Dispute, Payment and Cash Management – Exploring Accounts Payable Automation and E-Invoicing Linkages


This article is based on content from the Spend Matters Perspective: Understanding How E-Invoicing Fits. Authored by Spend Matters Founder and Managing Director Jason Busch, with input and guidance from Trade Financing Matters’ David Gustin, it provides a foundation for organizations considering or already putting in place an electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) or purchase-to-pay (P2P) program.

Dispute management is a central element of any overall accounts payable (A/P) management process or flow. The same holds true for accounts payable automation systems and programs as well as e-invoicing. This is an area where e-invoicing can shortcut manual involvement by pushing invoices back to suppliers if they fail any type of tolerance.

Dispute management elements include:

  • Identification of discrepancies such as price or quantity differences, short pay, missing or invalid PO numbers
  • Notification of discrepancies to buyers, originators and receiving
  • Preparing cash recovery, discounts and credit notes 

A/P must also contain linkages with payment and cash management processes. Or payments and cash management must meet A/P, depending on where you sit in the process or inside an organization.

Here, activities include:

  • Outsourcing check preparation costs
  • Payment prevention if a discrepancy has been logged
  • Full system-based visibility of all pending payments

  • Check preparation, handling, sorting and stuffing activities

  • Sending payments, whether paper checks or electronic, such as automated clearing house (ACH) or wire transfers

Finally, we should note that some elements of e-invoicing can stand alone outside the A/P automation process. These include complex invoice workflow, matching, approvals and overall process management and the ability to electronically capture invoices from suppliers of all sizes.

With or without A/P automation programs in place – and regardless of the stage of A/P maturity – e-invoicing can bring material benefits in these areas, benefiting procurement and A/P alike.

Dispute management, payment management and cash management are all central components of A/P automation programs – and organizations must consider them alongside a range of other e-invoicing program configuration, linkage and management decisions as well.

For further background on the topic, we encourage you to download the paper, Understanding How E-Invoicing Fits, from the Spend Matters research library. (Note: the paper is available for free download for a limited period of time).

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