Accounts Payable Document Workflow
Every business has suppliers and every business has invoices to pay. Industry surveys indicate that approximately 80 percent of invoices are on paper each of which is processed manually by being circulated to department heads for approval. The average company pays thousands of dollars a year to process invoices and loses money on late-payment fees, missed discounts and more. Any business can benefit from the elimination of the accounts payable (AP) paper processes by replacing them with electronic invoice approval and subsequent electronic storage.
Customer Testimonial: "We scan and retain the entire Accounts Payable using our document management software and I love it. The electronic process saves me, and any type of auditor, a lot of time and frustration.Now I want to push this efficiency down to the entire plant and give access to selective vendors and to some employees."
Customer Testimonial: "FileHold is a great product and is easy to work with. We’ve fully implemented FileHold into our Accounts Payable process and we are seeing some great advantages."
Document management software empowers the conversion of paper documentation into electronic form and immediately into an approval workflow that ensures Accounts Payable documents are approved and processed efficiently at every stage of the process. Enterprise will reduce costs, increase control and maximize efficiencies.
Automating accounts payable with FileHold
In the automated document management software and workflow process all Accounts Payable invoices coming into an organization are processed in electronic form. If the invoice has come in by e-mail it can very simply be dragged into the document management process and a workflow can be initiated. If the Accounts Payable invoice is in paper form it can be scanned with any scanner connected to the document management software and added to an appropriate invoicing AP folder.
Once in electronic form the invoice can easily be put into a workflow and approval process that is integral to the document management software system. The workflow process is simple to use and sends the invoice to one or more reviewers and / or approvers to comment or approve. Once the invoice is approved it is returned to the Accounts Payable department for payment and processing.
The invoice can be kept in electronic from and filed in the document management system as a permanent record. If it is a part of the business process the payment number can be added to the metadata fields for easy search or the payment record can also be added to the folder as an electronic document.
If an accounting system user ever wants to see the original invoice they can use FastFind to search directly from the accounting system into the document management library.
Document tagging (metadata) in an accounts payable workflow
Many accounts payable departments use document management software to approve and pay invoices coming from vendors. An important feature of the workflow process in the document management software is tagging (metadata capture) the documents for easy search and look up at a later date. Each invoice has a unique tagging profile associated with it that is entered manually, by database look up, or by zonal capture in the scanning process. The following diagram is an example of metadata (invoice amount, invoice date, product name(s) and customer name) that may be captured for each invoice entered.
Most organizations will process their invoices by scanning using Zonal OCR. Then the document management software can import the scanned invoices along with the information on the form that was OCR’d such as the information represented in the form above. The information that was zonal OCR’d is automatically extracted into the metadata fields of (for example) the Invoice schema. The software can be configured so that all of your invoices go to the same destination folder in the library so all manual intervention is removed.
The documents can now be processed through a workflow to get additional approval or comment on them. The following options are available: 1. Manually initiate a workflow on a document or 2. Use the “automatically initiate workflow” optional feature to automatically start a workflow in the system.
The workflow template can be set up with the following activities: in the first activity, someone can do a review on a document, if something like an AP code needs to be entered for it. When complete, it goes to the approver, such as the CFO, for approval. It really depends on how the accounting department works, it is possible to add up to 20 activities in the workflow template.
To learn more about document scanning software that integrates with document management software, see our document scanning solutions!