Invoice Approval Automation: Best Solutions For 2023

An Introduction to Invoice Approval Automation

We all know that time is money, but how many of us actually live up to that mantra? If you haven't yet invested in invoice approval automation software, that's time (and therefore money) going down the drain every single day. There are tools out there waiting for you to use them, so you can focus on what's really important. 

In this guide, we’re covering all the basics of finding the best invoice approval automation software for your needs, and rules to follow for a smooth transition, and how to generally be the best AP professional possible!

What is Invoice Approval Automation?

In essence, invoice approval automation describes digital solutions that eliminate the need for manual approval processes. Instead of emailing an invoice around trying to get approval to pay it, all relevant actions can be completed in one app. It's especially handy for when someone on your team goes on holiday or is working out of office, or if you're concerned about reliability and security. 

Benefits of Invoice Approval Automation

Save Time and Resources: By automating the approval process, companies can reallocate valuable time and resources to more strategic initiatives. No more sifting through paperwork or chasing down approvals.

Enhanced Accuracy: Human error is a thing of the past. Automation ensures that each step of the approval process follows precise parameters, minimizing the risk of mistakes.

Improved Communication: Teams no longer operate in silos. Automation fosters seamless communication, ensuring everyone is on the same page regarding invoice status and approvals.

How Invoice Approval Automation Works

 

Approval Workflows

The workflow of invoice approval automation typically involves a series of predefined steps. This could include initial review, departmental approval, and final authorization. Each step is automated, with notifications and reminders triggered as needed. This ensures a smooth and consistent process, from the moment an invoice is received to its final approval.

Automated Invoice Approval System

The heart of this automation lies in the software and systems that power it. These platforms are designed to integrate seamlessly with existing accounting and ERP systems. They leverage advanced algorithms and rules-based engines to ensure every invoice follows the correct approval path.

 

Implementing Invoice Approval Automation

 

Choosing an Invoice Approval Automation Tool

Selecting the right tool for your business is critical. Consider factors such as scalability, integration capabilities, and user-friendliness. One standout solution in this space is Zahara.

Why Choose Zahara?

Zahara stands out as the best choice for those needing 4-in-1 invoice approval automation. With its intuitive interface and ever-growing feature list, it's tailored to meet the unique needs of businesses across many industries. From customisable workflows to detailed reporting, Zahara empowers companies to take control of their accounts payable processes.

Zahara is designed specifically to expertly handle the four key aspects of the accounts payable process, a 360 solution. There are four main features which should be non-negotiable on your quest for AP freedom. These are as follows: 

Purchase Orders: 

Bringing in a robust purchase order system is the best way to control costs before you commit to any spend. Worthwhile AP software will let you set strict budgets for particular departments and use multi-step approval workflows to decline, amend, or approve purchase orders. 

Invoice Processing: 

Automating your invoice processing is the single most effective thing you can do to speed up your AP function. AP automation tools will help you process your invoices 9 times faster, with less effort on your part. Zahara uses OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology to accurately read your invoices for you, down to the line item.  

Approvals: 

Necessary for full control and visibility of your spending, bringing in approval workflows brings you true peace of mind. With Zahara, they’re infinitely customisable, and you can have an approver ready for every scenario. You can set strict controls for large purchases, without having to bother your CFO every time you buy milk for the office fridge. You can have faith that your business won’t be making any unapproved purchases, while still giving your employees freedom within their budgets. 

Payments: 

The final element that completes the Zahara quartet is payments. You can export your invoices, where they can be grouped together and converted into a payment run. This massively simplifies the payment process because you can still use your existing bank, but without the limitations of making payments straight from your bank account, complete with a full audit trail.

 

Final Thoughts:

Bringing on invoice approval automation into your operations isn't just about efficiency; it's about future-proofing your business. By embracing this technology, companies, just like yours, can position themselves to thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape.

What Next?

For forward-thinking finance teams wanting to stay ahead of the curve, invoice approval automation is a no-brainer. There's no other way (besides dedicating a huge amount of time, resources, and mental energy) to have such a concise and reliable AP function. 

Zahara makes it easy for you to take that next step. You can get in touch with our AP specialists any time to chat about how invoice approval automation could be a game-changer for your team here.

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