The St. Louis Business Journal recently published an article titled “15 Reasons Why Your Invoice Has Not Been Paid” – it’s a well-written piece that any accounts payable (AP) or accounts receivable (AR) processor can relate to instantly, but it may as well have been titled “15 Reasons Why Your AP or AR Department Needs an Automated Solution.”

Writer Bryce Sanders offers the following 15 reasons you may hear when inquiring about an unpaid invoice:

  1. We didn’t receive the invoice.

  2. Are you an approved vendor?

  3. Do we have your W-9 on file?

  4. Do you accept credit cards?

  5. We need expense documentation.

  6. I will check with the person who processes invoices.

  7. They have assured me your invoice has been submitted.

  8. The person I’ve asked hasn’t given me an answer. I will put you in touch with them directly.

  9. The person who processes invoices quit.

  10. Your invoice has been submitted for approval.

  11. We pay invoices at the end of each month.

  12. Our computer system went down for several days.

  13. I don’t know what to tell you.

  14. I will check with Accounts Payable and call you right back.

  15. They don’t return or answer calls or e-mails.

Mr. Sanders couldn’t be any more spot on with these “reasons” why invoices don’t get paid, but how can you make this process better for your customers and vendors?  

One word: Automation.

Automating your financial process operations can prevent you from having to make any of these excuses if you’re an AP processor and from having to hear the majority of them if you work on the AR side.

Let’s use reason No. 1 as an example. You send an invoice to an individual or company you have supplied a good or service to. Once 30 days go by and the invoice isn’t paid, you call that party and ask them why the payment is still outstanding. They say, “We never received the invoice.” In a manual environment, you might have a difficult time proving that you did send the invoice and they did receive it. With an automated Quote to Cash solution, you have instant access to all of the information and documentation related to that client’s account, and you can quickly say, “We sent your invoice on April 7th. I can email you a copy while I have you on the phone.” This type of instant visibility defuses confrontation and stress that is associated with past due accounts.

On the AP side of the ledger, this visibility prevents confusion on whether you received the invoice in the first place. Imagine if you logged into your automation provider’s interface and were instantly alerted that an invoice was due in seven days. You would not only never deliver a late payment, but you would frequently be able to take advantage of early-payment discounts, which can add up to thousands of dollars in savings a year.

So, if you’re experiencing the pain points that Mr. Sanders listed above, then AR or AP automation is the cure for what ails you. If you have any questions, send a message to   


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