Invoice Automation and Its Benefits for Your Business

One unique aspect of being in the construction industry that most contractors can relate to is the number of invoices that need to be processed on a regular basis. Being in construction usually means that you have multiple teams on multiple sites working with numerous vendors and other personnel. Chasing up the correct invoices and spending the time entering them into your invoice systems eats up a lot of valuable time.

Sticking to a manual system may be manageable in the beginning stages of your business but can quickly get out of hand as you start to grow.

The nature of running a construction company is one based on relationships. Balancing relationships with subcontractors, vendors, and suppliers is a routine occurrence for any construction project and at the end of the day, the invoices they submit need to be approved, processed and paid.

Continuing with a manual invoicing process can easily lead to multiple types of issues like late payments and missing invoices. If problems like these remain consistent, the relationships you have developed and even your bottom line can be impacted.

So how do you keep on top of invoices and payments without sacrificing time and quality of service? 

With invoice automation software.

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What is invoice automation?

Invoice Automation is software that is used by businesses and companies to process invoices for accounts payable in a more streamlined and accurate way. It reduces the tedious time-consuming work of manual entering. All information is stored in one place and the data available from your invoices can be put to use to track multiple facets within your business. This in turn then leaves more time to focus on other important aspects of your projects and/or business.

How does it work?

  1. Invoicing automation software will pull all invoicing emails sent to your inbox.
  2. These new invoices will be connected to any current purchase orders or packing slips.  
  3. Then they will be automatically coded and sent to the appropriate person for approval.
  4. After they have been approved, the information will be sent to your accounting software for payments to be processed.

All so simple yet so effective.

Benefits of invoice automation

1. Reduces the need for manual data entry

No longer needing to enter your invoices means that you can use that newly available time to focus on other aspects of your business. Take Sentinel Homes that save nearly 20 hours in data entry every week.

Previous issues like miscalculations and missing or duplicate data will be a thing of the past. 

Staff can now spend valuable time on reaching out to new potential customers, driving innovation and developing new strategies or systems in other areas of the business. These actions can all have a major impact on improved customer experience and sales.

2. Instant price checking & invoice status

Invoice pricing will be quickly checked against the agreed supplier. When discrepancies are found the correct paperwork will be created automatically. It will then be sent to the correct supplier. 

Easily check out what invoices are at what stage in the process with real-time data provided. You will also be able to communicate directly to the approvers to get invoices paid and up to date on time.

And don’t forget, this efficiency can also mean the opportunity to take advantage of any Early Payment Discounts available to you.

3. Centralise your records

Find all of the invoices that you need quickly as they will all be stored in the cloud with easy searchability and access. This makes it faster to analyse costing information and supplier prices that can help you with future negotiations, quotes, and sales.

Don’t forget, if any audit is required of your company, staff will easily be able to compile the requested information that is required. Being able to quickly and efficiently access these documents for an audit relieves stress for all involved and speeds up the process from the start of the audit to its resolution.

4. Measure your performance

Using the invoice automation software to its fullest potential by tracking your performance can lead to crucial insights that would otherwise be missed.  

This factor may be the most important of them all as it can result in better efficiency, and accuracy, and improve the use of your time and resources across the entirety of your business. 

Project Managers can access where a certain project is at in terms of its total spend. Or Administrators being able to reach out to invoice approvers to rectify a situation that may not have been caught so early with a manual system.  

These are just a few examples of what you can do with the information that will now be at your fingertips once this software is active in your business.

Carpenters with tablet

What does it mean to your business?

Systems in business matter. As with the buildings and structures you are erecting, a company that has laid a strong and sturdy foundation is the most likely to weather any and all storms. Creating a system that spots leaks and helps to fill them in is just the beginning of how invoice automation can start to help your company.

It’s understandable, change can be hard. But comprehending the overall goal and the benefits invoice automation will bring can help to make that move a little bit easier.

Even if your company is only handling a small number of invoices a month, setting up invoice automation now can have a huge benefit for your business and its growth in the future.   

When you implement invoice automation into your business systems, your clients, employees, contractors, and vendors will benefit too. Keep those relationships flourishing so you can focus on what you and your team are great at doing, building the infrastructure we all rely on.

Looking to learn more about Invoice Automation and discover how it can transform your accounts payable? No worries, we wrote "The Ultimate Guide to Invoice Automation for Construction". It's packed with valuable insights that will show you why it's an effective solution for your business.