Accounting automation has come a long way in the last few years, and the process of handling invoices and receipts is included in those changes. No longer is there a mountain of paperwork to manage. In this article, we’ll explain some of the changes in this area.
Many invoices are now sent electronically, often through email or from accounting system to accounting system. Some accounting systems allow the invoice document, usually in PDF format, to be attached to the transaction in the accounting system. This feature makes it easy for vendor support questions as well as any audit that may come up.
Some systems are smart enough to “read” the invoice and prepare a check with little or no data entry. Others are able to automate three-way matching – this is when you match a purchase order, packing slip, and invoice together – so that time is saved in the accounts payable function.
Today’s systems allow you or your bookkeeper to scan or take cell phone photos of receipts – whether cash or credit card – and then “read” them and record the transaction. This type of system cuts down on data entry and allows the accountants to focus on more consultative work rather than administrative work.
Some vendors will email you receipts, so all you have to do is use a special email address where your accountant is copied or forward the receipt as you receive it.
The biggest challenge for business owners is getting into the habit of photographing the receipt and sending it to the accountant. The days of shoebox receipts are not completely over, but cloud-savvy business owners are definitely enjoying the alternative options of today’s paperless world.
Some systems automate bill approval. This is especially handy for non-profits or companies with a multi-person approval process. It cuts down on approval time and the time it takes to pay the bill.
Here is a short list of new systems that automate a part of the vendor payment or receipt management system. There are many more, in addition to your core accounting system, and all of them have different features, platforms, software requirements, integration options, and pricing.
If you are interested in finding out more about automating your accounts payable invoices or receipts, please reach out anytime.
About the Author - Patrick Dolan received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Western Michigan University in 1997. Mr. Dolan is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Forensic Accountant and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Illinois Certified Public Accountants Society. Mr. Dolan has over 15 years of accounting and audit experience. His areas of expertise include audits, reviews and compilations of privately held and not for profit entities.