What does an AP automation solution do?

    Automating invoice processing with accounts payable software delivers significant tactical and strategic benefits.

    Automated AP processing solutions achieve these benefits by combining seven fundamental capabilities:


      1. 1.  Scan paper invoices:  Paper invoices are converted to digital format with an AP automation solution.
    2. 2.  Capture electronic invoices:  AP automation solutions capture electronic invoices such as e-mail invoices (including PDF attachments), FTP file uploads and invoices that arrive via a supplier portal, in their native format. Accounts payable automation software also receives invoices that suppliers created by converting (or “flipping”) purchase orders that buyers delivered through their online portal.   
    4. 3.  Aggregate invoices onto a single platform:  Leading accounts payable automation solutions aggregate all invoices onto a single, secure platform, streamlining invoice approval processes and eliminating data silos. Once invoices are aggregated, invoice processing software provides organizations with total visibility into the status of processes, documents and content, as well as compliance requirements.
    6. 4.  Extract and validate invoice data:  As invoices are captured, AP automation solutions extract and validate relevant invoice data against information residing in the buyer’s ERP application or other system of record. Invoices then are matched against purchase orders and/or proof-of-delivery documents.  Matched invoices are posted directly to the buyer’s ERP application by the invoice processing software. 
    8. 5.  Route documents based on pre-established rules:  Any invoices that require review or approval are electronically routed to processes, databases or systems and/or exceptions handling based on pre-configured business rules. Users can define and manage workflows based on their business rules as well as the requirements for the invoice type or supplier. Invoice processing automation also enables buyers and sellers to collaborate online to resolve exceptions.
    10. 6.  Integrate with systems of record:  The best AP automations solutions seamlessly post invoices and related information to the buyer’s ERP or other financial systems to accelerate posting and streamline research.  Invoice processing software can integrate with leading ERPs such as SAP, Oracle, NetSuite, Infor, Sage, PeopleSoft and more. 
    12. 7.  Real-time reporting:  Automated accounts payable solutions provide real-time visibility into the status of invoices. Dashboards in an AP automation solution display configurable charts and threshold options to empower users to manage operations, cash, spend and risks and to adapt to changing business conditions.


    These are the seven capabilities provided by automated accounts payable solutions.