Workflow is an important part of AP Automation. I like to call workflow the engine that drives the machine. For those of you that don’t know about workflow it is an electronic approval process that is designed to go from approver to approver automatically.
The best decisions a company can make is when they have data to back it up, or better has data to help them create, form and make the decision. The perfect world is that the data is collected and analyzed in a way that the information makes its own decisions.
The reality on the last statement is that the source of the information (data) is so poorly collected, maintained, scrubbed and analyzed that the conclusions can’t be trusted. Not being trusted is the worst. It’s the worst because people know bad and people know good it’s the middle of good and bad that is confusion. Parts may work and parts may not but knowing which is which becomes impossible. The outcome is you do the work to get the data, take a look at it and then make a gut decision regardless of the information.
For workflows there is a set of “trusted data” that you should know.
- If your approval process (workflow) is changed more than 15% of the time you need another approval path. Over 15% indicates that there is a pattern which requires a new workflow.
- If the workflow has less than 2% of invoice volume it is being under used and needs to deactivate.
- If your approval process has more than 3 permanent steps and 3 conditional steps, one of those steps needs to be a report and not an approval.
- If 50% of your workflows needs “triage” then (hang on) you need a new service provider. If your current service provider can’t accommodate your initial assignment rules and you are having to manually assign invoice to approval processes, you are not as automated as you can be.
- If your approval process requires more than a 25% push from one approver to another (same as above) your service provider is lacking in technology that is requiring you to do too much work.
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