If your accounts payable department is overrun with invoice exceptions, you’re not alone.

Resolving exceptions is the top pain point for 41 percent of payables departments1. The cost of these exceptions is staggering.

Exceptions occur for a range of reasons, including:

  • Wrong price
  • Wrong quantity
  • Missing tax amount
  • Missing tax identification number
  • No requester name
  • No contact data
  • No contract and/or purchase order
  • Missing purchase order number
  • No order confirmation
  • No shipping notice
  • Net amount exceeds sub-total
  • Invoice total exceeds contracted amount
  • Missing ZIP code in address
  • Incorrect spelling of a company name
  • No matching invoice and purchase order data (a top challenge for 43 percent of accounts payable departments)


More than 17 percent of the typical company’s invoices cause exceptions, Ardent Partners reports.

While some invoice exceptions are inevitable, resolving them doesn’t have to be painful.

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Resolving exceptions in a manual or semi-automated environment involves multiple handoffs and manual processes to identify and resolve the cause of the exception, which delays approval cycles. Making matters worse, exceptions can languish on desks or in e-mail boxes awaiting resolution. Manual processes also make it difficult for businesses to identify and address “problem” suppliers.

Full accounts payable automation streamlines and accelerates exceptions resolution.

With a fully automated solution, invoice data is automatically validated at the point of submission, data extraction and invoice matching is automated, invoices requiring exceptions handling are electronically routed to the appropriate individuals based on pre-defined business rules, and information from approved invoices is electronically posted to a GL or ERP system.

Some accounts payable systems also provide the ability for internal stakeholders and suppliers to collaborate online to resolve invoice exceptions (eliminating back-and-forth phone calls and e-mails), field-level validation of data (using information stored in an ERP system), the ability to automatically populate data fields using information from external data sources, and duplicate invoice detection.

Accelerating exceptions resolution with a fully automated system enables businesses to avoid late-payment penalties, capture more early-payment discounts, and strengthen supplier relationships.

Institute of Finance and Management

Automation reduces procure-to-pay costs

Paper processes increase the cost of purchasing and paying for goods and services in three main ways:

Lack of control
Lack of visibility

Download this whitepaper to learn why 37 percent of finance practitioners surveyed by Oxford Economics in 2015 reported that their organization planned to deploy automated procure-to-pay or supply chain solutions.