, we can still make mistakes when working in an accounting system. Maybe we are tired, maybe we are distracted, or maybe we type so fast that the software cannot keep up with our lightning-fast fingers.

I have been that fast typist and selected an accounts receivable account by accident instead of a cost account, which no one caught until it hit our parent companys corporate ledger. Oops. Easily corrected, but it was a while before I heard the end of that one!  

Because of instances like these, accounting systems have devised many ways to help you minimize the opportunities for errors that you could create. Here, in this blog, we will look at options for cost invoices in both our embedded solution, To-Increase Invoice workflow, and our cloud solution, To-Increase MediusFlow. 

Defaults in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations  
Lets start off by using defaults in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. These settings are a great way to not only save you from possibly making mistakes, but also from wasting time entering the data. There are various opportunities to do so, depending on what and from whom you buy products or services. 

Vendors:  This is a great place to set up defaults, particularly for offset accounts or basic controls like your Accounts Payable’s main liability account. If you only buy office supplies from vendor, set up that office supply main account for all transactions with that supplier. This will help you save time spent on data entry as well as eliminate any chances of picking the wrong one with your super-fast typing.   
 
You can set up defaults using the default accounts or the posting pages from the Invoices tab on the Vendor page.  Vendor posting profiles are another way to set up default information for your vendor transactions. 

Items:  This is particularly helpful for manufacturing organizations, who may buy items that often go to balance sheet accounts, though sometimes a lot of them. Depending on the item you purchase, it could have various default accounts (i.e., raw materials versus finished goods).  
 
It also helps you avoid entering erroneous information, as mistakes could impact inventory costing. Look at your item groups as a place to start setting up this information. 

There are also other options available in our AP automation solutions. Here are some controls you’ll find in our To-Increase Invoice workflow solution: 

  • Posting rules:  In our Invoice workflow solution, we offer the option to create and set posting rules as defaults for vendors.  These are a set up of accounting combinations (main accounts + dimensions, as appropriate), which become the default to that vendors invoice upon import or manual entry into Invoice workflow. 

    Posting rules saves the time involved in a manual data entry for the user but also allows for easy editing. 
  • Account groups: Another great option to consider is controlling which accounts can be used by any user in our Invoice workflow product.  You may have multiple groups, even assign them to different users, and even set as a default for a vendor. They allow you to limit the accounts that a user may see and, therefore, select when entering posting information for a cost invoice. 

No more accidentally picking the first account on the list (usually a cash account!) when trying to process an invoice.   

Are you using our cloud solution, To-Increase MediusFlow?   

Here are some options there to control what a user can and cannot enter for an account on any non-purchase order invoice: 

  • Set up accounting templates for your users. Not only can you set up a template, but you may also control which users can utilize this template as well. These may also be linked to your suppliers to make it easier for your users. 

  • Want to keep an easy list available of accounting combinations in Excel?  Use the copy/paste option (enabled on your role) to copy and paste accounting combinations into the expense invoice easilyDon’t worrythe system will alert you right away if your combinations are not correct with color and symbol indicators. 

  • Not sure which combination to use? To-Increase MediusFlow coding guide can help with that. This solution uses AI to offer suggestions based upon invoice information. It will prompt you with the suggestions which you may choose to use or discard. 

  • Enter the same information a lot for a particular purchase or vendor?  Make use of the Apply latest coding option on your expense invoice to simplify your data entry. 

There are several options available to help you minimize your opportunities for errors when coding an invoice.  These may also save you time from coding and searching for just that right account and also help your colleagues who may not be as well versed in accounting. 

 

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About Author
Michele Chapman

Michele Chapman

Product Manager Finance Michele brings her 15+ of experience in government contracting and materials management to To-Increase as a product manager. During her career, she has held positions in supply chain for a government contracting company and for one of the largest providers of supply chain transportation solutions in the U.S. More recently, she was a principal consultant at a recognized software vendor for the government contracting market.
Michele holds a B.A. in French and International Studies from West Virginia University, an M.A. in French from George Mason University, and an M.B.A. and a Certificate in Supply Chain Management from the College of Business at East Carolina University.

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