Inside Spendesk 4 min read

Spendesk Invoices: Automate your AP from procure to pay

Claire Boisseau

Studies show that invoice payments are one of the top pain points for finance teams. This shouldn’t be surprising, as they account for 88% of all company spend (on average). 

Thousands of companies already use Spendesk to manage, track, review and pay their supplier invoices alongside other company spending. And we’ve made this even more valuable thanks to two new additions: Purchase Orders and Budgets.

You now have one platform to track the entire AP process in real-time, from purchase order to payment, with the same system as your card spend and expenses. This keeps finance teams in complete control, and helps keep teams accountable, efficient, and within budget. 

Let’s explore the value of Purchase Orders (POs) further.

Why purchase orders are necessary 

A purchase order request is used when an employee needs to make a purchase on behalf of their company. It’s a request, often with a quote attached, that shows the cost center owner that the purchasing process can begin

Purchase orders let employees clearly define the goods and services they need, and gives managers the chance to review spending before it occurs. And since the finance or purchasing team makes the payment and have full visibility, they're ultimately in control.

A more secure purchasing process with POs

With purchase orders, the buyer’s requirements are spelled out to the supplier at the very beginning of the transaction process. There should be no misunderstanding of the expected service or price. In case of a dispute, the PO is considered as the source of truth, and can act as a binding contract. 

Better visibility for the finance team over committed purchases

Thanks to POs, finance teams have the full context behind every invoice, and can easily anticipate future purchases. The finance team can match this information with the invoice and what has been delivered (known as “three-way matching”) and pay suppliers with confidence. 

Without good tools in place, this process is hard to manage and often involves significant amounts of time and resources from different teams. 

Why your PO process is slowing you down

Like many common business processes, even simple purchase orders can lead to issues. Unless you’re using modern automation, you’ll certainly run into the following issues.

Finance teams:

  • Have no visibility on what is committed, therefore they cannot anticipate and forecast. Most of the time, the finance team receives the invoice when it's time to pay and too late to make changes. This often causes companies to go over budget. 
  • Have to track orders manually. This takes time and adds lots of manual work to juggle spreadsheets and stay on top of spending.
  • Need more accuracy on commitment status at the end of accounting periods. Being able to track committed but unpaid spend gives a more accurate account of the company’s financial health.  
  • Need more complete information on supplier invoices before paying. This includes the goods delivered, whether the order was approved by a manager, and which budget it should fall under.

Managers:

  • Need to manage team budgets and optimize supplier costs.

Employees:

  • Need approval from the budget owner before starting a project with the supplier.

For the whole company:

  • It’s a painful process to work with suppliers. It involves lots of back and forth between employees, managers, and finance teams, just to communicate about a simple PO. People quickly find themselves in Slack loops and down email rabbit holes.

This all ends up with a complicated, manual process resulting in a lack of visibility and control for everyone.

Approve, track, and pay your bills with ease

How Spendesk’s Purchase Orders help

Help employees submit clear, accurate POs

Spenders can now generate purchase orders directly within Spendesk, keeping budget owners and finance team informed and in control. Like any virtual card request, the PO follows a clear flow for the budget owner to approve or deny the order. 

Get real-time visibility over budgets

Budget owners then can review and approve their teams’ Purchase Orders, which automatically link to the correct budget. This empowers every budget owner to be accountable for their spend, with a real-time budget overview on what's been spent versus planned.

Gain full visibility over all ongoing commitments

In Spendesk, you have full visibility over all your company commitments and their updated status (Waiting for delivery, Late invoice, Partially billed, Billed, and Overbilled). 

Automate your three-way matching to pay invoices with confidence

Save time and reduce errors in supplier information, payment information, and double payments. Match your purchase order and invoice information with what has been delivered, and schedule payments directly from Spendesk. 

Create your automated AP process today

Gain time with a fully automated AP system in one place that helps every employee do their best work:

  • The finance team has full visibility over the purchasing process
  • Budget owners can approve spending based on actual budgets 
  • Employees can request autonomously and see each PO’s status 

 

Already a Spendesk customer? 

Talk with your dedicated account manager to request early access to the feature! 

Never tried Spendesk?

Book your free demo of Spendesk today to see how we can help your company automate the AP process (and more!). New Call-to-action

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Claire Boisseau

Claire is Product Marketing Manager at Spendesk where she helps modern businesses take control of their spending.