Does your invoice approvals process need some attention
Whether you’re about to be short staffed due to people taking summer holidays, or you’d just like to spend less time chasing people, it’s likely that your invoice approvals process could do with some attention. Manual approvals processes are still the norm for many businesses but tend to contribute to overall inefficiency and frustration for those involved at the various stages of the approvals process. So, how could your invoice approval be more efficient?
Options for improving manual approvals processes
If you’re determined to stick to a manual invoice approvals process then it’s worth looking at the points at which invoices currently get stuck. Are they being distributed to a wide range of people for approval and getting lost between one person and the next? Is no one really responsible or accountable for invoice approvals? If you need to improve the way that your business handles invoice approvals manually then there are two basic options:
1. Handle all the invoice approvals yourself. This may or may not be an option for you depending on the size of the organisation and the rest of your workload. However, there’s no doubt that redirecting all invoice approvals to one person will ensure that they are swiftly dealt with – and, if not, then you’ll know the reason why.
2. Nominate specific approvers within the business. If there are others that you trust to handle invoice approvals then set up a system of nominated people who can also handle the invoice approvals process so that it doesn’t all fall on to your shoulders. This should help the process to become more efficient and will also give you a line of accountability if approval rates drop.
Automating invoice approvals
If you’re looking for a truly efficient solution to the need to approve invoices then automating is a simple upgrade. Automating invoices cuts down on the number of manual process involved, creating a clear line of sight between the invoice and the optional purchase order or receipt it relates to, and it defines a chain of authority for approval. There are many benefits to switching from manual to automated invoice approvals for your business, including:
- A flexible system – approvals can be made online and via mobile devices to improve speed and efficiency. No more paper approvals getting stuck in in-trays.
- A paper trail – automated approvals create a digital paper trail that provides visibility at every stage in the process of handling invoices.
- Accounting and cash flow – invoice approvals have a crucial role to play in internal financial management. Switching to an automated system can help to make accounting and cash flow more effective and efficient, which will have a ripple effect right across the organisation.
- Customisable systems – automated invoice approval processes can usually be customised to the needs and demands of the individual business to provide more efficient support tailored to the way that your organisation handles invoice approval.