Doing Invoice Management in Excel? Try this instead!

Thursday, 20. January 2022 | 0 Comments

excel invoice automation

If you’re a business owner and your company uses Excel for invoice management processes, there is an excellent alternative for you! Although Excel is fantastic, it does have its drawbacks. And it’s important to remember that Excel is a spreadsheet application and supports the invoice management process, but it’s not specific to invoice processing activity. Modern Accounts Payable (AP) processes have requirements that exceed the functions of Excel. Discover solutions that simplify invoicing here and save time and effort.

Excel for invoice management: the Pros

Undoubtedly, Excel is easily accessible and cost-effective to use. Let’s look at the other perks of using Excel for AP processes:

  • Some degree of automation is available on Excel

It is possible to automate some AP processes on Excel with some extra knowledge. However, the degree of automation on Excel is insignificant in comparison to what AP automation platforms can provide. Apart from that, businesses can use some add-ons to supplement the functionality of Excel for invoice management.

  • Templates and formulae

Owing to the longevity and popularity of Excel, several pre-made formulae and templates are available for AP processes such as invoice tracking.

  • Using Excel is considered to be a mandatory skill.

In the finance industry, most bookkeepers, accountants, and other AP personnel know how to use Excel. It’s a gold standard. Every business utilizes Spreadsheets for some purpose or the other. Therefore, there is an abundance of domain specialties in your company, as well as online tutorials to execute AP operations.

Excel for invoice management: the Cons

Apart from an obvious drawback like manual data entry, let’s look at the other cons of using Excel for invoice management:

  • Version control and collaboration are not great.

The multi-user editing features on Excel have notorious flaws. Two people cannot simultaneously edit a spreadsheet. The version control element of Excel is also flawed because multiple versions of the spreadsheet tracking invoice get saved. So, it may be time-consuming and confusing to figure out the latest spreadsheet or end up with corrupted excel files that may have wrong data issues.

  • Spreadsheets don’t scale

The lack of scalability of Excel is undeniably the biggest drawback of efficient invoice management. A growing business dealing with hundreds of invoices (per month) on Excel can lead to issues like delayed payments to vendors or, worse, financial penalties for late payments.

  • Limited integrations

Excel does not flawlessly integrate with operational and financial systems such as enterprise resource planning software and so on.

The solution: Transition to an AP Automation Platform

Here are some of the critical benefits of transferring to an invoice automation platform:

  • Streamlined and automated AP process

There won’t be any requirement for manually entering data with invoice automation software. Data can get transferred automatically from e-invoices and different systems. Besides, invoices are sent (automatically) to the right personnel for approval and, after approval, get directly routed to the B2B system of your company. If you choose a modern invoice management system, you can download invoices automatically from various portals and will save time and costs.

  • No paper required

Going paperless is great for convenience purposes as well as the environment! It will also significantly reduce invoice processing costs. There won’t be any scope of losing or misplacing any invoice because each invoice is indexed and thus searchable. Mobile apps that scan paper invoices help in reducing paper usage.

  • Significantly lesser time required for processing invoice

Besides significant cost savings through invoice automation,  time savings is another significant advantage. A report by Goldman Sachs indicated that invoice automation can reduce the invoice processing time by 70-80% for SMBs!

The benefits of investing in invoice automation software successfully overcome the drawbacks of using Excel for invoice management.

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