In a perfect world, all invoices would be matched and posted straight-through, without human operator intervention. Unfortunately, accounts payable does not operate in a perfect world. Most accounts payable departments must manually handle most of the invoices they receive.
There are a lot of reasons that invoices must be routed for approval or exceptions handling, including:
• No purchase order number
• Incorrect purchase order number
• Incorrect invoice amount
• Invoice amount exceeds pre-defined limits
• Incorrect number of items
• No purchaser information
• No proof-of-delivery document
• No tax information
• No contract information
All these reasons reinforce the importance of automating invoice workflows.
The workflow technology in solutions such as NexusPayables automates many of the manual steps in the accounts payable process using a set of pre-configured and highly flexible business rules.
For instance, workflow technology automates document-routing for approvals, matching and exceptions management. Business rules can be used to drive straight-through processing, such as in cases where an invoice matches a purchase order and is within pre-defined dollar limits. Workflow technology also can be used to “fast track” invoices that are eligible for early-payment discounts.
Workflow technology is especially effective in the approval routing of non-PO-based invoices to ensure that controls are properly in place.
It is for these reasons that accounts payable professionals identify deploying workflow technology among their top technology priorities, per the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM).