Paperless Accounts Payable System
Another important component of a paperless accounts payable system is having a cloud-based invoice archive. If invoice data capture is the first part of the automation process, an invoice archive completes the picture!
Once the invoice has been paid, the software retrieves the invoice from the ERP and puts it into a searchable database. Finance administrators can easily search for invoices, and avoid storing paper copies or files in a physical location.
An invoice log provides an audit trail for investigations and audit enquiries. Everything is time stamped and finance administrators save enormous amounts of time being able to retrieve records showing who did what, when, and where. Internal comments and notes are included in this electronic documentation.
Accounts Payable Paperless Workflow
Key to the entire process is an efficient approval workflow. If you are in a paper-based organization, the approval workflow involves email, spreadsheets, phone calls and file folders maintained by accounts payable staff. Vendor invoices are entered into the ERP manually, and the problems associated with missing invoices or manual errors are common.
With a paperless accounts payable workflow, finance administrators have more visibility. They can see the status of invoices in the approval process and where the bottlenecks are.
Approval workflows are controlled by the finance administrators. They can control where invoices are routed with a drag and drop workflow. Once the approval workflow has been determined, non-PO invoices are flowed through to the persons responsible for approving the invoice.
For PO invoices, if the matching engine of the AP software flags an exception, the invoice is automatically routed to the appropriate approver or approvers for reconciliation.
In many ERPs changing a workflow can be expensive, requiring extensive coding and consultant fees. A paperless accounts payable workflow avoids this expense by providing an approval workflow that is flexible and easily rerouted within the software.