Invoice Cost Assurance Process
Invoice-processing tasks can be grouped in four distinct group, each with their own unique processing instructions and required user skills. These areas are;
- Invoice collection
- Invoice Validation
- Invoice Discrepancy (Dispute) Management
- AP Integration
The question is, are you processing your invoices efficiently? Measured performance against documented processes are the key mechanism by which businesses can ensure they are operating efficiently.
The first task is to review the current processes and determine where the task instructions and documented processes fall on the business process maturity curve. These five maturity phases are;
- Ad Hoc
The key to achieving a high-performing process is to understand the current performance of a process, to identify the level of performance required and establish a design to achieve the desired performance.
To achieve a high performing process, the process (steps) must be measured and then optimized. Assessing the maturity of a process area requires breaking down the key elements of the process and asking questions such as:
The listed questions are some of what you might ask, where a complete list will be driven by your business specifics. Objectively answering these questions, is a means by which you can evolve each task area along the maturity curve and elevate your invoice processing task(s) towards a process-focused methodology.
To achieve the optimal efficiency, you need to address your process in each of the following areas;
- Process Definition and Documentation
- Process Performance, Measure and Recommendations
- Process Improvement Implementation
Process Definition & Documentation
As people come and go, herculean efforts are often needed to get work done and can pose significant risks to business operations. With time, users unknowingly add their own shortcuts and steps into the process. Documenting the steps to complete a process, from input to output can help ensure a process is followed consistently time and again. The task here is to define a process hierarchy, developing an inventory of processes and sub-processes within the organization and showing how various processes interrelate. Essentially, this hierarchy forms a skeletal roadmap for defining how work is done end-to-end, and how departments may interact.
- Is the AP Invoice process documented ?
- Are desired outcomes clearly defined and aligned with task objectives?
- Does the documentation provide guidance to address possible anomalies ?
- Does the process have clear ownership and performance accountability?
- Is the process streamlined and optimized
- Is the process consistent and standard when compared to other business processes
Process Performance, Measure and Recommendations
To understand how a process is operating, you objectively measure how the desired outcome is achieved, provided the assigned resources;
- Is the output quality exceptional or just satisfactory ?
- Are more resources needed to be exceptional ?
- Is the task consuming too many resources (and is a drain on the company?),
- Is the task completed in a reasonable time frame ?
- Can the process be optimized ?
- Is the process 100% manual ? How much of the processing can be automated with computer robotic. Repetitive, structured tasks can likely be completed with robotic automation. Has this been considered ?
Once you understand how the task is completed, and to what degree of excellence, you then methodically and logically assess how can the process be improved. Process Improvement opportunities are then quantified and prioritized based on benefit potential and level of effort to address.
Continuous Process Improvement
A sustaining focus on process management and continuous improvement is key, process improvement is continuous. Building on the results from the work described in this memo, you will have the basis by which to continuously measure your performance and initiate action to remain optimized.
Automation Drives Profitability.
Contact Telecom offers a robust workflow application that ensures your business rules are consistently applied and that the applied processes are followed to the T. Once implemented into BDA, your business processes will move up the Maturity to Level 4/5.
With Contact Telecom Invoice Workflow solution, every aspect of the invoice life cycle is managed;
- Invoice Collection – All your invoices, collected and stored online, digitally
- Invoice Validation – Invoice exceptions are addressed, audits applied
- Invoice Discrepancy – integrated dispute creation, submittal, tracking
- AP Integration – automated feed to/from existing accounting system
Using a solution like Contact Telecom Invoice Workflow services, you are ensured your invoice cost assurance process is completed consistently, in an optimized, programmatic manner with every invoice, every time. We work with you to implement an efficient invoice collection and processing program that best supports your business. Let us work for you. Call 978-270-3004 today for a free process review and assessment.