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Mastering the Accounts Payable Process Cycle

Posted by Fergal Burke

10 Min Read

Mastering the Accounts Payable Processing Cycle: A Comprehensive Guide

In the realm of financial operations, the accounts payable (AP) processing cycle stands as a pivotal component, essential for streamlined business functionality. As industries embrace digital transformation, the integration of cutting-edge technologies has revolutionised how enterprises manage their AP procedures. Here, we delve into the core intricacies of the accounts payable processing cycle, exploring its nuances and the indispensable role of automation.

Understanding the Accounts Payable Processing Cycle

The AP processing cycle encapsulates a series of steps involved in handling invoices, from receipt to payment. Traditional methods often grappled with manual data entry, error-prone processes, and prolonged approval cycles. However, the advent of automation has paved the way for enhanced efficiency and accuracy across these stages:

  1. Invoice Receipt:
    • Receipt of invoices from vendors via mail, email, or electronic platforms, followed by verification against purchase orders and contracts.
    • Manual processing often results in delays and errors, leading to inefficiencies.
    • Automation eliminates manual entry by capturing and digitising invoice data swiftly with Electronic Document Management System (eDMS) and Accounts Payable Automation (APA) solutions auto-extracting invoices from your email system and logging them in your ERP/accounts system.
  2. Invoice Validation and Approval:
    • Verification of invoice accuracy, matching against purchase orders and receipts. Approval workflows involve various stakeholders verifying and approving invoices for payment.
    • Manual coding and approval processes can bottleneck operations, affecting cash flow.
    • eDMS and APA solutions can now auto-process 70%+ of incoming invoices without any human intervention.
    • Automated workflows streamline validation and approval, reducing human error and processing time.
  3. Processing and Payment:
    • Coding invoices, scheduling payments, and reconciling accounts. Manual payment methods are prone to delays and lack real-time tracking capabilities.
    • Automation software enables intelligent routing and ensures adherence to payment terms, optimising cash flow.

The Accounts Payable Automation Process

The Role of Automation in Revolutionising AP Processing

Enterprises embracing automation witness a paradigm shift in their AP operations. Robust APA software solutions expedite mundane tasks, fostering:

  • Efficiency Boost: Automation significantly reduces processing time, enabling faster approvals and payments.
  • Error Mitigation: Minimisation of human errors through automated data capture and validation.
  • Enhanced Compliance: Ensuring adherence to regulatory standards and company policies with automated checks.
  • Cost Savings: Reduction in processing costs, including labour expenses and late payment penalties.

Why Prioritise Accounts Payable Automation Software?

Choosing the right automation software is crucial for unlocking the full potential of AP optimisation. Features to look for include:

  • Intelligent Data Capture: Auto extraction and interpretation of invoice data and linking invoice data to other related documents.
  • Customisable Workflows: Tailoring AP processes to align with specific business needs.
  • Integration Capabilities: Seamless integration with existing ERP/accounts systems for a cohesive financial ecosystem.
  • Robust Reporting: Insights into key metrics for informed decision-making.


The accounts payable processing cycle is the linchpin of financial operations, and automation emerges as the catalyst for its evolution. By harnessing the power of advanced technologies, businesses can transcend the limitations of traditional AP processes, achieving unparalleled efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness.

Empower your enterprise with cutting-edge accounts payable automation software and embark on a journey toward streamlined financial operations.

Ready to revolutionize your AP processing? Explore our comprehensive suite of automation solutions designed to elevate your business to new heights.

Want to find out more about how APA can benefit your business?

At EIS we’ve been helping our clients save time, money, and a whole lot of hassle for over 20 years. We help clients across multiple industries to solve a variety of accounts payable and document management challenges and our strategic partnership approach enables us to provide solutions that evolve with their business.

If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of EDM for your organisation, talk to one of our experts today.