Keys to Improving Your Accounts Payable Approval Process

Having a functional, efficient accounts payable department is critical to your business, and there are ways in which you can improve the accounts payable approval process to make your business more efficient and profitable.

Here are a few key things to consider to improve your accounts payable approval process. 

Make Sure Information is Accurate

It is critical to only pay the invoices that are legitimate and accurate. Before you begin the approval process for payment, remember to check that the invoice reflects what the company ordered, has the company received the goods or services that appears on the invoice? And are the costs and calculations correct? Does the price and quantity match? Has a PO number been included? If you ensure that the details are correct, if they are not- look for a system that will automatically send it back to the supplier if it is incorrect.  Having these accuracy check points will give you peace of mind that your accounts payable process is accurate. 

Set-up Automated Limits

Although automation can help keep the accounts payable process streamlined, there are also times when having manual intervention is necessary. By automating the process, you can consolidate steps and centralize information to reduce errors and redundancies, but you can set automation limits that call for manual completion of tasks, such as approvals. It might be worth setting automation limits on certain quantities. For example, if the PO #, quantity, and price match then it automatically matches if the value is under $5000 and goes through automatically.  For PO’s over $5000 it would still need to go for approval, with a point of human intervention for final approval. It is important to have human intervention at various points to ensure the process continues to run efficiently. 

Set Up Payment Reminders 

Stay on top of payment deadlines with payment reminders. Your accounts payable department is likely very busy, managing various timelines and although it is a small step, reminders are essential to make on time payments. 

Identify Missing Approvals

Consider creating an approval channel and multi-stage approval workflows with the approved information. These are rules that are designed to ensure the proper invoices are going to the right people for approval. After an invoice has been coded and matched to a purchase order, it will be directed to a named approver for the next step. These workflows will not only keep the process streamlined, it will also help you identify where you are missing approvals, and help you fill the gaps. 

Pass Approved Information into Your Finance System

By adopting a more streamlined accounts payable process, you can have your approvals flow seamlessly into their financial system, versus having to add it manually. If you are looking for more ways to improve your accounts payable process, or bring invoice automation to your accounts payable team, connect with us.