Swift efficient transport of invoices for OCR processing is key to maintaining your cash flow. Linking invoices with purchase orders, avoiding duplicate payments and getting a quick return are primary to a well run system.
Experience shows there are seven best practices that will ensure invoices are processed swiftly, and you get paid on time. These practices will help your organization avoid collection problems as well as tighten internal controls surrounding invoiceÂ handling.
Seven Best Practices to Efficient Invoice Processing:
- Get invoices into your system quickly.Â Have all invoices sent to ONE centralized accounts payable location. Have local offices scan them to get all data in one place.
- Unique Invoice numbers is a must. Insist that all invoices reflect a proper purchase order number with NO spaces . Return all invoices without the requisite information with an explanation of your needs.
- Avoid duplicate invoicesÂ to avoid having to refund duplicate payments. Â The primary cause of duplicates is multiple vendor numbers. Companies need to ensure accurate invoicing to avoid financial confusion and negative impact on cash flow.
- Make approving invoices a corporate priority. Â Route invoices in an efficient workflow thatÂ has automatic escalations included when an invoice has not been approved within a preset number of days, such as fiveÂ days.
- Resolving disputes is a priority. Donâ€™t let payments languish in a stalled dispute. Â If payment is not made, a second invoice will beÂ sent.
- Standardize all coding on your invoice. Make it clear that your staff must comply, with Â the supporting documentation on hand.
- Pay as close to the due date as your cash flow allows. Do not be tempted to pay a little late to earn some extra investment income.
We recommend that backup information is tangible such as a purchase order, contract, rate card or service document. Before the use of software in accounts payable departments, invoice processing was handled manually via data entry operators capturing information on paper based systems.Â With the advent of built in invoice processing it is possible to build in error prevention, and save time and money.