AP Automation

Standardizing your Accounts Payable processes to prevent invoice exceptions

Exceptions in invoices are the bane of many accounts payable professionals’ existence. Causing significant delays and roadblocks to process, invoice exceptions are what every organization faces but hopes to avoid. When organizations rely on traditional manual processes for invoicing, the risk of exceptions heightens significantly. That’s why modern AP professionals are starting to embrace the use of e-invoicing and digital technologies when it comes to their AP processes.

Read on for an overview of how invoices impact your organization and how standardizing your accounts payable process will help you to reduce the likelihood of exceptions occurring.

What are Invoice exceptions?

Most simply, invoice exceptions are any errors that occur when communicating or collecting information and data regarding invoices. The errors can range from having the wrong contact information for a buyer, misquoting the price or quantity of goods sold, or listing incorrect payment dates or terms. Some exceptions are more complex and time-consuming to rectify, while some only cause small hiccups.

Regardless of what the exception is, one thing can be sure — an exception of any size will slow down your operations, impact your cash flow, and cause delays to your processing.

With 62% of AP professionals saying that invoice exceptions are the biggest challenge they face,  finding a solution that helps eliminate the risk is crucial. Today, companies are conducting business on a global scale and need reassurances that their invoicing process is reliable and accurate. That’s where a strong digital platform comes into play. By moving your invoice and procurement processes to a digital format, you can reduce the possibility of human error when entering information, creating a resilient process free from hurdles.

Why should you standardize your AP process? 

When it comes to an effective AP process, repetition is key. When you have a standardized process set in place, it reduces the likelihood of exceptions occurring. Your AP department should have a unified system set in place that handles all aspects of your invoice processing, from the moment you receive a bill to the time you archive the transaction records after completing payment.  

When organizations continue to use traditional or manual methods for invoicing, the approval and payment process is susceptible to many delays. Using humans for processing and reviewing information adds significant time to your system, meaning your timelines will be extended, usually resulting in longer payment times. How does this impact you? Without payment, suppliers can fall behind in deliveries and your cash flow will halt. Luckily, there is a quick and easy solution to creating a standardized AP invoicing process that can help you secure payment quicker and create a better system overall.

The solution: a digital platform that does the work for you

Without payment, your suppliers will fall behind on deliveries, meaning your business will struggle with reduced cash flow. But, with an e-procurement platform, you can expedite the process, allowing you to take advantage of early payment programs. With electronic access, buyers and sellers have instant access to available products, services, and prices and centralize their transaction tracking. This leads to a more secure process, happier suppliers, and quicker approval and processing times for invoices.

To create a truly seamless process, your organization needs the support and intelligence of an advanced digital platform. Many digital solutions are built to help relieve some of the burden by weaving artificial intelligence into their platform. By utilizing e-invoicing and ap automation capabilities from AI, your AP team can save time and energy usually spent on manual processes.

What’s more, with today’s AI capabilities, you can reduce the chances of invoice exceptions occurring, providing you with a stronger and more efficient AP process.

 Aside from the benefits of a more efficient processing system, embracing a digital platform for invoice processing helps you build a strong relationship with your partners. All communication transcripts and history are stored in an online database that is quickly and easily accessible. This transparent view into your conversations and invoice tracking, paired with the insights gained through advanced analytics, helps you create real value from day one.

Using paper and manual methods for processing invoices causes too many problems for your organization. As the world becomes increasingly connected, enterprises need the functionality and support of a digital platform for processing invoices. Embracing a digital-first approach may seem daunting, but your AP department, business partners, and finance team will thank you.

Want to learn more about digitizing your AP processes? We can help! Our blog is continuously updated with the latest insights and best practices associated with embracing a digital platform.

Need some additional support or answers? Our team of experts is standing by, ready to help. Reach out to us today, or schedule a demo to see how we can help you shift your organization in the right direction.

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