How To Automate Your SAP Invoice Processing For Your Business



SAP invoice automation simplifies and streamlines the Accounts Payable (AP) process, decreasing invoice processing time, eliminating mistakes, and improving cash flow visibility.


Manual invoice processing on SAP, by comparison, can be time-consuming and repetitive, with multiple input stages that must be completed accurately to prevent errors. Minor data entry mistakes can cause significant bottlenecks in the invoice processing system as AP staff investigate exceptions and trace relevant documentation.

An automated SAP invoice system will transform the way your AP department operates, with the following steps critical for successful implementation:

Step 1: Data Capture

The first step of automated invoice processing in SAP is to receive invoices from suppliers and to transfer information to SAP in an efficient and accurate way. Invoices can be delivered in multiple formats, including EDI, XML, CSV, PDF, and paper (rarely these days), so it’s important that an automated approach to invoicing is flexible to accommodate the customer and the supplier.

SAP-compatible automated invoice management tools will enable you to  and transfer the required data too SAP with no intervention. Whether you manage this process in-house or opt for a managed service, automated technology means AP staff will no longer have to spend many hours painstakingly entering invoice data, the repetitiveness of which often leads to manual errors.

Step 2: Automation In SAP

For the highest invoice processing rates, it’s vital that your SAP set up integrates the most appropriate automated solution. The cost savings and benefits of automated invoice processing will be experienced when any combination of multiple purchase orders, multiple delivery notes, product codes, or purchase order item text are managed – a significant move away from automation of single-line invoices against a single purchase order item!

Full automation in SAP delivers quick and accurate data checking, line-item matching, and automated postings for both purchase orders and non-purchase orders within SAP.

Step 3: Continuous Improvement

Initial automation rates are only the beginning: with accurate analytics and the most suitable automation partner on-board, continuous improvements are possible. A dashboard that supports analysis of exceptions, giving AP staff an understanding of why these occur, will further improve the accuracy of the software, facilitating ongoing improvements to increase automations and reduce exceptions.

Analytics will allow for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to be measured, with capability to change the process of data capture and settings in the SAP add-on also crucial to improving first-time postings and increasing automated workflow rates.

Contact Cogent Consulting For More Information

At Cogent Consulting, we offer practical solutions to improve your SAP accounts payable processes, including invoice automation and managed data capture services.

To see our solutions in action and learn more about how our services could automate your invoice management, simply book a free virtual site visit.

SAP Invoice Automation Guide - Cogent Consulting
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