< Back to blog

Simple invoice approval software: Automating workflows

Successful mature businesswoman in glasses smiling, using laptop and doing some paperwork at the office. People, business, career concept

Managing invoices gets overwhelming, especially as your company grows. Inefficiencies in your invoice approval process hurt your bottom line. 

But with the right tools, you’ll stop worrying about approvals. In the content of this blog, you’ll explore:

  • The benefits of invoice approval software.
  • Invoice approval best practices.
  • How to choose the right software.

Let’s dive in!

What is an invoice approval software?

Invoice approval software is a digital tool that automates the approval process for the invoices you receive. It manages invoices from vendors and suppliers so that you:

  • Can review the owed amount.
  • Obtain the necessary approvals.
  • Boost operational efficiency.

This software connects with accounting systems for seamless workflow management that reduces manual coding and simplifies operations. 

Implications of invoice approval software on accounts payable processes

Common issues with accounts payable workflows include:

  • Dealing with paper invoices.
  • Manual data entry in tools like Excel.
  • Ensuring compliance with business rules. 

An invoice approval system simplifies your processes as it:

  • Automates data entry.
  • Reduces errors and duplicate payments.
  • Enhances visibility into accounts payable.

Understanding automation in the invoice approval process

When you automate your invoice approval process, you improve efficiency. Once your system receives an invoice, it matches them automatically with purchasing orders. 

Your software then routes them for approval based on predefined business rules. This is useful for project management, where scheduling and shipping resources are crucial.

Your software also sends notifications and reminders to approvers for prompt turnarounds. This works to accelerate invoice processing times for your accounts receivable team.

As a result of automation, you ensure better financial management and cash flow. 

Why do businesses leverage digital approval tools?

You need to optimize operations and reduce costs to stay competitive. The best way to accomplish this is to digitalize invoice approval using software. This standardizes the invoicing process, which reduces processing costs and saves time.

With examples like webinars and online training, your employees can use digital tools anywhere, whether it’s through a cloud-based app or a mobile device.

Streamlining vendor relationships through digitalization

Maintaining strong relationships with vendors is crucial for any organization. Software improves vendor relationships as it:

  • Ensures timely payments.
  • Provides visibility into the approval process. 
  • Ensures adherence to business rules and workflows.

The role of invoice approval software in cost savings

By automating your invoice approval process, you cut down on manual data entry and administrative tasks for your employees. 

This reduces errors and processing costs as it improves your: 

  • Budgeting. 
  • Cost control.
  • Expense management.

Achieving complete control over the entire process

A good software gives organizations complete control over their invoice processing. For example, the best invoice approval software lets you implement features like customizable approval hierarchies and real-time invoice tracking. This way, you can verify every invoice before making any payments.

Benefits of invoice approval software

An invoice approval software is your most vital partner (MVP) when it comes to boosting operational efficiency. Let’s dive deeper into its main benefits. 

Averting late duplicate payments with software assistance

Whether you’re a contractor or you own a manufacturing firm, late and duplicate payments from customers drain your resources.

Thankfully, software uses automation to match your invoices to your purchase orders. This:

  • Enhances overall business productivity.
  • Improves cash management.
  • Ensures timely revenue management.

How invoice approval systems ensure complete visibility

Another main benefit of using software is that it offers complete visibility. You can track invoices in real time and centralize all your information in one place. 

Enhancing the finance team’s real-time transaction visibility

With the right software, your finance department can monitor transactions in real time. This boosts your team’s efficiency and ensures accuracy in financial transactions.

It also improves financial controls and facilitates better decision-making with accurate data. As a result, you can refine your: 

  • Auditing. 
  • Tax management. 
  • Forecasting.

Key features of invoice approval software solutions

In this section, you’ll explore some crucial features of invoice approval software.

Examining business rules and workflows within the software

Every organization has its own set of business rules and workflows. The best software lets you customize these rules to give you a system that aligns perfectly with your needs.

The advantage of tracking details on every step of the process

Software offers granular insights into every step of the approval process, from submission to final payment. This lets you identify bottlenecks and roadblocks to improve the efficiency of your services.

Analyzing the permissions

Security is non-negotiable when dealing with financial transactions. Your software lets you authenticate secure access with controls and permissions. This means that only users that you’ve authorized can approve invoices.

Invoice approval best practices

By leveraging approval software, companies ensure a seamless way to systematize their invoices. Here are some best practices to consider:

The importance of automating AP as much as possible

Automating your accounts payable (AP) process saves time and improves productivity. AP automation:

  • Reduces errors and duplicate payments. 
  • Speeds up invoice processing times. 
  • Allows for real-time tracking of invoices. 
  • Facilitates compliance with regulations leaving an audit trail.

Documenting and defining approvals using software

Clear documentation and a well-defined approval process are crucial for business efficiency and compliance. Designated software:

  • Provides templates and forms that standardize your invoice approval process.
  • Offers customizable approval hierarchies to route invoices to the correct approvers.
  • Streamlines the approval process, ensuring that you’ve attached all necessary documents and data to each invoice.

To refine and improve the invoice approval process, measuring key metrics for analysis is essential, as doing so:

  • Provides comprehensive reporting and analytics: This lets managers gauge the time invoice approvals take, identify bottlenecks, and streamline workflows.
  • Increases accuracy in financial transactions: Real-time data entry and automated checks ensure that financial records remain accurate and up to date.

Integrating finance automation software with existing tools

For a holistic approach to finance management, integration is key. Good software integrates with existing finance systems for seamless data flow. For example, connecting with your inventory management system, ensures that your invoice items always match your shipped inventory.

When you synchronize it with other systems, apps, and processes, finance automation software also facilitates better task management for delegating your team. 

The necessity of separating invoice approval and payment duties

It’s crucial to separate invoice approval and payment duties. Good software:

  • Ensures proper documentation and audit trails: You can log every step, clearly showing who approved an invoice and who made the payment. This also simplifies the dispute resolution process.
  • Enhances the efficiency of the finance team: Defining roles allows for seamless collaboration among teams so that there are no conflicts as you coordinate tasks.
  • Offers secure access controls and permissions: This means only authorized users have rights and permissions to approve invoices or release payments.

Guide to choosing the right tools for automated invoice approval workflow

With the numerous options available in the market, choosing the right software can be tough. Here are some key aspects to consider.

Evaluating software based on business-specific needs

Every business has unique needs. You should evaluate yours before deciding on a software solution. Selecting one that aligns with your requirements and workflows is essential. 

Considering software compatibility and integration capabilities

Ensure that your software integrates seamlessly with your existing accounting systems and other tools. This makes implementation easier and gives you a comprehensive overview of your operations.

Understanding the importance of scalability in selection

As your business grows, your needs evolve too. So, you’ll need software that supports scalability as business grows.

The ideal software can manage increased transaction volumes, users, and features without compromising on efficiency.

Is Method the right invoice approval software for you?

Method is the best invoice approval software tailored to modern business needs. Here’s why:

  • Powerful two-way sync with QuickBooks and Xero for smooth workflows.
  • Real-time tracking of every invoice, from creation to final approval.
  • Customizable workflow defined by your unique business rules so that every invoice follows the correct approval hierarchy.

Key takeaways

Good invoice approval software plays a huge role in simplifying your accounts payable process and enhancing vendor relationships. 

Method is a popular software choice as it offers: 

  • Invoicing workflow automation.
  • Seamless integration capabilities.
  • Real-time invoice tracking.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How does invoice approval software impact vendor relationships?

Invoice approval software simplifies your payment process, ensuring timely and accurate payments to vendors. This: 

  • Fosters trust. 
  • Reduces disputes. 
  • Strengthens vendor relationships.

What metrics should be tracked to measure invoice approval efficiency?

Here are some metrics you can track to validate invoice approval efficiency:

  • Approval cycle time: The time taken from invoice receipt to approval.
  • Error rate: The percentage of invoices with errors or discrepancies.
  • Number of manual interventions: Instances where manual checks or corrections were needed.
  • Vendor query rate: How often vendors inquire about payment statuses.
  • Percentage of on-time payments: The proportion of invoices paid by their due date.

How to choose an invoice approval software that best fits a business’s needs?

When selecting your software, consider:

  • Integration capabilities: Make sure it can integrate seamlessly with existing accounting systems and business tools.
  • Customizability: The software should adapt to your specific business rules and workflows.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, your software should be able to handle increased volume.
  • Security features: Ensure robust security measures to protect sensitive financial data.
  • User-friendliness: An intuitive interface reduces the learning curve and improves your ability to configure a seamless business system.
  • Cost: Review the software’s price against its features, ensuring it offers value for money.

Ready to transform your invoice approval workflow? 

Start your free trial with Method.

Image credit: Kostiantyn via Adobe Stock

Streamline your business with Method

Start your free trial — no credit card, no contract.