The Power of Automated Invoice Matching

The Problem
It is not uncommon for corporations to write off three percent to 15 percent of their revenue every year due to billing or invoice compliance problems resulting in uncollected deductions and write offs. When there's a problem with an invoice – maybe an incorrect purchase order (PO) reference, incorrect part number reference, the invoiced price does not match the quoted price, or the customer disagrees with their variable 'metered-data' charges – customers often short-pay the bill or refuse to pay their bill entirely. Because of the time and labor involved in manually reconciling, researching and resolving these types of invoice compliance issues, companies often choose to collect the short-paid invoice and write-off the difference.

A particularly troublesome area is consumption-based billing, where customers are billed for variable services consumed during a given billing period. Customers frequently dispute or delay payment of their variable consumption charges requesting backup consumption reports (i.e., metered data reports) illustrating proof of consumption charges. Additionally, the buyer frequently employs accounts payable staff to manually reconcile inbound supplier paper invoices against POs, contracts, and other business documents. In addition to the overhead cost for these full time employees, there can also be the lost savings from missed early payment discounts.

This global business challenge is referred to as 'profit leakage' and accounts for billions in uncollected deductions and write offs.

The Solution
To combat this issue, a growing number of companies are moving to automated preliminary invoice validation and exception workflow handling.

This process automatically validates accounts receivable invoice line item charges against source documents such as variable consumption reports, POs, pricing agreements, and contracts.

With preliminary invoice validation processes in place, billing exceptions can be automatically detected and routed through workflow resolution before the invoice is finalized and distributed to the customer for payment. Catching and correcting billing exceptions before releasing the invoice for payment will dramatically reduce billing disputes, reduce DSO, increase customer satisfaction and allow for improved cash flow from payers leveraging early payment discounts.

To further streamline your customer's AP reconciliation process, consumption reports, purchase orders, pricing terms, contracts and electronic receipts can be attached to and distributed with the invoice. Payers can access their invoices and supporting backup attachments at any time via a self service portal.

The Results
Re-capturing 0.5 percent or one percent of revenue through preliminary invoice validation and exception workflow handling can significantly improve a company's bottom line.