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The invoice approval process

The invoice approval process is one of the most frequently implemented processes in the document management system, besides incoming mail. There are many implementation options, which is why only the simplest option is mentioned below.

Invoices that are batch scanned and entered in the mailroom are sent to relevant services for multi-level approval or intermediate assessment. In the case of a larger company, an intermediary verifies the data on the invoice, complements them if need be (divides the sum by keys/cost centers or sums/percentages, enters a CA, …), selects the first approver from the organization chart and sends the approver the invoice for reviewing. The approver verifies the data on the invoice, potentially complements them, and forwards the invoice to the next approver. As a rule, the latter is the head of a service or director. This is followed by approval from the management (administration), possibly from abroad. The approvers are chosen according to their position in the organization chart and the limitations of their authority. Accounting receives the invoice, complements it with data if need be, enters all the items of the invoice into the relevant accounts and prepares the invoice for payment.

Liquidation of accounts is carried out in close connection to the business information system (account book/general ledger). The systems exchange data mutually (the transfer of data on invoices and the transfer of data on a paid invoice from the account book to the document management system, the transfer of sums by cost centers to the account book, etc.).

Improvements to the process are directed towards eliminating work repetition. If an order for goods or services has been previously approved by persons in charge and the sums of the received invoice and the purchase order match, then the reapproving of invoices is pointless.