How to Achieve Paperless Invoice Processing

Greg Bartels

How invoice processing software automates invoice receipt, approval, and posting for accounts payable departments.

How to Achieve Paperless Invoice Processing

Casual industry observers could be forgiven for thinking that that organizations have rid their back offices of inefficient and ineffective manual tasks in favor of electronic touchless transactions. Of course, accounts payable (AP) leaders know better.

The sobering reality is that the back offices of most organizations – even large enterprises – are still inundated with manual tasks.  And all those manual tasks are as problematic as ever — if not worse.

Consider accounts payable and invoice processing.   The accounts payable processes at most organizations remain stubbornly manual or semi-automated, per the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM).  Most organizations must manually handle most of the invoices that they receive from suppliers (even those that arrive in electronic PDF format!).  In fact, less than one-quarter of accounts payable departments operate in an environment where invoices can be approved and posted to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) application straight-through, without human operator intervention, IOFM notes.

Tellingly, controllers surveyed by IOFM rank accounts payable as the most paper- and labor-intensive finance and administration (F&A) function, and the function most in need of automation, topping burdensome finance activities such as accounts receivable, tax and audit and reporting.

How to eliminate paper from your AP department

As accounts payable leaders know well, manual invoice processes result in higher costs, slower cycle times, more errors and less visibility — at a time when the function is under pressure to help the enterprise achieve strategic objectives for revenue growth, increased profits and competitive differentiation.

Not surprisingly, accounts payable professionals rank process improvement as a top priority for 2019, ahead of hot-button issues such as compliance, fraud mitigation and payment optimization.

Here’s the good news: cloud-based AP automation solutions make it easier than ever to digitize and simplify accounts payable and invoice processing.  And the return on investment on invoice processing software is compelling.


AP automation solutions streamline invoice processing with advanced technologies such as:

  • Digital mailroom for aggregating all paper and electronic invoices
  • Intelligent data capture
  • Dynamic workflows
  • Exceptions resolution tools
  • Robotic process automation (RPA)
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Machine learning
  • Mobile
  • Invoice analytics


AP automation solutions digitize the accounts payable and invoice processing lifecycle from end-to-end:


  • Invoice receipt
  • Invoice data capture
  • Invoice approval
  • Invoice posting
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Supplier management


IOFM’s latest benchmarks for accounts payable efficiency and effectiveness show the value of AP automation.

Accounts payable departments with a high level of invoice processing automation:

  • Spend less than one-fourth as much as their peers with little or no automation to process a single invoice
  • Process more than 14 times as many invoices per full-time equivalent (FTE) as their peers with little or no automation
  • Pay more than 90 percent of their invoices on-time
  • Have far fewer duplicate payments
  • Capture significantly more early payment discounts


AP automation solutions not only make accounts payable more efficient and effective, they provide the insights that better position organizations to win in the global economy.

The paperless back office can be a reality for accounts payable departments willing to automate with invoice processing software.

Is your AP department ready to rid itself of inefficient and ineffective manual invoice receipt, approval, and posting processes?



Edenred Pay, an Edenred Company, is the global leader in invoice-to-pay automation. Our integrated platform connects businesses with suppliers, ERPs, banks, FinTechs, and payment rails to automate, optimize, and monetize the entire B2B payments lifecycle – from invoice receipt through payment reconciliation. Edenred Pay’s efficient, integrated solutions create a frictionless process and help deliver value to the enterprise by enhancing visibility and monetizing AP.

Visit or contact us to learn more.