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B2B Payments

5 Signs You’re Wasting Time With Manual Invoice Processing And Payments

As a supplier, you could be wasting time with manual processes. Here are 5 important signs it's time to switch to an automated invoice system.

As a supplier, ensuring that your business gets paid by your retail partners is very important, but it should not eat up your labor hours. As a leader in data processing, payment, and analytics, we took this opportunity to explain why manual invoice processing and payment collection are things of the past. 

Here, we take the supplier's perspective to show how automated invoice systems can improve business relationships between partners in a retail supply chain.


1. The life cycle of an invoice from generation to payment collection is more than a month. 

Think of the time that is lost doing this. A clerk sends a printed invoice via snail mail to a retail partner. If this partner received 10,000 units of your product last month, your company is losing money each day that the invoice is not paid. In the meantime, your company ships more products to the partner for the present month - further straining your cash flow.

2. Accounts payable clerks are spending too much time on paper handling.

Accounts payable clerks may use a computer-based ordering system to find information required to draft and process an invoice. They spend a large amount of time entering that information into a form to print a physical invoice. Then they sort invoices, package them, take them to a mail location, and return to their work desks. They are not optimizing the amount of time spent on invoice management each day. With automated invoice systems, accounts payable clerks are able to completely skip these tasks. Invoices can be generated electronically, streamlining the entire invoicing process.

5 Signs You’re Wasting Time With Manual Invoice Processing And Payments

3. Invoice reconciliation requiring research of filed documentation.

Giving exceptional customer service to retail partners depends largely on accounts payable clerks consistently preparing invoices and correctly filing them for later reference. Retail partners will become frustrated when it takes hours to respond to their questions about their invoices —especially older ones.  An automated invoice system can provide transparency and greater efficiency in the billing process by making e-invoices easily accessible and manageable online for both suppliers and retailers.


4. The time required for managers to approve invoice payments. 

Sometimes, invoice payments require a manager's approval. In the normal course of business operations, those managers are not always readily available to confirm your delivery or invoice. An automated invoice system that allows suppliers to submit invoices while also allowing retailers to approve and even pay those invoices electronically can streamline everyday business transactions —especially if this technology is deployed enterprise-wide.

5. The time employees spend handling paper.

Many labor hours are spent on more than just creating and filing invoices. Any area of your business could require access to invoice data. These documents contain important facts about the transactions between each retail partner, and are an essential part of reconciling invoice payments. Automated invoice systems significantly reduce time spent searching for invoices and payment records.  All documentation is stored electronically and can easily be filtered and searched for needed information.  

Leverage an automated invoice system designed for the food and beverage industry

If you've experienced any of the above items, then you know it's time for change. With electronic invoicing, your company can increase efficiency and get access to real-time data. 

In one automated invoice system, explore the relationship between the number of items shipped to a client and the number of items the retailer actually sells. Study the life cycle of each product, such as how long it took to get paid for a particular shipment. A business makes more money if it reduces the time it takes for a customer to take possession of a product after it is produced. A business increases cash flow when its retail partners return invoices with their payment in days instead of weeks. 

Want to learn more about how your business can benefit from electronic invoicing? Contact us to find out how automation will streamline your business relationships in your supply chain.

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