One of the most crucial operations for a retailer’s success is also one of the most neglected: invoice processing. What many retailers don’t know is that much of the drudgery of billing customers and paying business partners can be avoided by implementing an automated invoice processing solution.
Another useful tool to assist with the monotony of invoicing is the use of a modern, cloud-based POS system. The right invoice processing solution not only ensures timely receipt of payments due but also enhances a retailer’s relationships with its customers and partners by making incoming and outgoing payments as accurate, straightforward, and accommodating as possible.
Here are five ways automated invoice processing boosts a retailer’s bottom line by making the process as painless and profitable as possible.
1. Eliminate Manual Data Entry
The source of most errors in invoice processing is manual data entry. The more entry required to process an invoice, the more likely the invoice will contain an error.
When a retailer submits an invoice for payment, the receiving party first validates the bill, then submits payment and notes the payment in its accounting records. By automating as much of the data entry as possible, the invoice is more likely to be validated on the first pass and payment submitted quickly.
Automation also ensures that invoices are sent to the appropriate parties, whether the correct customer address or the right person in accounting. All invoices should be submitted in a format that allows the recipient to extract the data automatically, which reduces the likelihood of errors on the recipient’s side.
2. Minimize Double Handling and Miscommunication
Another way to ensure that invoices are processed quickly and accurately is by reducing the number of people who handle it once it’s received. The majority of invoices are now sent electronically, usually as an email attachment, but some businesses still print out electronic invoices and enter them manually in a spreadsheet prior to paying them.
Even when the electronic version of the invoice is formatted for easy import and export to accounting systems, retailers still need to ensure the invoices are sent to the right email accounts to avoid having them enter a forwarding chain that leads to the “Island of Unpaid Invoices”.
Ideally, the invoice will be sent to a single person or office, its data will be extracted automatically, and the appropriate person is notified to approve or deny the payment. Accounts payable receives the notification, makes the payment, and records the transaction in the company’s financial records.
3. Save Time and Money
It costs less for retailers to use cloud storage for their invoices and other financial records. The benefits of paperless invoices include saving storage space and consuming fewer natural resources. However, the practice also contributes to the business’s profitability by allowing it to automate much of the invoicing process, integrating it with other management functions via the store’s POS interface.
4. Unify All Invoicing Procedures
The invoicing component of a cloud-based POS system lets companies track all billing operations including the party billed, when the charge was applied, and when the payment was received (or was due). Invoicing transactions are recorded to create a data path that replaces the standard spreadsheet that companies have long relied on.
Combining the invoicing process with the retailer’s sales, inventory, and customer management operations makes it easier to collect customer information and use it to gain insight into other aspects of the business. For example, managers and employees can access up-to-date customer histories and be prompted to offer discounts and other promotions based on the client’s invoiced transactions.
5. Automate Purchase Order Matching
Invoice matching compares the information in the invoice with data in the corresponding purchase orders and other supporting files and documents. The goal is to ensure that vendor payments and other accounting information are accurate. It also helps to confirm compliance with purchasing contracts and identify potential fraudulent contracts.
The goods bought via a purchase order can be matched in three ways:
- Two-way matching links invoices from a specific supplier or vendor to purchase orders.
- Three-way matching adds receiving information to confirm the correct products, quantity, and prices.
- Four-way matching includes inspection information to provide the number of products accepted and rejected.
The ultimate goal of purchase order matching and automated invoice processing is to create a “touchless” invoicing environment. This will allow invoices to be delivered directly to final posting for payment when the invoice data matches the supporting documents within suitable tolerance levels.
Automated Invoice Processing Requires the Right POS Partner
Efficient invoice processing benefits retailers in areas beyond tracking accounts receivable and payable. Modern cloud-based POS systems make automated invoice processing a component of the store’s sales, inventory, and employee management systems. Managing all aspects of a retail operation through a single dashboard interface puts more power in the hands of managers and employees, which translates into an improved customer experience.
When you partner with talech for your automated invoice processing technology needs, we devote our time to identify your business challenges. We use this information to work with you to apply an innovative POS solution that levels the playing field. Reach out to us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.
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