The New World Of Accounts Payable: When Invoices Process Themselves

Chris Rauen

Who would have thought that processing an invoice could be more challenging than building a house?

Well, that might be a stretch, but 3D printing in construction has simplified the home-building process. In fact, there was much hoopla this year over a 3D-printed house that was built in a day! Ask your colleagues in accounts payable if they can commit to that type of turnaround on invoice approvals.

For many organizations, it can still take weeks to process and approve an invoice. Here are a few causes of the processing delays:

  • Invoice is missing a PO number
  • PO line reference doesn’t match the invoice line reference or fall within accepted tolerance (on price, quantity, unit of measure, or tax)
  • PO has incorrect vendor address, or no address at all
  • Invoice has incorrect or missing accounting code
  • Invoice can’t be matched to a goods receipt

These problems are all too common when accounts payable follows manual invoice review and approval processes. There’s just no easy way to match a paper invoice to key reference documents such as contracts, purchase orders, or goods receipt.

That’s why organizations like Infineon Technologies are applying digital transformation to invoice processing, so that invoices can essentially process themselves. When this happens, your costs to process an invoice plummet, as do the invoice errors and exceptions. Equally important, your AP team can spend more time on activities that will help improve business performance: enforcing compliance, strengthening supplier relationships, and improving management of cash and working capital.

It’s a new world of processing potential driven by digital transformation. Today, digital tools not only help you get your house in order, they can make invoice processing a competitive advantage. Treat an invoice as an asset, and you’ll realize new opportunities for breakthroughs in processing efficiency, cash management, and working capital optimization.

Attend our complimentary webinar on September 26 and learn how Infineon, a global semiconductor manufacturer, has unlocked value in payables with e-invoicing, lowering costs, and strengthening supplier relationships.

Learn how organizations are gaining instant financial insights and using them to make better decisions—both now and in the future. Register now for the 2017 Financial Excellence Forum, Oct. 10-11 in New York City.

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Chris Rauen

About Chris Rauen

In his role at SAP Ariba, Chris Rauen educates procurement, finance, and shared services professionals on the business value of accounts payable automation, procure-to-pay transformation, and collaboration via business networks. Chris has addressed these topics at finance and shared services conferences, in articles for trade and business publications, and in blogs for online communities. Chris has more than 15 years of experience in e-payables, and holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.