8 Practical Approaches to Optimize Invoice Submission Process
 Finance & Accounting

8 Practical Approaches to Optimize Invoice Submission Process

Rick Johnson
Rick Johnson
December 14, 2023
Last updated on:

December 14, 2023


Read time: 5 mins

The invoice submission process is a crucial aspect of financial transactions, streamlining the documentation and payment workflow. Businesses submit detailed invoices to their clients, specifying goods or services rendered along with associated costs.

This formal procedure ensures accuracy, transparency, and accountability, enabling smooth financial transactions. Automated systems and digital platforms often enhance efficiency, reducing errors and expediting the payment cycle for both parties involved in the transaction

This article explores eight practical approaches that organizations can implement to streamline and enhance their invoice submission workflows.

As per Future Market Insights, the invoice processing software market generated US$ 22 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach US$ 25.3 billion by 2033, with an 18% CAGR from 2023.

When Do Invoice Submissions Go Wrong?
Image 1 - When Do Invoice Submissions Go Wrong?

Key Strategies for Streamlining Invoice Submission Process

Here are key strategies to achieve streamlined invoice submission:

1. Standardize Invoice Templates

Standardizing invoice templates is crucial for consistency and clarity in financial transactions. It ensures uniformity in format, aiding easier processing, reducing errors, and fostering transparency in communication between parties. A standardized template streamlines the submission process, expediting payments and enhancing overall efficiency within the financial workflow.

Some steps to standardize the invoice templates are:

  • Unified Format: Employ a consistent layout and structure for all invoices to enhance clarity and ease of interpretation.
  • Clear Information: Ensure vital details like amounts, dates, and vendor information are prominently displayed for quick processing.
  • Digital Standardization: Utilize digital platforms and software to maintain uniformity across all invoice submissions effortlessly.
  • Template Guidelines: Establish clear guidelines for vendors on creating invoices to align with your standardized template.
  • Regular Updates: Review and update standardized templates to adapt to evolving business needs and compliance requirements.

2. Implement Automated Systems

Incorporating automated systems revolutionizes the invoice submission process by leveraging technology to streamline tasks, reduce human error, and accelerate payment cycles. Automation enhances efficiency by automating repetitive tasks like data entry, validation, and approval workflows. This saves time and improves accuracy, ensuring invoices comply with established guidelines and are promptly processed for payment.

The following are the steps to automate invoice processing and submission:

  • Invoice Capture Software: Integrate automated systems to capture, extract, and organize invoice data seamlessly for efficient processing.
  • Workflow Automation: Implement workflow automation tools to route invoices through approval processes, reducing manual intervention and accelerating processing times.
  • Data Validation Algorithms: Utilize automated algorithms to validate invoice data, minimize errors, and ensure accuracy in financial records.
  • Integration with ERP: Integrate automated systems with your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) for a cohesive and synchronized invoicing and financial management process.
  • Real-time Notifications: Set up automated alerts and notifications to keep stakeholders informed about the status of invoice submissions, approvals, and payments.

3. Utilize Electronic Invoicing

Electronic invoicing, or e-invoicing, represents a pivotal shift from paper-based to digital invoicing methods, offering unparalleled efficiency and cost-effectiveness. It expedites the submission process by enabling invoices to be created, sent, received, and processed electronically. Embracing e-invoicing reduces paper waste, streamlines operations, enhances accuracy and accelerates payment cycles, thereby significantly improving overall productivity and financial transparency.

The steps to implement electronic invoicing are as follows:

  • Adopt E-Invoicing Platforms: Leverage electronic invoicing platforms for secure, paperless, and efficient invoice creation, submission, and processing.
  • Digital Signatures: Implement digital signatures to enhance the authenticity and legal validity of electronic invoices, ensuring compliance and security.
  • Automated Delivery: Utilize automated email systems to promptly deliver electronic invoices, reducing delays and improving communication with vendors and stakeholders.
  • Cloud-Based Storage: Store electronic invoices in a secure cloud environment for easy accessibility, retrieval, and compliance with data retention policies.
  • Encourage Vendor Adoption: Encourage and facilitate vendors to transition to electronic invoicing, promoting a streamlined and eco-friendly invoicing ecosystem.

What is invoice submission?

Invoice submission refers to the process of sending an invoice to a customer or client for goods or services provided. It includes providing a detailed breakdown of the products or services, their quantities, prices, and any applicable taxes or discounts. This step initiates the billing and payment cycle.

To learn how to manage invoices, read our blog, ‘Top 10 Invoice Management Best Practices for Small Businesses.’

4. Establish Clear Submission Guidelines

Clear submission guidelines serve as a roadmap, ensuring uniformity and efficiency in the invoice submission process. They delineate specific requirements, formats, and timelines, minimizing confusion and errors. By establishing transparent guidelines, businesses set expectations for vendors and internal teams, reducing delays and discrepancies in invoice handling. This clarity promotes smoother communication, enhances compliance with regulatory standards, and fosters a structured approach to invoice submissions, ultimately optimizing the entire financial workflow.

Some of the steps to establish clear invoice submission guidelines are:

  • Documented Procedures: Develop and share comprehensive documentation outlining step-by-step submission guidelines, reducing ambiguity and ensuring uniformity.
  • Communication Channels: Clearly define preferred communication channels for submitting invoices, streamlining the submission process, and minimizing errors.
  • Deadline Adherence: Establish strict deadlines for invoice submission, ensuring timely processing and preventing delays in financial workflows.
  • Feedback Mechanism: Create a feedback mechanism for vendors, providing insights into submission errors and offering guidance for adherence to guidelines, fostering continuous improvement.

5. Centralize Invoice Management

Centralizing invoice management consolidates all invoicing processes into a unified analysis of the entire invoicing cycle from a centralized platform. By consolidating data and processes, businesses gain insights into payment statuses, outstanding invoices, and potential bottlenecks. Centralization minimizes redundancies, reduces errors, and improves collaboration among departments, fostering a more efficient and transparent invoicing system.

  • Unified Platform: Centralize invoice management on a single platform to streamline tracking, approvals, and payment processes for increased efficiency.
  • Role-Based Access: Implement role-based access controls to ensure secure and restricted access to sensitive financial data within the centralized system.
  • Consolidated Reporting: Generate consolidated reports from the centralized system to gain insights, monitor performance, and facilitate strategic decision-making.
  • Integration with Financial Systems: Integrate the centralized invoice management system seamlessly with financial systems, promoting real-time data synchronization and reducing manual data entry errors.

6. Set up a Designated Point of Contact

Establishing a designated point of contact streamlines communication channels between vendors and the invoicing department. This assigned liaison serves as a singular resource for query resolution, clarifications, and issue escalation, reducing confusion and delays. A designated contact person ensures consistent and coherent interactions, fostering better relationships with vendors. Moreover, it promotes accountability, as both parties understand their respective responsibilities, leading to smoother invoice submissions, quicker issue resolution, and overall improved collaboration.

Strategies to set up a designated point of contact are:

  • Dedicated Contact Person: Assign a designated point of contact for invoice-related queries, fostering clear communication and resolving issues promptly.
  • Communication Protocols: Establish clear communication protocols with the designated contact person to streamline inquiries, feedback, and dispute resolutions.
  • Training and Awareness: Ensure that stakeholders, both internal and external, are aware of the designated point of contact and understand the communication channels.
  • Issue Resolution Escalation: Define escalation procedures in case of complex issues, ensuring a systematic approach to problem-solving and maintaining smooth invoice processing.
Invoice Submission Checklist
Image 2 - Invoice Submission Checklist

7. Offer Online Submission Portals

Online submission portals provide a user-friendly, centralized platform for seamless and efficient invoice submissions. They offer convenience to vendors by enabling easy uploading, tracking, and management of invoices. These portals streamline the entire submission process, reducing manual errors, paper waste, and processing time. Additionally, they enhance transparency, allowing both parties to monitor the status of invoices in real time.

Ways to deliver online submission portals are:

  • User-Friendly Portals: Develop intuitive online submission portals that simplify the invoice submission process for vendors, reducing errors and improving efficiency.
  • Document Upload Features: Include features for easy document upload, allowing vendors to submit supporting documents seamlessly along with their invoices.
  • Real-Time Status Tracking: Provide a real-time tracking feature within the online portal, allowing vendors to monitor the status of their submitted invoices.
  • Automated Validation: Implement automated validation checks within the portal to ensure that submitted invoices adhere to predefined guidelines, reducing manual review efforts.

8. Foster Communication with Vendors

Maintaining open lines of communication with vendors is pivotal for a successful invoice submission process. Clear and consistent communication builds strong relationships, ensuring mutual understanding of expectations and requirements. It allows for addressing discrepancies promptly, avoiding delays in payments. Moreover, a collaborative approach encourages feedback exchange, enabling process improvements and streamlined interactions. Effective vendor communication fosters trust, reduces misunderstandings, and promotes a smoother invoicing process, ultimately benefiting both parties involved.

Steps to deliver effective communication are:

  • Regular Updates: Establish regular communication channels to provide vendors with updates on invoice processing status, promoting transparency and trust.
  • Clear Contact Information: Ensure vendors have access to clear contact information for inquiries, fostering open communication and quick issue resolution.
  • Feedback Mechanism: Implement a feedback mechanism to gather input from vendors, promoting continuous improvement in the invoicing process.
  • Training Sessions: Conduct training sessions for vendors on invoice submission procedures, addressing common issues, and ensuring adherence to guidelines.


Traditional invoice submission processes, marked by manual data entry and lengthy approval cycles, can be time-consuming for businesses. Overcoming these hurdles requires innovative solutions to deliver a seamless and error-free invoicing experience, aligning with the dynamic demands of modern financial ecosystems. However, integrating these solutions in-house will be costly and complex. In such cases, opting for external service providers is a game-changer.

External providers leverage advanced technologies to automate data extraction, reducing processing time. Choosing external vendors thus ensures swift, accurate, and efficient invoice processing, freeing up valuable time and resources for core business activities.

Invensis is a seasoned finance and accounting services firm delivering advanced and innovative invoice data entry and submission. We employ advanced OCR technology for precise data extraction coupled with automated validation processes. Our streamlined approach minimizes errors, accelerates approval cycles, and enhances overall efficiency in invoice submission for our clients. Contact us to optimize your invoice submission process with our robust solutions.

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