Agility means to move quickly and easily. Manual invoice processing is the antithesis of agility. There are multiple points of friction that slow down manual invoice processing and it’s costing your organization time and money.
When implemented correctly, Agile Invoice Processing can address several obstacles at once. It increases accuracy and timeliness, improves visibility and cash flow, allows you to capture discounts, and detect over-payments and duplicate bills, all while reducing processing costs, lost items, late payments, and vendor frustration, and so much more.
But, the key to successful Agile Invoice Processing is flexibility — the ability to be easily modified — and on this point, not all Agile Invoice Processing solutions are created equally.
Agility and Flexibility are Keys to Success
So, you’ve realized the need to automate your over-burdened accounts payable department — good job. But once an invoice has entered a process flow, what happens if you need to make a change? Is your system flexible enough to handle the change in stride, or will you be subjected to the dreaded “complete restart?”
If your AP processor must ask your supplier to resend an e-invoice, then re-import and re-initiate the invoice into the correct process chain, you’re losing time and money, not to mention dampening your AP processor’s enthusiasm for automation and effectively extirpating any productivity gains you’d made.
What Should Agile Invoice Processing Look Like?
Again, it’s all comes down to flexibility: AP processors should be able to move forward and backward through your designed invoice processing flow without issue. They should be able to correct even fundamental invoice data— such as incorrect company codes, or an invoice missing a purchase order — all from within the same process flow. And, flexibility should extend beyond invoice posting. Cancellation is a critical component of any automation solution, as are scalability, adaptability to workflow, and configurability depending on changes in the company.
Agile and Flexible Invoice Processing Does Exist
Agile Invoice processing can increase productivity, enhance transparency, and boost your bottom line, but agility alone is not a silver bullet. For your accounts payable department to reap the full benefit of your investment, your system must also be flexible. Agile and flexible systems do exist, and they should be a non-negotiable when shopping automation solutions.