Late payments are a problem for many UK businesses. In fact, 2018 research revealed it costs small businesses an average £9,000 to recover overdue payments. When incoming invoice management is inefficient it can contribute to this problem - so much so, that the same research found that 11 per cent of SMEs experiencing late payments employ someone to chase them up.

It’s clear that this is an issue for creditor and debtor alike. After all, no business wants the job of paying the bills to take up too much valuable time or resource – the task should be simple, efficient and quick.

Unfortunately, slow, manual and paper-based incoming invoice management often thwart these aims.

When someone has to manually check and validate invoices, request (and chase) approvals, process payments and then file documents in physical storage, it’s a lengthy undertaking. Add to that fielding calls from suppliers chasing payments and the man-hours can really stack up.

Digital invoice management

Yet, managing and storing incoming invoices can be simple, transparent and efficient. A digital invoice manager logs and indexes incoming payment demands in one central system so that different parts of the business can collaborate seamlessly on invoice registration, approval, processing and storage.

What’s more, a central, digitised record of invoices can be rapidly searched and accessed whenever and wherever needed by those with access rights.

A single ‘one truth’ view of all received invoices keeps activities on track, makes it easy to identify where each invoice is within the process, helps reduce errors and keeps activities in step. What’s more, it can be more cost-effective – the time-consuming nature of manual invoice processing makes it a more expensive way of working.  

Counting the cost benefits

Automation within incoming invoice management can also help ensure payments aren’t made late. This isn’t only good for supplier relations, it can mean avoiding late fees; possibly even benefiting from early payment discounts.  

Digitally archiving received invoices is a convenient way of providing a searchable record and quickly generating a view of the business’ outstanding liabilities. When it comes to audit time, digital records help ensure a smoother process.

Companies that digitally transform incoming invoice management can gain the benefits of automation and collaboration in place of manual, paper-based and error prone processes. This makes for a more efficient way of working, better transparency of accounts payable and the potential to realise cost efficiencies. Find out how we can help.

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