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Accounts Payable Automation Visualized

Accounts payable automation is used by organizations all over the world to streamline workflows, save time and money, and improve efficiency. What does the process look like?

Accounts payable automation process infographic

Document Capture

At the input stage, a stakeholder will capture the document.

This should be able to accommodate a large variety input devices from which to digitize the document or file.

These input sources should include things like:

  • Scanners
  • Email
  • Manual and bulk uploads
  • Mobile apps
  • Web-based software applications

Intelligent Data Capture

Data and information are extracted automatically, validated, and then inputted into a database.

At this stage, the inputted documents are “tagged” with the appropriate metadata to make it easier to search for them.

This metadata should be determined by the internal organization process, but will typically involve the use of key search terms and phrases.

In addition, system indexing should also take place here, which in effect means that data relating to information about dates, document type, or other identifiers of the document are taken into account.

Indexing should also take into account revisions after the fact, so different document versions are made clear for people accessing them.

Workflow and Exceptions

Exceptions are flagged and put into an automated workflow for approval and validation.

Invoices are automatically matched to purchase orders and receipt of goods. When there is a match, it is automatically sent through for processing.

When there is an exception, it is automatically identified by the system and sent for approval and validation by the appropriate stakeholder.

This allows staff to spend time assessing exceptions, rather than all documents—saving time and labor costs.

Approval Routing

Vendors are verified and invoices are sent to the person who needs it for approval.

Approval routing allows users and administrators to approve transactions before they are processed.

Approval hierarchies mean employees can designated approvers and set approval limits for expense reports, purchase requests, and purchase orders.


Invoices are securely stored for future reference after approval.

Many organizations operate with customer-facing staff who have to retrieve information from several different sources. The result of this is a system in which they have an incomplete view of their customers’ invoices.

Archiving in accounts payable automation means captured digital images of invoices are mirrored from the customer to the company. In essence, the organization sees exactly what the customer sees in invoices.

These documents are stored in a central archive from which staff have easy access to retrieve and answer customer queries.

Payment Posting

Transactions are posted and the final payment is finalized and notated.

If you need a comprehensive system for accounts payable automation, Impact has you covered. Our experts can oversee implementation and deployment of AP automation. For more information, visit