Process improvement will be front and center for accounts payable departments in 2017.

Improving processes and automating manual processes ranked among the top accounts payable concerns for 41 percent and 33 percent, respectively, of organizations surveyed for the Institute of Finance and Management’s (IOFM’s) 2016 Accounts Payable Key Performance Indicators Study.

Manually processing paper invoices results in costly and error-prone keying of invoice information, lost or misplaced invoices, long approval and exception resolution cycles (which result in late fees and missed discounts), compliance and security risks, high paper storage and retrieval costs, delays uploading data on approved invoices to downstream systems, time-consuming supplier inquiries regarding invoice and payment status, and difficulty implementing operational best practices.

Electronic invoicing solutions such as NexusPayables are critical to process improvement.

NexusPayables manages the approval, creation, and electronic submission of purchase orders with built-in best practices and customizable business rules. Automating the purchase order requisition process allows organizations to generate purchase orders and route them for approval; electronically send approved purchase orders to suppliers for paperless processing; match invoices and purchase orders to validate price, quantity, and items; and track matched invoices against the purchase order.

Electronic invoicing solutions also convert paper invoices into electronic data for automatic processing using two vital processes: automatic three-way matching and automated approval routing. Automatic three-way matching uses rules to match each incoming invoice to the relevant purchase order and receipt of goods. If the invoice matches (within tolerances the organization specifies and manages) NexusPayables passes it straight through to the organization’s ERP system. Automated approval routing digitally routes invoices for review and approval based on assigned “delegation of authority” rules written with account amounts, duplicates, or account numbers. Electronic invoicing solutions also enable authorized users to instantly retrieve and view invoices and audit trails.