The team at 4castplus recently completed a key productivity advancement with the new 4castplus “AP Automation” module. Anyone familiar with accounts payable (AP) knows that the effort that goes into matching, validating and approving vendor invoices can be incredibly time consuming and labor intensive. The new AP Automation module takes away as much as 70% of that effort by eliminating most of the manual, human involvement that goes into the matching and approval of vendor invoices. Instead, the system automatically, electronically matches and approves invoices.
A significant part of the burden on AP is rooted in the accounts payable staff not having easy access to either the original receipt, the PO commitment, or other corroborating evidence to match the invoice against. This lack of information causes unnecessary churn with AP personnel chasing down people, documents, scanned receipts, etc. to confirm the accuracy of the invoice. Then, once the substantiating information is found, matching and approving the invoice is largely a case of verifying that what’s on the invoice agrees with what is on the associated receipts. The thing is, vendor invoices are mostly bang-on accurate, so for the AP staff in those cases, it becomes a relatively tedious routine of stamping the invoice as approved. With the 4castplus AP Automation module, accounts payable can let the system handle the dull grind and heavy-lifting of matching invoices so that they can reduce their costs and focus their efforts on more high-value work.
How AP Automation Works
The 4castplus AP Automation module works using the following principle: Since the system, 4castplus, already has the commitment and the receipt information, the invoice can be easily matched. In most cases, there is an exact match between what’s being invoiced and what was received, so the system can automatically approve the invoice: i.e. there is no need for any manual effort. The only time a person needs to be involved, is when there is a discrepancy between the receipt(s) and the invoice. In those cases, the system will produce a list of exceptions for the AP personnel to address.
See more on Vendor Accruals and Vendor Invoice Matching here.
Working with OpenInvoice
Many organizations in the Oil & Gas industry have adopted the Oildex OpenInvoice solution for the initial processing of vendor invoices. Using the 4castplus Integration Platform, we’ve made it easy for organizations to leverage the power of both 4castlpus and OpenInvoice to work together as a full end-to-end automated solution. We’ve integrated the two systems so that the 4castplus AP Automation module can poll OpenInvoice for any outstanding invoices that need to be approved. It will then validate all the information uploaded to OpenInvoice by the vendor(s) and match them against the relevant receipt transactions. 4castplus will auto-approve any exact matches. Once approved, 4castplus can optionally send an Authorization-to-Pay to the accounting system for final payment.
The figure below shows the general architecture of the AP Automation module in 4castplus.
Purchase Order or Non-Purchase Order Vendor Expenses
The 4castplus integrated procurement management system provides a full lifecycle 3-way match purchasing and subcontracting solution that can be streamlined using AP Automation. Additionally, 4castplus also provides a built-in third-party expense tracking module for Non-PO vendor expenses. This module provides a 2-way match of items that are Received; and subsequently invoiced using the AP Automation module.