Approval workflow

Palette has a flexible approval workflow with drag and drop functionality, 1-click approvals, and no coding costs!

What is an invoice approval workflow?

An invoice approval workflow refers to the process of approving invoices before the payment is processed. The approval workflow is a very important process that ensures that the invoice is legitimate and there are no discrepancies between the invoice and original purchase documents. 

A typical approval workflow includes the following steps:

  1. Receive invoice from vendor or supplier.
  2. Invoice is verified by the staff member who’s responsible for procuring the specific product or service stated on the invoice. The verification process usually involves matching it with the purchase order (PO), if there is a PO associated with the order.
  3. Irregularities and exceptions regarding pricing discrepancies or missing information such as PO number are flagged. The invoice is sent to the approver who can address and correct the information, and then sent back into the approval workflow after they’ve been rectified.
  4. The invoice is sent for approval to assigned roles. The approver(s) verify the information is accurate and approve the invoice for payment.
  5. Approved invoices are sent to the ERP for recording and payment.
  6. A permanent record of the transaction including an invoice log and time stamped by activity is recorded in the invoice archives, providing a complete audit trail.

“Invoice flows in Palette clearly display where invoices come from and where they are heading, which is very favorable in relation to closure”

Eva Petré Rege •  AP & AR Manager at Coor Service Management

Why choose Palette’s AP invoice approval workflow?

Reduce invoice approval workflow cycle times by half. With an automated approval workflow to relevant roles in your organization, Palette automates the processing of both PO and Non-PO invoices. 

Palette automatically sends invoices to the proper approver, according to pre-set rules. Add approvers to an existing workflow with ad-hoc routing.

Exceptions are flagged, and approvers get a complete package to review including invoice, PO, goods receipt and employee messages.

Palette’s matching engine matches invoices and purchase orders automatically. If the PO and invoice match, the invoice is sent to the ERP for recording. Exceptions are flagged and sent to approvers in the approval workflow for reconciliation.

What is invoice approval workflow automation?

Paper and other manual based processes slow down the invoice approval workflow and are and are prone to human error. Approval workflow automation is a digitized version of the approval workflow that integrates with existing accounting systems, streamlining the invoice approval workflow of both PO and non-PO invoices.

It automatically directs invoices to the designated approver. Invoices are visible in a central dashboard. Invoices and line items can be flagged. If the invoice has a PO, it is automatically matched. Properties of Palette’s automated invoice approval workflow

Benefits of invoice approval workflow automation

  • Automatic notifications and reminders
  • Drag and drop functionality for ad hoc re-routing
  • Visibility into payment/approval status of invoices
  • Email approvals with one click functionality in mobile
  • Approvers get a complete package to review including invoice, PO, goods receipt and messages
  • No expensive coding or user licenses necessary

What role does approval workflow play in AP automation?

The approval process workflow plays an important role in AP automation. There’s a plethora of challenges in a manual invoice approval workflow that is solved by an automatic AP invoice payable workflow. These challenges include:

Wasted time

By having to spend time manually processing invoices such as PO matching, following up on invoices to confirm accuracy, and tracking down missing documents.

Missing documents

When dealing with large numbers of invoices in different formats, making it difficult for AP employees to do their work efficiently.

Slow approvals

Due to invoices end up lying on a manager’s desk or in their email inbox for days or weeks. The process can become even slower if there are multiple approvers and it is not clear who’s responsible for the approval, or at which stage of the workflow the invoice is in. 

Late payments

Stemming from tight bottlenecks in the accounts payable workflow that can sour your relationship with suppliers, cause delays in your own product or service delivery, and late payment fees.

Lack of visibility

That results in a higher exposure to fraud due to far less visibility and control in a manual approval workflow than in an automatic and digitized one. 

Costly human errors

Resulting in invoices being overpaid or underpaid and/or invoice inconsistencies due to manual data entry.

You also might be interested in

Landstar benefits from automated invoice processing with Palette
Landstar System, Inc. is a transportation services company specializing in logistics and more specifically third-party logistics.
4Service chooses to grow with Palette
4Service was founded in 2010 and is one of the Nordic region’s leading providers of facility management services in building, cleaning, property management, personnel restaurants and offshore.
Clas Ohlson Automates AP with Palette
One of Sweden’s best-known retailers, Clas Ohlson, operates around 200 physical stores in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany, and England.

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