The two most important components of a business workflow are the revenue cycle and expenditure cycle. The Invoice to pay process is one of the sub-components under the expenditure cycle.
Invoice to Pay (I2P) is a process that focuses more on streamlining the activities involved in managing supplier payments. The request for the payment of goods or services provided by the supplier is covered under Invoice to Pay. It is the introductory step in the purchase-to-pay processing cycle.
Once the invoice is received from the client, the first step is to determine how that particular invoice has to be segregated. Invoices are often sent through different modes – physical copies, copies through email and fax in various formats. Based on this, the invoice so received will be segregated to be easy to track and refer whenever needed.
Once the segregation is done, the necessary details contained in the invoice have to be entered into the system. Manual entry is often riddled with errors in name or amounts entered incorrectly. Moreover, it is a time-consuming process. The business deals with a large influx of invoices. It makes more sense to opt for image scanning and automation. The information entered into the system is free from errors due to data entry.
Once the entry is made, all the details entered have to be checked against the invoice for verification purposes. If any discrepancies exist, the changes should be made accordingly, and the entry should be updated. Once the invoice and the data entered are verified successfully and matched, the invoice moves along to the approval stage. Here, the approving authority gives the go-ahead for the payment to be made.
Once the payment approvals are obtained, the payment has to be made to the client as per the payment mode previously agreed upon and on or before the due date for payment to avoid any fines or penalties for late payment. Once the payment is made, the same is updated in the accounting software system/ERP.