Five Ways to Ensure Your Invoice Process Works for You

Naomi Hamlin |

Times of uncertainty create an opportunity to review your financial processes, shift how you do things and to look at what works – and what doesn’t. The secret to riding out a storm is to remain flexible to change and create processes that increase efficiency, save time and give you more visibility into spend.

In a recent GBTA survey 96% of businesses describe the impact of Covid-19 as “significant” to their business. Budgets are being squeezed and, wherever possible, cash flow needs to be preserved and businesses still need to be paid. Which makes this a good time to speed up and streamline invoice capture, approvals and processes. Here are six things you can do to ensure you invoice processes continue to run smoothly during a time of disruption.

1. Do Things Digitally

A digital invoice process eradicates the pain of trying to track down the right person to deal with an invoice, when popping over to their desk is no longer physically possible. Automatic prompts are sent digitally to the right people to review and approve invoices, so you don’t have to worry about chasing around.

2. Duplication and Fraud

Now, more than ever, it’s important to stay ahead of any fraudulent invoices that might slip through the net. This isn’t a problem with an automated system which will scan for unusual or duplicate supplier or order details, as well as noticing when an invoice isn’t matched to a Purchase Order. Ultimately, it improves accuracy and saves time by sifting out only those invoices that require manual review.  

3. On-The-Go Approval

A mobile app allows users to review invoice details and approve purchases from home and send it on to the next person, or alternatively assign it to an alternative approver in their absence. A process that can drag on for weeks, especially if people are working from home and more difficult to contact, can be reduced to a few hours.

4. Automate Policy Adherence

At a time when people are being asked to work under extraordinary conditions, it’s important to ensure that out of the ordinary spend isn’t automatically processed. Automation allows you to introduce extra controls and configurations to ensure this doesn’t happen and guarantee adherence to policies. You can also build triggers and alerts into your system to reduce the risk of overspending and allow employees to check the status of their invoices.

5. Keep It Personal

Even in these unsettled times, your suppliers still need to be paid. Or if they are not going to be paid on time or via the usual channels, you need to communicate that to them at the earliest opportunity.

6. Trend Spotting

Managing supplier invoices is not an island within an enterprise’s spend management. When this data is integrated with employee expense claims and travel spend, a business gains greater visibility into which departments need more budget, where are there surplus funds to redistribute, where better deals could be struck with often-used suppliers and any areas of overspending.

The Full Picture

Concur Invoice gives you visibility while speeding up payment times, so you can avoid late payment fees and manage spend proactively. Most importantly, it integrates with SAP Concur Travel and Expense solutions, in one single, connected process, creating an even greater insight into company-wide spend.

SAP Concur solutions reach even further, with targeted partner apps that bring much needed automation and control to everything from VAT reclaim and mobile spending to industry specific tax and regulatory requirements.

Finally, a large, global network of support teams is on hand to ensure that your business comes through this time unscathed and stronger than ever.

To learn more about how to streamline your invoice and AP processes register for our webinar taking place on 14 May at 10.30am or sign up to receive the recording.