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Enhancing Your AP with Automated Workflows

The Accounts Payable (AP) department is a critical business function, managing all outflows from the company, whether related to direct costs, overhead costs or capital expenditures. Mismanaging outflows from the company may impact a company’s financial stability, and vendor relationships.

The majority of AP departments continue to operate a “manual” process, receiving paper invoices (or printing emailed invoices), coding on the document, and physically handing to approvers for sign-off, prior to returning the document back to AP for data entry to ERP and payment. This process is outdated and inefficient. Based on research, the cost of processing an invoice in this manual format is $20.00 to $30.00 per invoice.

Automating AP by leveraging a fully digital end-to-end solution removes most, if not all, manual intervention and allows the AP function to operate cost-effectively, efficiently and transparently.

Here’s how:

1) Automated Invoice Processing

Manual handling and data entry is incredibly time-consuming and is low value add. AP Automation with a company like Octacom allows AP to be hands off in the receipt and data entry of invoices, following the email receipt or PO Box scanning activities required to get invoices into a digital format. With Octacom, invoices go through a three-stage data capture process: (1) automated capture leveraging enhanced technology, (2) indexing and (3) quality control; the latter two steps involve human AP processors and enable more than 99.9% accuracy on invoice data capture.

2) Automated Logic Application

In order to achieve automation, tailored logic can be applied to invoices and invoice data to allow for automation of, for example:

Default GL Coding

Assignment of Requestor/Approver

Addition of Line Items or Miscellaneous Charges

PO Line Matching (both two-way and three-way matching)

And more…

This process ensures limited manual intervention is required in the invoice processing portion of AP, prior to entry into the AP software for workflow.

AP Approval Workflow Software

Odiss AP Approval Workflow Software

3) Automated Approval Workflows

Once the invoice is processed, it must go through various approval stages depending on the organization’s delegation of authority, assuming they are non-PO invoices (PO invoices that match would be straight-through processed). With Octacom’s Odiss™ AP Portal, this takes place through our Canadian cloud and eliminates invoices floating around the organization in paper form. Workflows are automated based on vendor, dollar threshold, approver level, department or other. Throughout the workflow, AP and approvers can edit GL coding, leave notes, attach supporting documents and more.

Odiss™ AP Portal’s Vendor Portal module is also available, enabling suppliers to submit invoices, track the approval and payment status, submit inquiries and update information.

4) ERP Integration

Once approved, invoice data is submitted via integration to the client’s ERP and no further manual data entry is required. This integration may take place through API/web services or data file exchanges, depending on the client’s ERP requirements. Octacom has integration with SAP, SageX3, JDE, CMS and more.


AP Automation has the following core benefits:

Achieved cost savings of 50% or more

Enhanced transparency and visibility into AP processing

Improved accuracy through reduced manual intervention

Enhanced scalability


Watch the Video to See How AP Automation Works


If you are interested in learning more, please contact us at and we would be pleased to share some additional materials and a link to our 7-minute AP Automation video, which provides an end-to-end overview of our service and software.

About Octacom

Octacom provides document and data management solutions to clients across North America from mid- and large-sized corporations, governments to non-profits, focusing on financial process automation. Established in 1976, we are a privately held, 100% Canadian owned company.

Working with Octacom allows you to improve customer service, lower your operating costs and realize a positive impact on your bottom line. Eliminating manual processes will help your organization achieve these goals and allow for more focus on your core business priorities.

Learn more about Octacom’s Accounts Payable Automation solutions and how we can help you save money, improving your business processes and operations.

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