NetSuite Invoice Automation: Streamlining Finance & Improving Profitability

Every financial professional knows that many accounts payable (AP) processes are long and tedious. AP clerks and managers are often tasked with working through stacks of paper invoices, searching for each invoice match individually, and mailing checks to suppliers (yikes!). NetSuite users are often faced with these same challenges—they have a powerful ERP for managing their day-to-day business, but they have not fully extended NetSuite and maximized its value. 

NetSuite Invoice Automation is the next step for many companies looking to eliminate wasted hours, improve efficiency and accuracy, and transform AP’s value within the organization. When these teams eliminate manual processes, they see drastically improved supplier performance and improved cash flow.

Doesn’t NetSuite Offer Invoice Automation?

NetSuite has its roots as a finance platform, and has a robust set of offerings, but it does not have a native Invoice Automation function. Most NetSuite users rely on old workflows that put the responsibility on them to collect and enter invoices, match them with individual PO lines, identify discounts, and manually enter all of these changes into the ERP.

What is Invoice Automation? How Does it Work with NetSuite?

At its core, Invoice Automation tools like SourceDay use optical character recognition (OCR) to translate invoices into a standardized digital format and provide a simple workflow for processing them—from initial invoice receipt to approvals to supplier payment and everything in between. 

Companies using NetSuite ERP can leverage SourceDay’s Invoice Automation to improve accuracy and reduce the number of hours their AP teams spend processing invoices. A significant amount of manual data entry is eliminated, and because it is handled by AI, there are far fewer errors. Invoice matching is also performed automatically, which saves untold hours that could be spent searching for purchase order (PO) and receiving documents at multiple sites. 

Why Leverage Netsuite Invoice Automation?

Automation benefits CFOs, VPs of finance, controllers, AP clerks, accounting managers, and other stakeholders who interact with POs or invoices in their daily workflows. CFOs and VPs of finance know they can rely on the data they are provided from NetSuite, and therefore make smarter, more confident decisions. Controllers work more efficiently through audits thanks to a fully digital paper trail that contains notes, correspondence, and accurate data. And accounting teams now have more time to focus on strategic projects that will positively impact the bottom line on a larger scale. 

One of the most obvious and impactful benefits of Invoice Automation is time savings. No more stacks of paper invoices, no more manually searching for documents to match those invoices. Gone are the days of searching multiple sites, entering invoice data manually, overpayments, missed payments, or missed early payment discounts. 

Invoice Automation vs. No Automation

  • 49% Invoice Processing-Cost Savings: Invoice Automation results in consistent reduction in costs/invoice processed.
  • 18% Fewer Days Payable Outstanding (DPO) – DPO Average with automation is 5.55 days shorter than without it.
  • 63% More Likely to Enjoy Straight Through Processing (STP) for AP Invoicing
  • Automation makes it possible to process 4X as many invoices
  • 5X lower processing cost per invoice
  • 50% lower exception rate
  • 2.5X faster processing time per invoice

Invoice Automation extends your NetSuite ERP by virtually eliminating data errors. Fewer errors means fewer issues that must be investigated and corrected—usually by multiple teams. With a digital paper trail and tracked correspondence, audits and compliance are shorter, simpler processes. Finance teams always have an accurate view of payment status—who is owed, how much, and when payment must be received to take advantage of discounts like early payment price breaks, which most vendors offer. 

According to a 2017 study, more than 30 percent of respondents said that manual invoice payment and approval was a key barrier to gaining these discounts. With Invoice Automation, those manual processes are no longer part of the daily grind. NetSuite users can use their Invoice Automation platform to instantly see payment terms for each vendor, communicate about specific invoice changes or challenges, and make sure every stakeholder is informed about the status of every invoice. 

Speaking of payment terms, late payments can severely hinder your company’s growth. They affect profitability and can easily throw projections off course. Suppliers are partners in your success and those relationships are difficult enough to foster, so don’t throw an extra complication into the mix by paying them late. Small and mid-sized businesses are especially vulnerable to late payments, so you want to make sure those relationships stay strong.

Benefits of NetSuite Invoice Automation

  1. Less Paperwork – Invoice Automation solutions eliminate mountains of paperwork. Users scan invoices into the system, which extracts the necessary information. Now, instead of manually keying-in data or chasing down POs for matching, all relevant information is processed digitally and available to all stakeholders at the click of a mouse.
  2. Easier PO/Invoice Matching – Reconciling invoices against payments is now a breeze. There are significantly fewer errors and the matching is automatic.
  3. Better Cash Flow – Because users are now spending less time on manual tasks, they are free to focus on more important work, like making sure payments are made on time and that no debt accrues. 
  4. Fewer Late Invoices (And Penalties!) – When payments are on time, supplier relationships are stronger and penalties are avoided.
  5. Time Savings – Automation eliminates long workloads. One SourceDay automation customer saw their team’s daily workloads reduced by 30%.
  6. Improved Visibility – Netsuite Invoice Automation provides a centralized workspace with clear audit trails for every invoice, and the ability to track payments and identify opportunities for cost savings.
  7. Stronger Supplier Relationships – If you don’t view suppliers as valuable stakeholders, then you are sacrificing long term success; they are critical to your profitability. Extend your NetSuite ERP with a top-notch Invoice Automation platform, and your suppliers will thank you. They receive payments on time, communication is clear and seamless, and relationships are stronger across the board.

NetSuite Invoice Automation: Bringing It All Together

NetSuite ERP is an incredibly powerful finance tool, and Invoice Automation platforms like SourceDay provide time savings, better control, and a huge productivity boost to finance teams. They can now process invoices with minimum time and effort, and manage invoice/PO mismatches by exception—rather than employing three or more teams to chase them down manually. And with accurate real-time data, accounts payable teams can confidently make decisions and work strategically to improve supplier relationships and profitability.