The Ultimate Guide to Automated Invoice Processing Software
Managing invoices can be hard and confusing—especially when you’re manually keying figures into Excel from the dozens of invoices in your inbox.
And that’s where automated invoice processing tools come in. They help you move all that data so you can manage invoices faster and more efficiently.
But before you get started working with one, you need to understand:
- What automated invoice processing entails,
- How automated invoice processing works,
- The benefits of using automated invoice processing software, and
- How to choose the option that’s ideal for your organizational needs
Learn how to transform your invoice processing by using the tool built just for your needs.
What is invoice processing?
invoice processing is the process of using software tools to automatically capture invoice data from AP invoices, transfer that data into your accounts payable system, and process it for eventual settling.
As the name implies, automated invoice processing is all about managing the invoice processing sequence with software tools that eliminate direct human input in the process.
And why? Simply because it’s faster, more efficient, and handles sensitive financial data more accurately. But that still doesn’t tell us much about the software, the tool that makes it all possible.
What is an invoice processing software?
An invoice processing software is a suite of software tools and programs designed to manage the invoice processing sequence end-to-end. It collects data from invoices and transfers it into the accounts payable system where it gets settled.
This is significantly faster and more secure than manual, human-managed invoice processing.
Benefits of using automated invoice processing software
The essence of using software has always been to augment human capabilities or to replace them entirely
It’s because the software is more accurate, exhibits no bias, and can manage mind-numbing volumes of data easily.
Here are some of the benefits you can get from leveraging automated invoice processing software for your organization.
Unlike human-managed processes where an agent has to wrangle through spreadsheets and pick out line after line of entries in invoices, slowly verifying to ensure figures are all correct, the software doesn’t need to.
Using advanced tools like OCR, automated invoice processing software can churn through hundreds and thousands of invoices, extracting data and feeding it into where it needs to be.
This frees up essential finance staff to focus on higher stakes work vs. spending hours on end reconciling invoices.
Eliminates manual human input
No matter the field in question, manual human input is where errors and challenges come from in the first place.
For instance, manually processed invoices tend to be unusually slow as finance agents have to verify every figure before approving.
But an automated invoice processing software changes all that. Using software reduces the need for direct human input in the invoice processing sequence, thereby limiting errors of all kinds.
The larger the volume of invoices an organization processes manually, the wider the net gets for fraud and all kinds of unethical financial practices.
But automated invoice processing software proves a reliable tool to curb them.
Using techniques like three-way matching, automated invoice processing software can detect and help foil any attempt to target your organization with invoice fraud.
Automated invoice processing software directly replaces all the extra heads you’d have to employ to keep a manual accounts department running.
Even when it’s priced at a few thousand dollars annually, an automated invoice processing software quickly pays for itself by cutting the need to have several accounts staff working by hand and by boosting the efficiency of your core team.
Likewise, using automated invoice processing software to process invoices faster can help you avoid late payment penalties and unlock cost discounts on supplier invoices.
The cost of manually reconciling invoice processing quickly outweighs the cost of investing in the automated invoice processing software.
Factors to consider when choosing an automated invoice processing software
The verdict couldn’t be clearer: automated invoice processing software empowers you to churn through figures faster and manage invoices faster and more efficiently.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping for an automated invoice processing solution.
How much can you customize it to fit your unique use cases?
No matter how shiny it appears to look on the outside, it helps to check under the hood to see what it’s really capable of.
Any automated invoice processing software you’re looking to invest in should be customizable to fit the different scenarios your organization needs it for.
And how do you guarantee that you get one that’s best for you?
You need to make a detailed analysis of the current challenges you’re facing with processing invoices.
Next, define those challenges in terms of the tools you expect to solve them.
That done, you can go ahead shopping for an automated invoice processing software that you can tweak to meet your unique use cases.
Budget & pricing fit. Fixed or volume-based pricing?
You don’t have an unlimited budget—no one does. But that doesn’t mean you should cheap out on automated invoice processing software.
Given that automated invoice processing software holds the key to managing your invoices more efficiently, unlocking early payment discounts, and greater transparency into the invoice management process, it’s one area you should be ready to invest in.
So, the real question should be, how much you’re looking to invest in a solution and how much value it should deliver to make your investment work for you.
Instantly diving for the cheapest option on the market might seem like intuition but might haunt you if it doesn’t suit your unique use case or is underpowered for your organization’s needs.
Keep budget in mind, but align it with the value you intend to extract. Or simply, don’t be cheap.
Does it fit with your existing systems?
Invoice processing is just one piece of the bigger puzzle that is your company’s finances.
You need that invoicing data synced to your AP and bookkeeping software so invoices are paid and settled on the general ledger.
So, if you’re shopping for invoice processing software, it’s essential to make sure it fits with other tools in your financial tool stack.
And don’t just take anyone’s word for it. make sure you get hands-on with any options you’re considering, tweak it, and generally check out whether it plays well with where the rest of your work is.
That’s non-negotiable for a solution you’ll be using for the long-term.
If you have a team of several developers who are always available to tweak code, wrangle with APIs, and turn one more screw in your software’s code, then it’s okay.
You can go ahead with a super technical automated invoice processing software as long as you have the technical capability to maintain it in the long run.
But if you prefer a simple, easy-to-use system, it’s best to stick with a low code tool like Kissflow Procurement Cloud where you can design your own workflows visually without a single line of code.
Use Kissflow Procurement Cloud for invoice processing magic.
Kissflow is designed around the needs of organizations of all sizes—small, medium, and large.
You want a solution that helps you:
- Spend less time on manually managing invoices,
- Eliminate invoice fraud,
- Use powerful automation and processes without having to code anything,
- Integrate with the tools you already use,
- Guarantees security with the latest industry protocols
Kissflow does it!
From startups to Fortune 500 companies, Kissflow empowers you to automate the entire process of collecting invoice data and feeding it to accounts payable, simply and seamlessly. But it doesn’t stop there.
Kissflow doubles as the all-in-one procurement toolkit that manages invoices, accounts payable, and vendor relationship management right in one place. Try Kissflow Procurement Cloud for free now!