Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy, and success for these organizations is built on securing and supporting a strong customer base and valuable vendor connections. But keeping customers and vendors happy can be a challenge—and one of the biggest hurdles is invoicing.
The invoicing process—whether you’re asking customers for payment or paying your own vendors—is too often complex, and it’s made more so when a business prepares and pays invoices manually. If this is your standard operating procedure, then it’s time to consider the many benefits of automated invoice processing.
Today, we’ll discuss how you can automate your invoicing procedures and why embracing such automation is so important for your business.
Modernizing Your Financial Department with Automated Invoice Processing
Modernizing your financial department to include automated invoice processing begins with implementing the right technology, and an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution is a smart choice. With an ERP solution, business-wide data flows into and out of a centralized database, and that updated, synchronized information is available in real time to every member of your team. The right ERP solution should also deliver automated invoice processing as a built-in feature in its financial application.
This capability will allow you and your financial team to rid yourselves of paper and manual-based invoicing procedures, which often lead to human errors, delays, strained vendor relationships, cash flow issues, and more. Automated invoice processing lets you trade these problems in for powerful, business-enhancing benefits, including:
1. Greater Visibility and Accuracy.
With a comprehensive ERP solution, you’ll have a direct sight line into your invoicing process. You’ll know:
- How many invoices are being sent and received.
- How many customers are disputing your invoices and how many vendor invoices you are disputing.
- Which customers are or are not paying their invoices and which invoices you have or haven’t paid.
Such visibility decreases errors and lets you accurately and easily track purchases and revenue from a single solution.
2. Saved Time and Money.
Manually processing invoices is an employee-intensive, time-consuming task. Many steps must be taken, including collecting data, verifying the information on the invoice, getting approvals, routing payments to the appropriate vendor and/or receiving payments from a vendor, and reporting payments for audit purposes.
An ERP solution’s automated accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) workflows reduce human intervention. So, they boost productivity and efficiency as team members shift their attention from gathering and paying money to working on making it.
3. Centralized Data and Document Storage
An ERP solution pulls information from across the organization and stores it in one database. Your team members will no longer need to access separate applications to gather or enter pertinent information. Instead, you’ll have a single, intuitive dashboard from which you can glean and share data quickly and easily.
4. Shortened Processing and Payment Cycles
With powerful automation through the right ERP system, invoice processing time can be reduced from hours or days to mere seconds. Having shortened processing and payment cycles means you get accurate invoices to your customers faster, which should translate into more prompt payments. And paying your own invoices faster will help you build stronger relationships with your vendors.
How We Can Help
Automated invoice processing is a critical feature for today’s businesses, and companies seeking this capability need to ask themselves an important question—which ERP solution delivers the best results? We believe the answer is Acumatica.
Acumatica is a complete, award-winning cloud ERP solution that offers small and mid-sized businesses like yours the Financial Management software they need to thrive in any industry. In addition to automated invoice processing, real-time insights, quick month-end closes, and continuous help with regulatory compliance, Acumatica provides:
- A single source of companywide truth.
- Powerful reporting, both out of the box and customizable.
- 24/7 mobile access to facilitate remote collaboration.
- Unlimited users, so everyone has the data they need when they need it without extra fees.
- International capabilities—including multi-currency features.
Acumatica’s automated invoice processing, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), saves hours of labor and money for our customers. For instance, it helped FSC Lighting cut invoicing time from up to five days to just 20 minutes.
Chad Treadwell, Vice President of Operations at FSC Lighting, says:
Now [our paperwork is] automatically done each day. Acumatica has brought us so much more control over our business. There were times before when invoices were missed [altogether] and that just doesn’t happen anymore.
And for Yuri Durovskikh, IT Manager at Oil Field Services International (OFSi), Acumatica’s automated invoice processing was an absolute necessity.
[Prior to Acumatica], invoicing was based on manual, paper-based work orders and carbon copies. If we invoiced a customer, it was extremely hard and time-consuming to retrieve all the paperwork related to that order. The sales process was lacking transparency as well because invoicing was done after the fact without sales orders being created. Even worse, the field services invoicing process was paper-based and shipped to main office, and only then was the invoice created and sent to the customer.
With Acumatica, OFSi has reduced its invoicing time from 21 days to the same day. Durovskikh says, “Now we can analyze how late customer payments are, who the biggest customer is at any moment, and how much we have in inventory. We didn’t have this information before.”
Like FSC Lighting and OFSi, you can use Acumatica to automate and simplify your invoicing processes. Contact our experts today to learn more.