When selecting an invoice management solution, there are many factors to consider, but the first step should be to take an audit of your current process and understand what you need.
Here are three key areas to look at when considering switching to a new invoice management system:
- How do you receive most of your invoices? Are they paper invoices, or do you receive emails or electronic files?
- Are you scanning your physical invoices? What percentage?
- Do you receive all of your invoices in one place, or do they all come to one person?
- What percentage of invoice data is being manually entered by someone?
- How many people an involved in approving invoices, and how long does that take?
- How often do you get duplicate invoices, and how do you to filter those out?
- Are you paying late fees or getting final notices on missed invoices? How much extra are you paying per month in fees?
- What does your invoice audit trail look like? Do you even have one?
- How are you measuring costs? Can you accurately measure each individual restaurant’s spending habits?
- Are you using your invoice data to create financial reports and projections to grow your business?
If your first reaction after running through those questions is “yikes!” don’t worry, you’re not alone! About 87% of companies are not satisfied with their current invoice management process, according to research. The same research report also shows that 43% of companies are looking to automation as a top priority for invoice management.
Now, the next most important step is understanding what’s available to you. There are a few different types of invoice management solutions:
Whether it’s as old school as pen and paper or slightly more updated using a bookkeeping software (most commonly Excel) to keep a record of incoming invoices and outgoing payments. A ledger system requires the most time-consuming manual work, leaves the largest margin for error, and usually requires special software training and knowledge of accounting.
This is probably where you’re at right now, and it doesn’t do a perfect job of answering all of the questions above. Most companies using Excel for bookkeeping soon realize they’ve gotten too big to keep up with the workload, or they start looking for a way to easily cut costs while eliminating the headache of invoice management.
Invoice Management Software
Most companies are now turning to invoice management software to provide a faster, more accurate system for managing their invoices. Here are crucial features that you should look for in any invoice management software or service:
- Ability to receive, read, and store invoice data in separate ledgers
- Categorize invoices for approval
- Arrange invoices based on payment plans
- Group & schedule outgoing payments
- Advance payment requests & deposits
- Automate recurring payments & accounts payable
- Notify you of upcoming invoices
- Offer support in multiple currencies
- Bank account and credit card integration
- Provide customizable reports for financial analysis
- And of course, it should be easy to use!
Unfortunately, most invoice management software providers still require you to enter a lot of data yourself and create your own custom templates (or pay them extra to do it for you). It’s still a time-consuming process, requires specialized training to use the software, knowledge of accounting leaves a margin for error, and can cost a fortune in licensing the software for each of your restaurants.
Invoice Management Solutions as a Service
The best option in our opinion, is an invoice management service is a kind of Software as a Service (SaaS) that provides a software solution that is managed for you. In theory, someone else does all of the work to process your invoices using their software, and you reap all of the benefits without any of the headache and time-consuming work.
However, most invoice management services provide accounts payable and receivable as one piece and make you pay a higher price for the whole invoice management package.
At Navrae, we provide a flat monthly cost that includes invoice management, bank and credit card reconciliation, an easily accessible and searchable archive of past invoices that is safely stored in the cloud, and we offer customized templates at no extra cost.
There’s no manual entry required (simply scan invoices in), and we seamlessly integrate with all of your existing systems. You can check your business’ cash flow and aging reports daily, and we can provide daily, weekly, and monthly financial reports for your business or each location individually.
Easily approve invoice payments online, set your scheduled payment date, and view immediate access to supporting details through three-way matching. We even catch bank errors to avoid double billing.
On top of all that, we also provide payroll services as an add-on service to our AP and invoice management. You won’t find a company anywhere else that provides both in one package!