For many organizations, accounts payable approval workflows remain a tedious, manual process involving numerous emails and follow-up calls to obtain the proper approvals. Unfortunately, this inefficient process makes it easy to lose track of invoices and causes organizations to miss opportunities for payment discounts, souring relationships with vendors and adding unnecessary business costs. By automating AP approval workflows, organizations can build strong vendor relationships and eliminate avoidable costs by processing invoices and paying vendors in a timely manner.
Benefits of Automating AP Approval Workflows
A centralized database and archive of all invoices: With all your invoices in one place, it’s easy to see how many invoices are in queue for action, which user is required to take the next step and to auto-escalate invoices that are inactive.
Ability to automatically route invoices to approvers: Automatically routing invoices based on financial thresholds, vendors or company codes removes the requirement for manual intervention and frees up time for the AP team to focus on other tasks.
Daily email reminders that prompt users to take action: You can send customized email reminders to users (including links to invoices), eliminating the need to manually track down approvals for outstanding invoices.
Visibility into invoice approval status: Being able to see if an invoice is still waiting for approval in a user’s queue makes it easy to find bottlenecks within the approval process.
Increase employee productivity: Your employees won’t have to spend their time chasing down invoice approvals or shuffling cheques and invoices across their desks and can focus on more strategic work instead.
Case Study: The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army’s operations in Canada began in 1882 and it has grown to become the largest direct provider of social services in the country next to the government. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people every day in 400 communities across Canada and Bermuda.
The Challenge: On a daily basis, The Salvation Army receives 900 invoices or approximately 18,500 every month. 40% of these invoices arrive in the mail as paper invoices while 60% arrive as email attachments. Invoice processing at The Salvation Army was decentralized with invoices being sent to approximately 500 different physical locations.
The Solution: The Salvation Army embraced Octacom as their valued invoice processing partner after a comprehensive tendering, evaluation and selection process. Octacom was identified as a company with the needed experience and process know how to deliver a high-quality OCR and accounts payable scanning and data capture process. Octacom was recognized as being “the right fit” for The Salvation Army. Octacom now provides a full front end AP automation service for The Salvation Army’s invoices, including exception management.
The Results: The Salvation Army achieved their goal of creating a centralized AP process that provides high-quality images and accurate invoice index details to their users across Canada within their ERP. This goal was met in a 90-day implementation and without any upfront capital investment. With this new process, The Salvation Army has been able to greatly reduce the hours and efforts that were required in their paper-based environment and are benefiting from the associated savings.
Octacom is a SOC 2, Type II Audited enterprise software and services company focused on document and data automation solutions, including automated data capture. Founded in 1976, Octacom specializes in accounts payable automation and automated invoice processing, among other digital / automated business process outsourcing services.
If your organization is looking to learn more about our solutions and services, please contact us and we would be glad to help.