Invoices are such an integral part of running a small business, but far too many business owners haven’t taken the time to really review their invoicing processes.

Even in the digital age, there are many business owners who still utilize manual invoice processing, and this could be costing thousands of dollars a year or more in lost productivity.

In addition, manually handling invoices runs the risk of mistakes taking place, especially when there isn’t a clearly defined chain of command for processing payments.

Automating Your Invoice Workflow

Instead of having an employee or team of employees handle the invoicing process, consider automating it instead.

Automation provides a variety of benefits, including a lessened risk for errors, an increase in on-time payments, and the ability to utilize employee talent elsewhere.

In the article, “How to Make Your Invoice Approval Process a Breeze,” the author also discusses the idea of instituting approval-based routing.

Using this method, invoices under a certain dollar amount could be approved by one person, while invoices over that amount would need to be approved by someone of a higher authority.

A tier-based system could cut down on mistakes and recalled payments, saving your business money and time.

Paying Faster Keeps Vendors Happier

Everyone wants to get paid for their hard work, regardless of industry.

Using a manual invoice approval process, it could take weeks or more to get invoices paid.

By automating your system, payment can often be sent same-day. This, in turn, can keep vendors happier, but also more loyal. In the long run, this equates to better service and more revenue.

When you keep your vendors satisfied, they will often be more willing to provide you with quality service.

Keep in mind that business relationships make up about half of your total revenue.

If you can’t get the supplies your business needs in order to operate, you can’t provide goods and services to customers, and therefore, you can’t generate revenue.

Things to Look for in Invoice Automation Software

Before making the switch to automation software, it’s important to know what to look for.

A successful solution should include things like email notifications and approval, document upload and download capabilities as well as the ability to store vendor information for automatic matching of accounts and invoicing history.

Also, as mentioned, it would be a good idea to invest in a software solution that provides for approval-based routing of invoices depending on the specific dollar amount or type of invoice.

About the Author: Andrew Rusnak is an author who writes on topics that include business development and digital automation.