Your Accounts Payable Knowledge Center

Why Can’t I Just Use Emails For Invoice Approvals?

Well, actually, you can use emails for invoice approvals.  The ESIGN Act outlines that electronic approvals are legal.  But that is not the real issue with using emails.

A few of the issues are outlined below.

  • Multiple approvals in certain order.

The only way to have review and approval take place in a specific order is to manually send the emails in the order you want.  This means that you get to keep track of each invoice and where it is in? the process.

  • Approval rules like $ amount

With email routing, you don’t have a way to enforce approval rules such as having a senior executive approve invoices over a certain dollar amount. 

  • Manual tracking and routing

With email routing and approval, a person must manually track each step of the process, keeping track of all invoices that are in progress.  This may work if you only have a few invoices a day, but when you have dozens or hundreds, it is nearly impossible.

  • Storage

Email is a great communication tool, but it is terrible at storage.  Email systems were not designed for organizing and storing documents.  They barely manage email storage. 

  • Retrieval

Have you ever tried to find an email from 4 years ago?  How about a document that was attached to an email? Email systems do not provide a mechanism for organizing documents so that you can quickly and directly access the document you are looking for.

So, you can use email for small numbers of invoices, but eventually even those with small quantities will become overwhelming after a few years.  You need a solution that provides you with a method for organizing the information and controlling the approval process from start to finish.



Topics: Accounts Payable