Before we get into invoice automation, let’s ask ‘does your body speak to you’?
If we experience persistent pain or discomfort, it may be a sign of an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed. Our body communicates with us through our emotions and feelings. By recognizing these signs, we can take steps to improve our overall well-being.
Similarly, invoice automation also speaks to us in different ways. It could be signs of performance, non-performance, bottlenecks, points of failures and discrepancies, analytical inputs on missing deadlines, etc.
Sounds relatable? YES, MAY BE, but you’ll surely not find a ‘NO.’
When it comes to invoice processing, different departments, including procurement, finance, and operations receive invoices in high volumes from different input sources. However, these invoices either remain invisible or are fraught with errors due to lack of standardization in the process. The cost that organizations incur is compounded with the loss of early payment discounts, late payment penalties, and damaged vendor relationships.
Anchoring the Health of Invoice Processing via a Robust Dashboard
Invoice automation should be done in a way, wherein all the key elements and metrices are recorded and further used to provide meaningful information as a part of intuitive and interactive dashboards. Creating segmented dashboards that are tailored to specific user roles and expectations can provide a more personalized and relevant view of performance metrics. By segmenting dashboards based on operational and functional aspects, businesses can provide specific teams or individuals with the data and insights that are most relevant to their roles and responsibilities. Moreover, these dashboards help in identifying well-performing areas and spot improvement zones.
Let’s take a closer look and understand how dashboards speak.
Real-time Status Updates
Color-coding is a powerful way to visually represent data in a dashboard. Using conventional traffic light colors, such as red, yellow, and green to indicate the status of key metrics can help users quickly identify areas that require attention. For example, if an invoice is overdue, it can be highlighted in red to alert the user that action needs to be taken. Similarly, if an invoice is in process, it can be highlighted in yellow to indicate that it requires further attention. And, if an invoice is approved and paid, it can be highlighted in green to indicate that it has been successfully processed.
By using a rule-based system to apply these colors, businesses can automate the process of highlighting key metrics, saving time, and reducing the risk of human errors.
AI-powered dashboards can provide stakeholders with deeper insights into the invoicing process by allowing them to drill down on specific parameters and analyze data at a granular level. This can help identify patterns and trends that might not be immediately available when looking at high-level metrics.
For instance, knowledge workers can use AI-powered dashboards to analyze the average processing time for invoices and identify bottlenecks in the workflow. They can also use the dashboard to identify the root causes, leading to rejection of invoices, including missing information or incorrect data entry.
By providing data-driven insights through AI-powered dashboards, businesses can make informed decisions about how to optimize their invoicing process and improve efficiency. This can lead to cost savings, improved cash flow, and better relationships with suppliers and customers.
Proactive Alerts and Notifications
Proactive alerts and notifications push signals in case of potential problems or conditions, which are against the predefined rules. For example, if an invoice has an incorrect shipping address or pricing information, the dashboard can flag this and send an alert to the responsible user, allowing them to make the required amendments before sending it to the next logical task. This minimizes the risks of errors and delays while enabling users to ensure that invoices are processed with accurate information in a timely manner.
Dashboards help with exception management, allowing stakeholders to identify invoices that require additional attention due to errors or discrepancies. This includes highlighting invoices that have been either rejected or require additional rounds of review, allowing users to identify and resolve the issues.
By providing stakeholders with real-time visibility into the invoicing process, dashboards can help businesses stay on top of exceptions and ensure that all invoices are processed accurately and efficiently. This helps enhance efficiency and accuracy in the overall process, and ultimately, improve the bottom line.
Users can leverage dashboards to send automated reports and newsletters to stakeholders based on different matrices, such as daily, weekly, and monthly. These reports are typically short, batched, and scripted which helps knowledge workers manage their tasks better. For example, if there is a backlog of invoices waiting for approval, the dashboard can notify the stakeholder to plan their day and take appropriate action to resolve it.
Dashboards can be leveraged to keep a check on various compliance-related requirements. Compliance managers get an overview of their regulatory compliance issues in a display format. The dashboard shows key metrics, such as the number of compliance violations and the status of compliance audits. This information helps clearly understand the health of a compliance program and stay on top of regulatory changes.
The Way Forward: Say Hello to a Healthy Invoicing Process
As the adage goes, “If you listen to your body when it whispers, you won’t have to hear it scream.” Similarly, assess your invoice processing now, invest in an ideal solution, and make your way towards a healthy process that empowers you to flourish in the long run. Choose a solution that comes integrated with intuitive dashboards, gives you end-to-end visibility into invoices and payment status, and enables you to drive better business outcomes.