Why Getting to an Approved Invoice Faster Matters


This post is based on content from the Trade Financing Matters research paper, Accelerating Early Payment: Techniques and Approaches for Accelerating Cash in the Supply Chain.

Efficient accounts payable (A/P) automation provides options for the company’s CFO. Faster invoice approvals allow CFOs to make decisions on whom to offer early pay acceleration, how to use the company’s cash positions and whether outside sources of funding should be engaged.

Early pay acceleration on approved invoices does not require a company to go through the process of securing a revolving credit facility or an additional line of credit at its bank. Programs can be done by any corporate – investment grade, non-rated or non-investment grade. In addition, early payment can be offered on all invoices approved, opening up broader procurement spend, not just invoices for suppliers that are approved and ready within the allotted time period.

This is essential because successful discounting is dependent on fast invoice processing – ideally less than 14 days. Since only approved invoices are used for invoice discounting to work, the volume and number of invoices awaiting payment is the critical ingredient to unlocking early pay acceleration opportunities, be they buyer or third-party funded.

In short, by offering early pay options to their supplier base, companies provide an option when terms are extended. With some early pay techniques, treasury earns rebates based on discounts. Suppliers of course now have an option to get their cash faster for their receivables and have a choice: To take their money today at that price or to wait.

In the old world, this choice was not available. And we can thank the combination of A/P automation, purchase-to-pay (P2P), e-invoicing and supplier network tools for creation options for organizations when it comes to early payment and working capital management.

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