4 Ingredients to Maximize the Value of Invoice Automation Software
Friday, 18 Aug 2017
Want to make a decadent dessert that garners you all the praise at your end of summer party? Well, we can’t help you there. But if you want to get the most bang for your buck from invoice automation software, we’ve got what you need.
Mix in these 4 ingredients and your return on investment will be much more appetizing.
- Start with a Healthy Portion of e-Invoicing: To fully benefit from invoice automation software, you have to be receiving as many e-invoices as possible. Make sure that you choose a solution provider that can accept ALL invoices types (paper, electronic, EDI/XML, PDF, etc. – covering direct, indirect, PO, Non-PO spending) and convert these documents into true e-invoices (i.e.- invoices with structured data formatting for machine reading without human intervention). For example, make sure large suppliers can communicate in their preferred electronic language (EDI/XML). Help smaller suppliers go electronic by utilizing a tool to convert the PDF invoice they send you today to electronic data (without using old OCR technology). Give all suppliers access to a portal to look-up invoice status, or discuss a specific invoice on demand. Also look at partnering with an invoice automation software provider that can help you develop targeted campaigns to enable suppliers to go electronic – as suppliers benefit from sending e-invoices too.
- Pepper in Scan & Capture: If your goal is to serve up faster payments, you must prevent invoices from being delayed due to de-centralized receiving, lengthy approval workflows and unnecessary complexities in business processes. The key to doing this is by processing ALL invoice types electronically. But wait, you still have suppliers sending paper invoices and you don’t want to adopt costly, time-intensive in-house scanning processes? No problem. Choose an invoice automation software provider that offers supplementary scan and capture services, so that you can outsource this costly step while still using the same suppliers and receiving true e-invoices.
- Stir in Collaboration with Purchasing: Invoice automation software can only get you so far in terms of efficiency, streamlined operations and business transformation. Automation should really start before an invoice is even created – with e-procurement. Don’t sell your business goals short by not looking at solutions that automate the full life cycle of an invoice from order to payment. Financial reporting and spend control is much more accurate and achievable when the purchasing of goods and services is also automated within the software solution. This gives full visibility into the liabilities a company has, as well as budget usage, contract compliance, inventory control and a host of other cost-saving benefits. Look for a provider that offers procurement to pay solutions – even if you want to just start with invoice automation software for now.
- Bake in Financing Services: Minimize risks and optimize current capital by looking at invoice automation software solutions that transact over an open B2B network. These networks offer powerful layers of add-on services from supply chain financing to dynamic discounting to virtual card payment programs to help suppliers get paid faster and enable buyers to hold on to the right amount of working capital. Don’t look at solutions just for today, but think about what your company will need for tomorrow and make sure you can scale accordingly.
Selecting the right invoice automation software is not an easy task, but by balancing your specific requirements with the flexibility and scalability of solutions, you’re cooking with gas. Read our eBook 6 Steps to e-Invoicing Success for a deep dive into understanding e-invoicing, building a business case and successfully implementing invoice automation software at your organization.