The key to invoice exception resolution in Shared Services

If you’ve automated your invoice processing, the majority of invoices should either post automatically or enter a workflow. But what happens if you need to manually correct an invoice? This can often be complicated, but it shouldn’t be.

As they say, exceptions are the rule, so exception handling shouldn’t lay waste to your AP staff’s productivity. If your AP staff is stuck doing repetitive exceptions resolution, they won’t able to focus on more important, complicated, and strategic tasks. Enter robotics in accounts payable.

Exceptions resolution: A threat to economies of scale

What about exceptions resolution in a shared services environment? According to IOFM, 24% of accounts payable departments now operate as part of a regional or global shared services organization. The move to centralize AP operations may have consolidated seven offices into one — and that’s great — but often, exceptions resolution processes differ by business unit.

What then? Are your AP processors required to know the exceptions resolution process for each and every business unit? This would increase training time and costs, not to mention diminish your accuracy. Or, will you designate an AP processor for every business unit? Will you hire more processors each time there’s an acquisition? Neither strategy is ideal.

Extend the reach of what you already have in place

The answer lies not in hiring more staff, but in equipping existing AP staff to handle invoices for multiple business. An AP automation solution that offers guided intervention will empower AP processors to handle exceptions for invoices from various business units — not just for their own units.

What might this guided intervention look like?

When an invoice needs attention from an AP processor who’s unsure about the next step, the AP automation solution would guide him or her on the correct action based on what the company has established as best practice. Easy and effective.

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