5 Steps In The Invoice Automation Process For Small Business

Invoice automation can become a crucial part of any business’s financial health. Invoice finance can save your business money, and managing them properly presents an imperative step. There are many invoice processes that are important for businesses to maintain accurate financial records. Due to the depth of such processes, many businesses look for invoice automation solutions. As a small business financial professional, you should be familiar with this myriad of invoice processes. Therefore, you may be searching for invoice automation process solutions. Read on to discover the steps in the invoice automation process for small businesses.

Workflow Customization

Workflow customization presents the first step in setting up invoice automation processes for a small business. Any worthy automation platform should allow users to create custom workflows. This allows you to tailor these workflows to the specific needs of your business and its clients. Doing so will mitigate the risk of exceptions and disputes. In addition, automated exception handling will reduce system leakage. Moreover, many platforms allow incorporation of branding, keeping your brand consistent across invoices. Absolutely, customizing workflows demonstrates the first step in the invoice automation process.

Automate Data Input

Automating the data input process demonstrates the second step to automating invoice processing. Entering invoice details by hand is both tedious and time-consuming. Therefore, electronically capture invoice data from wherever it may be found. Some examples include scanners, business email platforms, and import folders. Electronic data capture will allow the quick and easy retrieval of valuable Accounts Payable data. Such data can include invoice number, date, amount, taxes, due dates, and other details. In addition, digital storage will streamline the process of importing financial data. Surely, automating data input presents a second step in the invoice automation process.

Data Validation

Validating the inputted data presents a third step in automating invoice processing for your small business. Besides being tedious and time-consuming, manual data input is also prone to potentially costly errors. Many automation systems are equipped with handwriting recognition systems such as optical character reader. This allows them to quickly, easily, and accurately capture data. This way, you can improve the project cycle time as well as the output of work. Additionally, the risk of clerical error drops to near zero and data consistency is maintained. Indubitably, validating data demonstrates a third step in the invoice automation process.

Consolidate Invoice Management/Processing

Consolidating your invoice management and processing procedures demonstrate a fourth step in the invoice automation process. The International Accounts Payable Professionals Association (IAPP) states that 64.7% of members see centralization as important. Doing so will keep all the relevant data in one place, simplifying methods of access to it. In addition, this will also mitigate the risk of data being lost or otherwise omitted due to error. If there are invoices in multiple locations, this becomes more of a prudent decision. Definitely, consolidating invoice management and processing presents a fourth step in automating invoice workflows for your small business. You can also improve your overall business workflow by hiring a small business accountant.

Reporting & Analytics

Reporting and analytics present a final step in automating invoice workflows for your small business. The responsibility of identifying potential issues and predicting future data falls to you as a member of your business’s Accounts Payable team. The many reporting reconciliations of your automation process display methods of doing so. Analytics, dashboards, and reports will allow you to analyze spending and suppliers, as well as perform compliance checks. In addition, these analytical tools will increase in value as your small business grows due to the increasing financial value of assets. Certainly, reporting and analytics demonstrate a final step in the invoice automation process for small businesses.

Invoice automation processes can be invaluable to businesses, especially small businesses, due to the elimination of error risk, among other factors. The first step in implementing such processes involves creating a custom workflow specific to your needs. Automating the data input processes presents a second step. Validating and verifying this inputted data demonstrates a third step in the invoice automation process. Fourth, consolidate all your business’s invoice and accounts payable data so it can be accessed easily. Finally, use various analytics and reporting tools to keep your finances in check. When wondering how to implement invoice automation processes for your small business, consider the steps above.

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