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Like magic: 5 ideas for automating invoice approvals
Digital processes help make the invoice approval process much faster and easier. Many steps can run – almost magically – in the background. That's because automatic workflows distribute and check invoices according to fixed rules you can set up beforehand. Know all the possibilities that DocuWare offers you for creating magic. Be inspired by these five ideas.

1. Automatically detect errors

There are ways to ensure that only perfectly correct invoices enter your approval processes. A digital workflow can, for example, automatically check whether important information, such as GST, is available on an invoice. It can also determine whether the final amounts are correct concerning the GST shown or whether an invoice is a duplicate. For this purpose, the AI technology reads and checks all incoming invoices automatically as soon as they are stored. If the workflow detects errors, you’ll receive a task notification and can jump in to correct it.

Error-free: Duplicates are automatically detected.

2. Automatically assign invoices

In the past, paper invoices would go from one person to another. Nowadays, just a click of a mouse identifying the appropriate people in the chain or cost centres is sufficient to send invoices for approval. It’s even quicker if the same individuals consistently review a specific vendor’s invoices: you can utilize the choice to assign predefined approvers and distribute invoices to them via automatic workflow. Another advantage of speedy approval processes: If someone is on holiday or unable to approve the invoice, it’s sent automatically to their replacement.
Straight ahead: Anyone needing to approve an invoice gets them without manual intervention.

3. Approvals automatically steered to multiple parties

For invoices with higher amounts, a multi-stage approval process is often necessary. You can manage this by setting user-specific approval limits. When someone checks an invoice exceeding their limit, it escalates to another person automatically, such as a supervisor. Also another option is establishing a general threshold value so a department head continuously checks invoices.

4. Direct to booking – thanks to fully automatic approvals

The fastest approval processes are fully automatic. Again, there are several possibilities. On the one hand, by matching invoices with data from other documents. If, for example, provided there is a purchase order, it is used as a ticket for approval, checking that the quantities and amounts match those on the invoice. Of course, you can also specify additional documents, such as a packing slip or inspection report, allowing approval of an invoice via match. Another straight-through processing option is to transfer invoices from certain vendors directly to the posting if they are below a particular value. This “QuickMatch” form of straight-through processing is well-suited, for example, for recurring vendor invoices that arrive monthly in the same amount.

5. Automatically keep track and be reminded

One of the big pluses of digital processing is its transparency. You can use status lists to check which invoices are being worked on quickly and at what stage of the process they’re in. The lists are updated in real-time as soon as the status changes. You can tailor the index settings to suit your organization’s requirements. Plus, the workflow will automatically send reminders to prompt action for any discrepancy.
Get the complete picture with digital lists: They promote transparency. The rules governing your company’s automated invoice processing can be adjusted as needed using the DocuWare Workflow Manager and Task Manager if processes or policies change. For instance, a multi-stage release of invoices may not be necessary initially but may become crucial once a company expands and more people are involved in the approval process.

Author: Carlos Lucia
Experienced Director with a demonstrated history of working in the document management industry. Skilled in sales, business development, document management solutions, marketing strategy, and building new business. Strong background in business finance and passionate about facilitating companies' digital transformations. Co-founder and Director of Docuworx, an Australian company that facilitates the digital transformations of businesses and organisations across Asia-Pacific.