Ultimate Guide To Streamlining Your Invoice Processing: From Manual To Automation

  • By ProcureDesk

  • 10 min read

In recent years, technology has spurred a significant transformation in how companies handle their finances.

This shift is particularly evident in invoice processing, a crucial aspect of financial operations.

Traditionally, invoice processing has been a manual and labor-intensive task.

However, it’s now transitioning to automation, offering numerous benefits for streamlining financial workflows.

If you’re new to finance operations and curious about this shift to automated invoice processing, you’re in the right place!

In this guide, we’ll explore the importance of invoice automation, from its basic principles to practical implementation strategies.

We’ll start with understanding how invoice processing all began, and how this process slowly shifted from a manual to an automated process.

In addition to that, you will also learn the following:

1. What Is Invoice Processing?

2. Why Is Invoice Processing Important?

3. Manual Invoice Processing

4. Invoice Automation

5. How to Automate Invoice Processing

6. Challenges of Manual Invoice Processing

7. Benefits of Invoice Processing Automation

8. 3-Way Match in Invoice Processing

9. How Invoicing Software Supports Invoice Processing

10. Selecting an Invoice Processing Solution

11. The Transition from Manual to Automated Processing

12. Integrating Automated Invoice Processing with Other Systems

13. Improving Invoice Processing

Our aim in this guide is to empower you with the know-how and tools to smoothly transition from manual to automated processing.

By the end, you’ll grasp how automation can transform your invoice processing, motivating you to develop a more efficient, accurate, and cost-saving automated invoicing process.

Let’s get started!



Chapter 1: Manual To Automated Invoice Processing Systems


Chapter 2: Invoice Processing Basics To Make Finances Easier


Chapter 3: Making Invoice Processing Simple


Chapter 4: Solving Manual Invoice Problems


Chapter 5: Choosing the Right Tools


Chapter 6: Making Systems Work Together


Chapter 7: Tips and Examples for Success


Conclusion: What Is The Impact Of Invoice Processing Automation To Your Business?

Chapter 1

Manual To Automated Invoice Processing Systems

There is a rich history behind invoice processing that dates thousands of years back.

Based on early accounts and research, the earliest forms of invoicing is traced to the ancient civilizations from Mesopotamia and ancient Greece.

It was common for merchants to use primitive methods to record transactions:

1. Merchants in Mesopotamia would carve IOUs on clay tables

2. Ancient Greeks would use clay tablets and later transitioned to scripts to document trade & transactions

The world slowly evolved, and so did invoicing methods.

Artists like Hieronymus Bosch during the Renaissance period would use invoices to request payment for work. Although informal compared to the invoice processing that we know now, these still had the same goal— get paid for a service or for a customer to pay for a product/service availed.

Tracing back from the merchants of Mesopotamia up to the Renaissance period, the early invoicing process and invoices involved did not have any standard formats and were usually handwritten documents.

history of invoice processing


The Early Evolution Of Invoice Processing

These informal and lack of standard formats of invoices all changed as soon as the Industrial revolution started back in the late 18th century.

During this time, there was a demand for a more structured and efficient invoicing systems. As a result, invoices and the invoicing process began to develop into sophisticated formats that required information such as:

  • Buyer and seller information
  • Itemized lists of goods or services
  • Quantities
  • Prices
  • Issuing dates

Although, these invoices were still typically written or printed on paper.

By the 19th century, bookkeeping machines were invented. Pretty much, it changed the game of invoicing as it slowly began to automate calculations and document generation processes.


The Era Of Manual Invoicing Process

Before we even dive all together to the advent of modern technology and automated invoicing process, we think it’s best if you have a good glimpse of manual invoicing process.

The invoicing process used to be manual and time-consuming.

It relied a lot on one thing– paper-based methods.

Invoices were either created by hand, or typed using typewriters.

We won’t even start with letting you imagine how multiple copies were made for record-keeping purposes.

You can do the math!

To break it down to you, here’s an overview of how invoice processing was usually done before modern technology:

Manual Creation

Invoices were handwritten or typed out manually by clerks or accounting staff of companies.

Because of this, this process required a lot of attention to detail to make sure information on invoices was accurate such as item descriptions, quantities, prices, and total amounts owed.

Paper-based Communication

Once created, paper invoices were either mailed or hand-delivered to customers.

This involved additional time and resources for printing, postage, and physical delivery.

Filing and Organization

After sending out invoices, companies would need to maintain organized records for future reference and accounting purposes.

If it weren’t that already obvious, this required a lot of sorting and filing paper invoices in physical folders or cabinets!

Payment Collection

When customers received paper invoices via mail or in person before, they were required to make payments by cash, check, or money order.

Companies would then need to wait for payments to arrive by mail or collect them in person, that resulted to delays in receiving funds.

Manual Data Entry

Once payments were received, the accounting staff would manually record payment information and update financial records.

The downside is, that this process was prone to a lot of errors and required careful verification to ensure accuracy.


Before automated invoice processing, accounting staff in companies would typically match invoices with with payments made to the supplier to keep track of what’s owed and spot any errors or inconsistencies in financial records.


The Pros And Cons Of Manual Invoicing

pros and cons of manual invoicing

We must admit—that manual invoicing was not all bad.

While traditional, it also came with its fair share of advantages. Here are some of the advantages of manual invoicing:

Low Cost

Manual invoicing requires little to no investment in software or technology. Because of this, it’s a very cost-effective solution, especially for small businesses or freelancers with limited budgets.

Simple Implementation

The good thing about manual invoicing is that it’s easy to set up and requires no technical expertise.

Anyone with basic accounting knowledge can create and manage manual invoices by simply using pen and paper or basic office software.


Manual invoicing allows businesses to have full control over invoice format, design, and content.

Companies like you can also customize your invoices to suit your branding and specific needs, without being constrained by software limitations.

No Reliance on Technology

Manual invoicing does not need technology or internet connectivity, This makes it a reliable option where using computers or online tools might be limited or unrealistic.

However, the thing is– we can’t deny that manual invoicing also brings a lot of cons to the table.

The manual invoicing process is:

  • Time-consuming
  • Prone to errors
  • Has limited scalability and
  • Is pretty difficult to track.

Not to mention, it might even cause delayed payments to your vendors or suppliers.

While it has its fair share of advantages, it’s important for companies like yours to also weigh in the disadvantages and think through if this can hamper the efficiency of your operations.


Changes In The Market Leading To The Shift From Manual To Automated Invoice Processing

Effects Of The Shift From Manual To Automated Invoice Processing

As the mid-20th century began, electronic data interchange (EDI) systems started to streamline supplier invoice processing.

This was done by enabling trading partners to exchange documents electronically. Because of this innovation, it also increased the speed of completing the invoicing process.

Thanks to the digital age, the internet and modern computing have made it possible to make handling of supplier invoices easier. Businesses also use special software and web applications to manage supplier invoices, and even track them online.

It’s pretty obvious how the processes today are far off compared to the earlier manual process.

Without a doubt, the invoicing process is more faster and effective as a result of the following:

  • Automation: Repetitive tasks such as data entry and reconciliation can now be automated, saving considerable time.
  • Secure Payments: Advanced invoicing systems offer secure payment options that streamline transactions and improve vendor relationships.
  • Enhanced Record-Keeping: Digital record-keeping provides clear audit trails and simplifies compliance.

If you’re wondering what prompted the shift from manual to automated supplier invoice processing…

Here are some of its factors:

  • Technological Advances: Rapid progress in cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning has revolutionized how supplier invoices are managed. Automation tools handle tasks such as invoice creation, submission, and processing, reducing human effort.
  • Globalization and Increased Volume: The rise of global markets and e-commerce has led to a surge in the volume of supplier invoices. Manual processing is too slow to keep up, making automated solutions essential for efficient management.
  • Efficiency and Cost Savings: Businesses strive for faster processes and reduced expenses. Automated supplier invoicing enhances workflows, minimizes errors, and speeds up payments, leading to cost savings and higher productivity.
  • Preference for Digital Solutions: Companies aim to adopt sustainable practices, including reducing paper use. Automated supplier invoicing supports electronic document exchange, aligning with modern environmental and sustainability goals.

Like what they always say…

To move forward with the future, you need to understand how things were done in the past!

When you fully grasp the foundational concepts of invoice processing and its evolution, it becomes easier to understand what it takes to fully optimize your business operations!

Chapter 2

Invoice Processing Basics To Make Finances Easier

In this chapter, we will cover the basics of Invoice Processing.

First, you need to understand what Invoice Processing is, it’s steps, and why it’s important for your company’s financial operations.


What Is Invoice Processing?

invoice processing

Invoice processing basically means managing incoming invoices from the moment they arrive until your company settles it. Generally, it means handling invoices from receipt to payment.

Doing this ensures your company pays your suppliers in a timely manner.

Invoices can actually vary in type, including those associated with purchase orders (PO-based invoices) and those without associated requests (non-PO invoices.)

Most of the time, every organization has specific instructions when it comes to handling invoices. Your company might have a unique set of instructions as well.

Based on the information we get from our customers, invoices are often segregated based on type or dollar amount.

Again, this can be a different case for you.

There are steps involved in the invoice process. Let us break it down for you:

invoice processing steps

Capture and Data Entry

In this step, your company receives the invoice.

These invoices are then scanned or digitized into your invoice processing system (given the fact that you are NOT doing a manual invoicing process.)

This is where Automation software comes in as they can convert scanned images into text-searchable documents.

In addition to that, they can even extract relevant data fields like purchase amount, or even suppliers’ names.

We will discuss more about Automation software in the next sections.

Validation and Approval

Once your data is extracted, this information is validated and matched to supporting documents such as purchase orders or delivery receipts.

Do you know what makes this step important?

This is to ensure accuracy and compliance with your company’s established procedures. Your invoices may undergo approval workflows where designated personnel review and authorize payments.

Payment Processing

In this step, your approved invoices are processed for payment.

There are various methods to pay your invoices depending on the payment methods already set by your company. These can be in the form of checks, ACH, or even wire transfers.

In this stage, it’s important to record payment details into your financial system to keep transparency and accountability throughout the process.

Archiving and Reporting

In this stage, your processed invoices and payment information are archived for record-keeping and audit purposes.

In such case you have AP software in place, it becomes easier to provide your company with payment trends, outstanding balances, or even insights.

Whether manual or automated, your invoice processing plays an important role in your accounts payable cycle.

Without it, your company becomes at risk of inefficient cash management practices, a lot of errors, and bad vendor relationships.

As early as now, you need to keep in mind how invoice processing helps your company secure a seamless flow of financial transactions.

With that in mind, you’ll understand how this process becomes crucial to optimize your operations.

Let’s move on to the next section of this chapter and dive into the importance of invoice processing.


Why Is Efficient Invoice Processing Important?

why is efficient invoice processing important

Do you ever ask yourself why invoice processing is important?

Pretty simple- it serves a pivotal role in managing your accounts payable. If you want to dig in a little deeper, here are some of the main reasons why invoice processing is important:

Here are some of the main reasons why invoice processing is important:

Cash Flow Management

Do you want a healthy cash flow for your business?

Then streamlined invoice processing is your answer.

With efficient invoice processing, it becomes easy to track and manage incoming invoices accurately.

As a result, your business stays within your budgetary constraints and can effectively monitor outstanding debts or even other payables.

With healthy cash flow, it becomes possible for your company to be consistent in creating informed decisions to boost your responsible spending.

Don’t all companies want financial stability?

I know your company would!

Improved Vendor Relationships

If you really want to set your company’s financial operations for success, you need timely and accurate invoice processing.

This is the key to building and nurturing positive relationships with your vendors and suppliers.

When your invoices are processed on time, that simply means your invoices are paid on time as well.

This action displays the reliability and professionalism of your company, making it obvious for vendors to want to work with you!

As a result, you foster trust.

And if it wasn’t already obvious— Strong vendor relationships can bring a lot of benefits to your company such as good treatment, better pricing, and even smoother collaboration!

Reduced Payment Times

Do you know what else an efficient invoice processing system can do for your business?

It reduces the time you take to settle outstanding invoices!

Since everything is clear in your system, it becomes seamless to expedite your payments. Now, your company can avoid late fees and even take advantage of early payment discounts that your supplier gives you.

Did you also know that having reduced payment times can help you get a favorable credit standing?

As a result, your company is able to boost your organization’s reputation as a reliable partner.

Boost In Productivity

Having a well-structured invoice processing workflow can reduce the manual effort your finance team exerts into simply settling an invoice.

No one wants redundant tasks or even backlogs. You want a process that is clear, and as much as possible hassle-free.

That’s what a good invoice processing can give your company.

There are some automation tools out there that can help you standardize your processes, help you minimize errors, and even expedite your invoice approval and payment cycles.

We’ll discuss more about this in the next sections.

Remember— the last thing you want to do is for your company to have inefficient invoice processing and be at risk of BIG consequences.

things to prevent in your company operations

You wouldn’t want

  • missed payment deadlines
  • strained vendor relationships or
  • even increased operational costs

Do you?


Manual To Automated Invoice Processing: The Shift Towards Automation

In the last few years, companies have increasingly been seen automating their invoice processing operations.

Why you may ask?

It’s simply because the world is filled with technological advancements. And with the growing demand of companies for greater efficiency, it’s no surprise how they would take advantage of technology to streamline basic company processes such as invoice processing.

There are modern tools like robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) that are revolutionizing business operations.

And if it wasn’t already obvious, automation brings a lot of benefits like

  • time and cost savings
  • enhanced accuracy
  • and even agility to respond to a business’s changing requirements.

We’re not lying when we say automation is something that can help your organization simplify your workflow, by saving you time from time-consuming tasks.

And the best part- automating your tasks frees up the time of your employees so they can all focus on higher-priority responsibilities.

Imagine how beneficial that would be for your company!

If your company is currently in the mood to explore invoice software options so you can finally make the switch from manual to automated invoice processing, you might want to explore our software. We have experts who can walk you through how our tool works. See it in action today!


Chapter 3

Making Invoice Processing Simple

In this chapter, we will cover more about Invoice Automation. Now that you learned the basics about Invoice Processing, you need to know the automation side of things too.

You will learn the following in this chapter:

  • What is Invoice Automation?
  • What are the benefits of Invoice Automation?
  • What are the steps in implementing Automated Invoice Processing?

Let’s begin!


What Is Invoice Automation?

what is invoice automation?

Invoice Automation refers to the use of software and technology to help your company streamline its process of handling invoices.

This process replaces the traditional manual invoice processing that involves repetitive tasks when reviewing, processing, and even paying invoices.

With Invoice Automation, automated workflows, and digital tools are now able to assist your company to ensure efficiency, accuracy, and transparency when handling invoices.

There are a lot of benefits invoice automation can bring your company. Here are some of them:

what are the benefits of invoice automation?

Time Savings
Invoice automation helps you eliminate the need for manual data entry and processing.

With manual invoice processing before, it used to take a lot of time to move from receipt to payment when handling invoices. But with automated workflows from invoice automation, your finance team can easily manage invoices and focus on more strategic tasks.

Fewer Errors
The great thing about invoice automation is how it can minimize human error which is usually associated with manual data entry.

As a result, your financial records become more accurate and you can even prevent issues like duplicate payments.

Cost Savings
Invoice processing workflows can streamline your invoicing process.

Without needing more people to do manual labor, you can lower the operational costs associated with your accounts payable processes.

Better Visibility
Did you know that invoice automation can provide you with real-time visibility if you use invoicing software?

This makes it easier for your finance team and even stakeholders to track the progress of your payments. All you need to do is to check your spending dashboard!



How Does Automation Streamline Your Invoice Processing Workflows?

How Does Automation Streamline Your Invoice Processing Workflows?

With invoice automation, it becomes easier to streamline the step-by-step process in your invoice processing workflow.

Here is how it’s done:

Invoice Receipt:

Instead of receiving paper invoices via mail or email, an automated invoicing process system can capture invoice data electronically.

This can be done either through email parsing, scanning, or direct integration with vendors’ systems.

Data Extraction

An automation software can extract relevant data from invoices, such as invoice number, date, supplier information, and line item details.

This is done by using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Technology.

Data Validation

Did you know that automated systems can also extract data?

Data validation can match your purchase orders or contracts with the invoices to make sure all documents add up.

And the best part is, you don’t even have to do this manually!

Approval Workflow

Automated workflows route invoices for approval based on predefined rules.

Every company has their own predefined rules or hierarchies. Your company could also have predefined rules you prefer.

When it comes to the approval workflow, your company’s assigned approvers would receive notifications and can review & approve invoices electronically.

This makes invoice processing so much easier and faster!

Payment Processing

Once the invoice is approved, your automated system then automatically initiates payment to your vendors.

This is done either through electronic funds transfer (EFT), checks, or other payment methods available.

And the best part is, you can also opt to schedule recurring payments to make it easier to settle for repeat purposes.

If you’re looking for software to help you start automating your invoice processes, you might want to explore our tool ProcureDesk. We have experts to walk you through how our tool works. See it in action today!


What Are The Steps To Implement Automated Invoice Processing In Your Company?

3 Steps To Implement Automated Invoice Processing In Your Company

By now, you have probably already learned so much about automated invoice processing and might consider making the switch from manual invoice processing to automated invoice processing.

While pretty straightforward, there are still some methodologies you must take note of to successfully implement automated invoice processing in your company.

Here are the 3 key steps you need to keep in mind:

Step 1: Research And Select A Suitable Invoicing Software For Your Business

Start by researching different invoice automation solutions available to you in the market.

You need to be aware of the options available to you, and you need to evaluate them accordingly.

Does it fit your business needs?

Does it have the features you’re looking for?

Does it fit your budget when it comes to acquiring tools and technologies?

To make it easier for you, here are some features you need to keep in mind when you’re evaluating software options:

  • Features
  • Scalability
  • Ease of use
  • Integration Capabilities
  • Cost

Step 2: Customize Your Software To Fit Your Business

Assuming you’ve already selected the software solution that fits your company best, go ahead and customize it according to your unique needs and predefined rules.

Configure your software to capture and process invoice data according to your preferred:

  • Workflows
  • Approval Hierarchies and
  • Accounting Practices

You can even customize your reporting and analytics feature so it’s easier to track your KPIs.

Step 3: Train Your Staff Into Using Your New Automated System

For the last and most important step, make sure to take the time to provide comprehensive training to your employees.

Your chosen invoicing software will be of no use if your team does not know how to use and leverage it for your company’s benefit.

Make sure that you train your staff on how to use the software, upload, review, and even process invoices.

Chapter 4

Solving Manual Invoice Problems

In this chapter, we will discuss some of the common challenges of manual invoicing, and explore some practical solutions to help you tackle them effectively through automation.


Challenges Of Manual Invoice Processing

You might want to agree with me that there are a lot of inefficiencies, errors, and even delays associated with manual invoice processing.

If your company is still stuck with manual invoice processing, I can only imagine how hard it is for your organization to grow and stay competitive.

But this is not only your problem!

Even other companies still rely on outdated paper-based methods that can consume time, and resources, and even pose risks like fraud and compliance issues.

Here are some of the issues and challenges that the manual invoicing process can cause to your company:

challenge of manual invoice processing

Delays in Payment
The manual invoicing process makes it challenging to have quick and seamless approval cycles. This results in delayed payments with can not only strain the relationships you’ve built with your suppliers but even strain your cash flow management as well.

Based on a study done by the Institute of Finance & Management (IOFM). 17% of payables departments consider invoice data entry as their #1 challenge since it causes delays on payments.

These 17% of payable departments also mentioned that late payment causes them to miss discounts as well!

Risk of Fraud

Accounts payable departments are vulnerable to internal and external fraud because of these manual processes.

Since things are done manually, it’s easy for people to take advantage and cause fraudulent activities just as invoice manipulation, and even phishing scams which can lead to your company experiencing financial loss and reputational damage.

Matching Errors

Did you know that manual matching of invoices with POs and receipts can be error-prone?

We mean– doing it for 1 invoice might be doable.

But imagine doing more than 100 invoices per day!

According to a study done by the IOFM, about 28% of accounts payable departments find it hard to match invoice items due to manual invoices, which only complicates the entire invoice processing flow.

Missing Invoices

Paper-based processes make it easy for invoices to get lost or misplaced, causing delays and frustration for both AP staff and suppliers.

Double Payment

Data entry errors and payment delays because of manual invoice processing can put your organization at risk of double payments.

The worst part is, that this can lead to friction with suppliers and even increase more workload for your AP teams because of the back job!

Strained Supplier Relationships

No errors due to manual invoicing should be taken lightly.

Persistent late payments is one of the problems that can potentially damage your supplier relationships which can hinder your collaboration with your vendors and even your competitiveness against other businesses.

As early as now, you need to focus on building strategic partnerships. You can do it by simply prioritizing timely payments and preventing any more disruption done by manual invoice processing.

That’s why we highly suggest that you make the shift to automated invoice processing.


Benefits Of Automated Invoice Processing

benefits of automated invoice processing

Here are some of the benefits automated invoice processing can bring your company:

  • Time Savings: Automated invoice processing reduces the time for data entry and approval cycles, allowing AP teams to focus on more strategic tasks. If it were us, we highly suggest you totally eradicate manual data entry!
  • Cost Reduction: As automation helps you eliminate manual tasks, your company lowers processing costs and prevents financial penalties that are associated with late payments and fraud.
  • Improved Data Quality: Automation makes sure that your company has accurate and complete invoice data, which can enhance visibility and compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Fraud Prevention: You know what’s another cool thing about automation? It finally introduces transparency and security measures in your company. This means, there is now a reduced risk of fraud and any unauthorized payments.
  • Enhanced Supplier Relationships: Having efficient invoice processing can strengthen your company’s supplier relationships, which allows you to negotiate better terms and discounts with your suppliers.
  • Prevent Delays: The best part about automated approval workflows and notifications is the fact that they help your company prevent delays and bottlenecks. This ensures that you experience timely payments and supplier satisfaction!

If those list of benefits weren’t already enough, here’s a comparison of manual invoice data entry to automated invoice data extraction to really show you how different your invoice approval process with automation:

Time Efficiency

  • Manual Invoice Data Entry: Requires manual entry and data verification (around 5 minutes per invoice)
  • Automated Invoice Data Extraction: Rapid extraction and processing of data without manual input (around 10 seconds per invoice)


  • Manual Invoice Data Entry: Human error can lead to inaccuracies in data entry and prolonged processing time.
  • Automated Invoice Data Extraction: Human error can lead to inaccuracies in data entry and prolonged processing time.


  • Manual Invoice Data Entry: Requires human resources for data entry from paper invoices.
  • Automated Invoice Data Extraction: Initial setup costs, but long-term savings in labor costs.


  • Manual Invoice Data Entry: Manual processes may struggle with volume.
  • Automated Invoice Data Extraction: Can handle a large volume of invoices without difficulty.

Processing Speed

  • Manual Invoice Data Entry: Dependent on the speed of manual data entry.
  • Automated Invoice Data Extraction: Automated systems can process multiple invoices quickly.

Data Security

  • Manual Invoice Data Entry: Human errors and unauthorized access.
  • Automated Invoice Data Extraction: Automated systems often have robust data security measures.

Error Handling

  • Manual Invoice Data Entry: Requires manual identification and correction.
  • Automated Invoice Data Extraction: Systems can automatically identify and correct errors

Integration with Software

  • Manual Invoice Data Entry: Systems can automatically identify and correct errors
  • Automated Invoice Data Extraction: Automated systems can integrate with various accounting and ERP software.

Learning Curve

  • Manual Invoice Data Entry: Minimal training is required for manual data entry.
  • Automated Invoice Data Extraction: Requires training to set up and understand automated systems.

Audit Trail

  • Manual Invoice Data Entry: Difficult to track changes and history.
  • Automated Invoice Data Extraction: Automated systems often provide detailed logs and history.


  • Manual Invoice Data Entry: Manual processes may struggle with diverse invoice formats.
  • Automated Invoice Data Extraction: Automated systems can adapt to various invoice formats.

Invoice Data Extraction Cost

  • Manual Invoice Data Entry: Dependent on manual labor, leading to higher costs.
  • Automated Invoice Data Extraction: Automation reduces the need for extensive manual labor.

To simplify what we’re trying to say–relying on manual invoice processing can cause real problems for your business.

It affects how your resources are used, how much work gets done, and how healthy your company’s finances are.

If you truly want to tackle these issues, your company needs to understand the problem you’re facing because of manual processes and how you can use automated solutions so you can finally make things smoother, reduce mistakes, and even work more efficiently for your business.

Chapter 5

Choosing The Right Tools

In this chapter, you’re going to learn all about automating your invoice approval process using your chosen invoice approval software.

By the end of this chapter, you will understand:

1. 3-way matching

2. The role of invoicing software in supporting invoice automation, and

3. How to select an invoice processing solution for your business

3-Way Match in Invoice Processing

3-way matching is a pretty crucial procedure when we talk about invoice processing.

As meticulous as it is, it’s an important step to make sure that your company stays accurate and transparent when handling financial documents.

The 3-way matching process ensures your company that these three critical financial documents are aligned:

  • Purchase orders
  • Goods receipt notes and
  • Supplier invoices

To help you understand further, let’s talk about the essence of 3-way matching:

3-Way Matching

Alignment of Documents

The 3-way matching process allows your accounts payable personnel to validate the legitimacy of your supplier’s invoice vs the terms that is outlined in the purchase order.

Verifying Goods Receipt

The goods receipt note serves as tangible evidence of the actual receipt of goods and services of your business.

By cross-referencing with the supplier’s invoice and the purchase order, it will be easy to spot any disparities or deviations from the original terms and conditions.

In addition, this cross-referencing also ensures that payments are made only for legitimate transactions, which prevents any unauthorized charges or inflated invoices from slipping through the cracks.

Prevention of Fraud

By simply requiring alignment across multiple documents, the 3-way matching process serves as protection from any fraudulent activities.

Putting the supplier’s bill together with the purchase order and goods receipt note helps accounts payable staff to clearly see if the goods or services were actually provided to the company.

This careful checking not only protects the company’s money but also maintains its honesty and reputation in the market.

With these 3 essences of 3-way matching alone, we hope this helps you understand the crucial role of 3-way matching to achieve effective invoice processing!

If you’re looking for invoice software to help you with 3-matching, you might want to download our Invoice Matching Software Checklist. Download it here.


How Invoicing Software Supports Invoice Processing

invoice processing software features

If it wasn’t already obvious…

One thing that will help you achieve effective invoice processing is by simply leveraging invoice processing software.

An invoice software plays a crucial role in helping you streamline and automate your invoice processing and workflow.

It has advanced features and functionalities to help your company create, manage, and track invoices efficiently.

Here are some of its important features:

Invoice Creation and Customization:

Invoicing software allows your company to create professional-looking invoices quickly and easily. You can even customize invoice templates with their company logo, branding elements, and specific payment terms.

Aside from that, your invoice processing software also allows you to include detailed line items, quantities, unit prices, taxes, discounts, and other relevant information.

Payment Processing:

Did you know that modern invoicing software can integrate with different payment gateways?

This allows your business to accept online payments directly from invoices. Aside from that, you can also include payment links or buttons in invoices so it’s easier for your clients to settle invoices securely and conveniently via credit card, bank transfer, or other payment methods.

Automation of Recurring Invoices:

An invoicing software allows you to automate the following

  • Generating recurring invoices
  • Sending recurring invoices

This is very helpful especially if your company handles subscription-based services or ongoing projects.

You can even set up recurring invoice schedules, specify billing intervals, and even define your custom recurrence rules.

As a result, your company does not need to exert too much manual effort just to simply ensure timely billing.

Invoice Tracking and Management:

Most of the invoicing solutions out in the market offer robust tools to help you track and manage invoices throughout its lifecycle.

Your software solution can even help you achieve the following:

  • Monitoring invoice statuses
  • Track payment dates
  • View outstanding balances and
  • Send reminders for overdue payments directly from the software interface

Reporting and Analytics:

Using invoicing software can also help your company create comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities.

This allows your organization to easily gain insights into your financial performance and invoicing trends by simply generating reports like sales reports, aging receivables reports, and even tax summaries.

This information can definitely help you optimize your invoicing processes!

Integration with Accounting Systems:

There are a lot of invoicing software out there that can integrate seamlessly with accounting systems and ERP platforms.

This ensures data consistency and even eliminates your need for manual data entry.

This integration allows your company to set automatic synchronization of your invoice data, customer information, and even your financial transactions.

Are you fully aware of how invoicing software can play a vital role in automating and optimizing your invoice-processing workflow?


ProcureDesk Features

ProcureDesk offers a streamlined approach to ordering supplies for your business. Our platform is designed to make the procurement process efficient and hassle-free, allowing you to focus on what matters most.

ProcureDesk screenshot


Effortless Ordering

With ProcureDesk, ordering from your favorite suppliers is a breeze. Our intuitive interface allows you to submit product requests and orders with just a few clicks. Choose from a variety of pre-built order templates, each customizable to match your company’s branding, ensuring a personalized experience every time.

Tailored for Approvals

ProcureDesk goes beyond simple ordering; it’s about optimizing your entire approval workflow. During onboarding, our team works with you to design the perfect approval process for your business. With automation handling the majority of orders and expediting manual approvals, you’ll experience a smoother and more efficient process from start to finish.

purchase order approvals with documents

Efficient Invoice Matching

Gone are the days of manual invoice matching. ProcureDesk offers seamless integration with your accounting software, allowing invoices to be paired with purchase orders instantly upon approval. Stay organized effortlessly, even with a high volume of approvals, thanks to automated importing from your accounting system.


Real-Time Order Tracking

Keep tabs on your orders in real time with ProcureDesk. Our platform eliminates the need for manual updates and messy spreadsheets, providing you with a centralized location to monitor the status of every order, from request to delivery.

Join the many businesses enjoying ProcureDesk’s easy platform. Enjoy smooth orders, fast approvals, and live tracking. See us in action today!


How To Select An Invoice Processing Solution

how to select an invoice processing solution

It’s not enough for you to understand the features you need to look for when choosing an invoice automation solution.

You must also understand the methodologies in selecting an invoice processing solution. You need to understand what it takes to make this switch.

Here are the steps for you to keep in mind to help you select the perfect invoice processing solution for your business:

Step Back and Examine the Bigger Picture

Start by identifying your company’s challenges.

What’s your reason for looking for an invoicing solution? Is it to streamline processes, reduce errors, or improve efficiency?

Make sure that you involve relevant stakeholders early in the process to gather feedback, ideas, and opportunities.

Think About What’s on the Invoice Itself

Consider whether the solution should convert quotes/proposals to invoices, pull customer information automatically, select products/services seamlessly, and provide secure virtual invoices for online access.

Will Automation be a Must-Have for You?

Assess whether the ideal solution should connect to bank accounts, set up automatic invoice reminders for customers and vendors, and utilize click-no-code automation for professional invoices.


Ensure that the chosen solution aligns with your organization’s specific needs and requirements, regardless of its scale, through customization and configuration options.


Look for solutions that can accurately extract data from various invoice formats and integrate seamlessly with ERP systems.


Prioritize solutions that leverage automation to reduce manual costs, handle repetitive tasks, and allocate resources to value-adding activities, enhancing operational efficiency.


Opt for solutions with enhanced security measures to prevent fraudulent practices and unauthorized access to confidential financial data records.


Choose solutions with a user-friendly interface and intuitive operations flow to facilitate ease of use and minimize the learning curve for employees.


Ensure that the solution seamlessly integrates with existing ERP, finance systems, or accounting software to share invoice data and communications across the organization.

Customer Support and Training

Select solutions that offer comprehensive customer support and training resources to assist with implementation, user training, and ongoing maintenance.

By simply keeping these steps in mind, you can confidently select the right invoicing solution for your business.

Keep in mind that the solution you are to choose should not only be limited to addressing your “current” challenges.

It should also provide room for growth and adaptability as your business evolves!

Chapter 6

Making Systems Work Together

In this chapter, you’re going to learn everything you need to know about making your systems work together.

From transitioning from manual to automated processes, and integrating your invoicing process with your systems– you’ll understand how all these elements work together to help you create a streamlined data flow for your business.

The Transition From Manual To Automated Processing

the transition from manual to automated systems

Transitioning from manual to automated processing is a HUGE step for your business.

The thing is– this shift involves meticulous planning and execution if you want to make sure your company goes through a flawless change.

Prepare For The Switch

Assess your current processes and identify your pain points. Conduct a thorough evaluation of your current manual processes.

What tasks are repetitive?

What tasks are time-consuming and prone to errors?

All these pain points can serve as focal points for your automation efforts.

Aside from that, we highly suggest that you obtain buy-in from your key stakeholders. Do this by highlighting the benefits of your automation such as how it can help your company increase productivity, reduce your costs, and improve your accuracy.

Prepare Your Implementation Steps

Start creating a roadmap for your transition.

You can do this by outlining the various stages of your transition process. Set clear objectives, timelines, and milestones to help you track your progress effectively.

In this stage, it’s also important that you set up your chosen automation solution.

Choose an automation solution that aligns with your organization’s needs and goals.

Whether it’s workflow automation software or accounting tools, you must choose something that integrates seamlessly with your existing systems.

In addition to that, do not forget to invest in training programs.

What’s the point of implementing an automated system if your employees don’t understand how to use it, right?

Make sure you equip your employees with the necessary skills to make sure your company utilizes your new automation tools effectively.

We highly suggest that you leverage vendor support resources so you can fully maximize the benefits of automation!


Integrating Automated Invoice Processing With Other Systems

Compatibility is VERY important, especially when talking about integrating your chosen automated invoice processing with your systems.

Here are some things that you need to consider upon integrating your software with your current tools:

Always begin by evaluating your organization’s current software landscape.

Identify the systems involved in the invoicing workflow, such as accounting software, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms.

In addition to that, make sure that you also determine their compatibility with the chosen invoice automation solution.

The key thing here is to always pay close attention to the integration capabilities of your chosen tools.

To set up automated invoice processing smoothly, it’s important to integrate it well with your other systems. By making sure everything works together and fixing any problems early on, you can make your invoicing process more efficient and get the most out of automation.


Streamlining Data Flow

If you want to stay competitive considering how fast-paced the world of business is, we HIGHLY suggest that you make it a point to prioritize smooth data flow in your company.

Let’s explore some ways in which you can improve your company’s data flow.

Quick hint: It’s all about connecting your accounting systems and syncing your procurement and inventory tools!

ways to improve your company's data flow

Understanding Data Flow in Your Business

For starters, take a look at how data moves within your company.

Find any slowdowns, like manual data entry or repetitive tasks, that slow things down.

Ask yourself, how much time do your employees spend searching for the information they need?

By finding these issues, you can come up with solutions to make data easier to get!

Finding and Fixing Data Flow Problems

Once you know what needs fixing, it’s time to find solutions.

Consider merging systems and automating tasks to speed up data flow. See if you can replace multiple systems with one to cut out extra work.

Look into ways to let employees access data from anywhere, not just at their desks.

Pro Tips; Don’t forget to think about using digital signatures to make approving documents faster.

The Importance of Data Pipelines

Data pipelines are crucial for moving data smoothly for analysis and decision-making.

They automate the process of getting, changing, and putting data in place, making sure it’s accurate and reliable.

By using data pipeline tools, your business can get the right information quickly, handle lots of data, and even work with complex systems.

Connecting with Accounting Systems

Linking data flow with accounting systems is important if you want to keep your business in check.

By syncing transaction data with accounting software, your business can make invoicing, expense tracking, and financial reports easier.

This connection lets data move between systems smoothly, cutting out mistakes from manual entry and keeping data correct in finance and other areas.

Syncing with Procurement and Inventory Tools

Did you know that having good procurement and inventory management means having accurate data quickly?

By syncing data flow with these your chosen automation and tools, your organization can make supply chains run better, avoid running out of stock, and see what’s in inventory.

Without a doubt, real-time data sync can help your company create smarter decisions like restocking and predicting product demand, making your operations smoother!

Chapter 7

Tips and Examples For Success

In this chapter, you’re going to learn some tips to help you improve your invoice processing so you can create a streamlined process for your business.

In addition to that, we’ll also be sharing with you some case studies our company has created about clients whom we have helped through our automation tool ProcureDesk.


Improving Invoice Processing

If you want to improve the way you process your invoices, you need to maintain financial stability and prioritize customer satisfaction.

Wondering how that’s done?

Here are simple ways you can achieve this goal:

3 ways to improve your invoice processing

Simplify your workflows

You need to make your workflows smoother if you want to truly avoid delays and get your invoices done quickly.

To do this, you need to:

  • Check How Things Work Now: Look at how invoices are handled currently. Find where things slow down or where there are extra steps.
  • Use Tools to Save Time: Use tools that can do repetitive jobs, like putting in data or sending out invoices, automatically. This cuts down on manual work and speeds things up.
  • Set Up Approvals Right: Make sure there’s a clear way for invoices to get approved quickly. Decide who needs to approve what and when.
  • Keep Documents Together: Keep all invoice-related documents in one place, like purchase orders and contracts. This makes it easy to find what you need and stops papers from getting lost.
  • Improve Communication: Make sure everyone can talk to each other easily. Use tools that let people share things and make decisions together in real time.

Don’t be afraid to leverage tech

Leveraging tech can make your invoicing a lot easier and faster!

To fully take advantage of your automation tools, here are some of our ideas to help you out:

  • Get Invoice Software: Use software that can handle everything from making invoices to tracking payments. Look for features like reading text from images, sending invoices automatically, and talking to accounting systems.
  • Use the Cloud: Store your invoices and info online so everyone can get to them from anywhere. This makes it easier to work together and makes things more flexible.
  • Go Digital: Send invoices electronically instead of on paper. This makes things faster and cheaper, and there are fewer mistakes.
  • Let People Pay Online: Set up ways for customers to pay their bills online. This makes payments come in faster and makes customers happier.
  • Use Data to Learn: Use tools that can look at your invoicing and find ways to make it better. Use what you learn to make smarter choices.


How Coast Flight Reduced Time Spent On Processing Invoices By 30%

Coast Flight, a leading aviation academy shaping future pilots for major airlines, faced a common challenge in their rapid expansion: managing procurement across multiple locations efficiently.

With operations spanning three different sites in the United States, each with distinct purchasing needs, Coast Flight found themselves drowning in a sea of spreadsheets, leading to manual processing of invoices and a lack of spending control.

The Challenge:

Coast Flight’s decentralized purchasing system relied heavily on manual processes, with each location managing its own purchases and recording them in spreadsheets.

This disjointed approach resulted in significant time and effort spent on invoice processing. Kevin Slatnick, CFO of Coast Flight, highlighted the struggle, stating,

“The problem we were looking to solve was a lack of control and tracking of our purchasing requirements.”

The Solution:

ProcureDesk swooped in as the solution, offering Coast Flight a centralized platform to streamline its procurement process from end to end.

By implementing ProcureDesk, Coast Flight aligned their procurement operations, enabling buyers across locations to handle all purchasing activities within a single system.

With automated approval processes and real-time visibility into purchase order activities, Coast Flight bid farewell to the days of spreadsheet chaos.

The Results:

The impact was immediate and transformative. ProcureDesk’s automated invoice processing and exception routing slashed the time spent on manual tasks, freeing up Coast Flight’s accounting team to focus on strategic initiatives.

With a centralized invoice management system seamlessly integrated with QuickBooks, Coast Flight experienced a 30% reduction in time spent on processing invoices. Kevin Slatnick emphasized the efficiency gains, stating,

“It is a huge labor-saving since we don’t have to type in invoices in the QuickBooks system.”

How Cerebral Therapeutics Gained Improved Financial Insights With ProcureDesk

Cerebral Therapeutics, a pioneering biopharmaceutical company focused on neurological therapies, faced a daunting challenge in managing spending control and financial insights as it scaled its operations.

With manual processes hindering efficiency and lacking the ability to generate insightful spend analysis reports, Cerebral Therapeutics sought a solution to streamline its procurement operations and gain deeper financial insights.

The Challenge:

As a venture-backed startup in the life sciences industry, Cerebral Therapeutics grappled with manual spending processes that proved unsustainable as the company grew.

With crucial financial data scattered across Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, the company faced challenges in generating comprehensive spend analysis reports and managing vendor costs effectively.

The Solution:

ProcureDesk emerged as the lifeline for Cerebral Therapeutics, offering a scalable solution to automate manual processes and provide actionable financial insights.

With features like automated PO generation, order tracking, and reconciliation processes, ProcureDesk empowered Cerebral Therapeutics to streamline day-to-day operations and eliminate the need for additional administrative personnel.

The Results:

ProcureDesk’s impact on Cerebral Therapeutics was profound.

By automating procurement processes and providing detailed spend analysis reports, the company experienced streamlined ordering and reconciliation, significant cost savings, and enhanced financial visibility for forecasting and budgeting.

With ProcureDesk, Cerebral Therapeutics unlocked a new level of efficiency and strategic decision-making in its procurement operations, paving the way for future growth and innovation.


What Is The Impact Of Invoice Processing Automation To Your Business?

Overall, automated invoice processing offers a transformative opportunity for all small and medium-sized enterprises alike.

You need to understand the importance of streamlining your financial processes as this can help you boost your company’s overall efficiency.

We truly hope everything we have shared with you today has one way or another helped you stay inspired and push through boosting your accuracy, processing times, and enhanced data visibility.

Just imagine a world where all businesses finally embraced invoice automation processing.

Imagine a world where YOUR business finally embraced the power of invoice automation.

How future-proof do you think this can make your business?