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The Shortest Distance Between Invoice Receipt and Payment

Achieving straight-through processing is a goal worth having for your AP department.

When most organizations receive an invoice, it begins a circuitous journey toward ultimate approval and payment. The typical invoice in an enterprise organization includes the following touch points: document preparation, scanning, PO matching, approval for non-PO images, routing, data entry, indexing and filing before it’s considered closed, accruing processing costs along the way that have an average cost of $20.

What if the invoices you receive didn’t have to be touched by all those human hands? What if you could automate the submission, validation, approval, and payment processes and cut the whole journey from weeks to days? What if you could bring your invoice processing costs down from $20 to $2?

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: Straight-Through Processing

The concept of straight-through processing (STP) represents the Holy Grail of enterprise AP departments worldwide, and other organizations that could benefit from eliminating error-prone, manual work and setting new standards of efficiency and productivity. While achieving 100% STP with your invoices may be impossible, companies that use advanced AP Automation tools can get close enough to make the investment deliver big returns.

“Straight-through processing is the North Star for enterprise AP departments,” says Julie Peacock, Senior Director at Direct Commerce. “We realize that some suppliers might not comply with eInvoicing programs, but the vast majority will if you implement a proven onboarding methodology like the one we developed.”

For rare holdouts, hosted imaging services through your AP Automation provider can ensure that all your data is accessible electronically. 

Choose a Provider Who Can Get You to Your Goals

When investigating a comprehensive AP Automation solution, consider these key components:

  • Supplier Portal
    A self-service, web-based interface reduces supplier support costs and tracks and records activity for greater visibility and documentation.
  • eInvoicing
    eInvoicing allows suppliers and employees to enter invoices, check requests, and P-Card transactions into a central system, where they’re electronically matched against purchasing and receiving information. Authorized users can check the status of an invoice and track its progress. 
  • EDI Integration
    This feature securely automates document submission and storage, in an environment that validates information to ensure completeness and accuracy. Make sure your validation rules are configured in advance and built into your implementation.
  • Invoice Workflow
    Electronically available documents—securely hosted in a shared-services center with all related purchasing, invoicing, receiving, and payment information—reduce processing times, decrease errors, and boost operational efficiency.

Trust the Experts at Direct Commerce

If you choose the right partners, enterprise AP Automation initiatives can reduce typical invoice processing costs by 90%, while reducing invoice processing time down from about two weeks to two days. With 20+ years of experience as leaders in the field, these are typical results we see with our clients, who represent some of the largest companies in the world.

If you want to see how close you can come to your straight-through processing goals, email sales@directcommerce.com or call 415-288-9700 and we’ll arrange a free consultation or demo.

Topics: Workflow, Automation, straight-through processing