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The 3 Biggest P2P Invoicing Headaches (And How to Cure Them)

Leanne Strickler
Published September 11, 2023

Ever get frustrated with your company’s invoicing process? As a procurement pro, you know that p2p invoicing headaches can be a real drag on productivity. The good news is, that the top 3 problems plaguing p2p invoice processing are totally fixable if you know the cures.

In this article, we’re going to walk through the biggest p2p invoicing headaches from a buyer’s perspective and show you how to remedy them once and for all. By the end, you’ll have actionable solutions for streamlining your p2p invoicing, reducing costs, and improving vendor relationships. So grab your metaphorical medicine bag and let’s get to work—your p2p invoicing relief awaits!

Invoice Errors – The #1 P2P Invoicing Headache

Invoice errors are the number one headache in p2p invoicing – and for good reason. When invoices are processed manually, the error rate can be as high as 21%. These mistakes cost companies big time in overpayments, missed discounts, and wasted resources.

As a buyer, inaccurate invoices create major problems. Duplicate payments are common, often caused by typos in the invoice number or amount that slip through the cracks. Your accounts payable team has to track down the error, get credits issued, and fix any resulting mismatches in your accounting systems. What a hassle!

Incorrect invoices also mess up your records and reports. Your accounts receivable, inventory, and cash balances can all be thrown off when the wrong amounts are paid or paid twice. Resolving these issues requires hours of research and reconciliation to set the numbers straight again.

To cure this invoicing headache, it’s time to automate. Using OCR and AI, digital solutions can capture invoice data accurately and automatically match it to the correct purchase orders and receipts in your system. They validate amounts, flag duplicates, and alert your team to any issues before payment is made.

With automated p2p invoicing, you’ll kiss goodbye to the high costs and consequences of human error. Your accounts payable process will be streamlined, and you’ll gain new visibility into your cash flow and spending. Isn’t that worth investing in? After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Make the switch to digital, and put this p2p headache behind you for good!

Duplicate Invoices – An All Too Common Occurrence

Duplicate invoices are one of the biggest headaches in the P2P invoicing process. As a buyer, it’s annoying to get the same bill twice and have to sort it out. Here are a few tips to help prevent duplicates from causing chaos:

Regularly audit invoices for duplicates. Go through your invoices at least once a month to catch any potential duplicates before you end up paying twice for the same goods or services. Look for invoices with the same vendor, date, and amount. If you spot any suspicious matches, contact the vendor right away to verify which invoice is correct.

Use smart invoice numbering. Ask your vendors to include the full date (year, month, and day) in their invoice numbers. For example, have them use numbers like INV20200101 instead of just INV20. This makes it much easier to catch duplicates at a glance.

Automate where you can. Use optical character recognition (OCR) to automatically capture invoice data and match it to the correct vendor and general ledger account. Automated 3-way matching of invoices to purchase orders and goods receipts can also help flag duplicates. The less manual data entry, the lower the chance of human error.

By diligently monitoring for duplicate invoices, implementing smart invoice numbering, and automating parts of your process, you’ll cure one of the biggest headaches in P2P invoicing. Your accounting team will thank you, and you’ll gain back valuable time and money.

Delayed or Missing Invoices – The Bane of AP’s Existence

Delayed or missing invoices are the bane of any accounts payable department’s existence. Without an invoice, payments grind to a halt and cash flow suffers. Here are the main reasons invoices go MIA and what you can do about it:

Manual data entry

Entering invoice data by hand is tedious and error-prone. It’s easy for invoices to get lost or misfiled, and matching purchase orders to invoices is difficult. The solution? Automate as much of your AP process as possible. Optical character recognition (OCR) can extract data from PDFs and automatically match invoices to POs. This reduces lost invoices by up to 60% and speeds up processing.

Disorganized supplier records

If you don’t have a centralized supplier database, invoices may get sent to the wrong person or department. Create a supplier portal where vendors can upload invoices directly. Have suppliers confirm or update their contact details and billing addresses regularly. Standardize how you name, file, and store invoices to make them easy to find.

Lack of invoice approval workflow

Without an automated approval workflow, invoices can fall through the cracks waiting to be approved. Set up a streamlined electronic workflow that automatically routes invoices to the right approvers. Require approvers to sign off on invoices within a certain time period. Send reminders to those who don’t respond.

Supplier errors

Make sure your suppliers know exactly what information you need on an invoice for it to be approved and paid. Provide them with a standardized invoice template or checklist. Double-check that all details match the PO and shipment received before approving the invoice. Follow up with suppliers right away regarding any missing information or discrepancies to avoid payment delays.

Automating parts of your AP process and improving supplier relationships can significantly slash the number of lost or delayed invoices. This frees up your AP staff to focus on more strategic work and ensures all parties get paid on time. By streamlining and organizing your invoicing system, you’ll cure the headache of chasing down missing invoices for good.

Difficulty Matching Invoices – A Manual Chore

Manually matching invoices to purchase orders and receipts is tedious and time-consuming. As a business owner, this is one of the biggest headaches you’ll face.

Difficulty Matching Invoices – A Manual Chore

Matching invoices manually often means sorting through stacks of paper to find the right documents. It can take hours of work for a single employee to go through them all, double-check for errors, and ensure payments are correct.

With a manual system, it’s easy for duplicate payments or incorrect amounts to slip through the cracks. Human error is inevitable when handling reams of paper invoices and matching them to the proper POs and receipts. Small mistakes can add up to big costs over time.

Not only is manual matching difficult and prone to mistakes, but it requires a major time investment. Employees have to physically handle each document, review the details, and match it to the corresponding records. This tedious process reduces productivity and pulls staff away from more important tasks.

For growing companies, the volume of invoices and purchases will only increase over time. Manual systems quickly become unsustainable, requiring more staff just to keep up. Automated invoice matching software can help reduce reliance on paper and cut manual processing errors.

With automated tools, you upload digital copies of your invoices which are then matched to the proper POs and receipts in the system. Approved invoices are paid automatically while exceptions are flagged for review. This cuts out the manual sorting and matching, reducing human error and saving countless hours of time.

Your business depends on accurate and efficient P2P processes. Automating invoice matching is one of the best ways to cure this headache, improve accuracy, increase productivity, and scale with growth. Why suffer through a manual system when technology can handle this tedious task for you?

Lack of Visibility – Flying Blind on Spend

One of the biggest headaches with P2P invoicing is the lack of visibility into your business spend. When you can’t see how and where your money is being spent, it’s like flying blind without a clear view of the landscape below.

Suppliers Out of Sight

Without a centralized place to view all your suppliers in one place, you may end up paying more to use the same supplier for the same goods or services. Or worse, you miss opportunities to consolidate spend with preferred suppliers to gain better pricing and terms. Creating a repository of all current and potential suppliers, along with details on their offerings, pricing, and your spend history can help gain visibility into this area.

Mysterious Spend Categories

Do you know exactly how much you’re spending each month on office supplies versus travel expenses versus consulting fees? When spend categories are not clearly defined and tracked, your budget may end up skewed. Implementing a spend categorization method, like the UNSPC code, can help group like items together so you see the bigger picture.

Unauthorized Purchases

Without strict controls and oversight into who can approve and make purchases, unauthorized spending is more likely to occur. This leads to wasted money and missed savings. Tightening approval workflows, setting clear authorization limits, and conducting frequent audits of spending activity can reduce the risk of unauthorized purchases slipping through the cracks.

Out of Control Spend

When you lack deep insight into how and where money is being spent in your organization, spend can easily get out of control. But gaining visibility through analytics, forecasting tools, and spend dashboards gives you the power to identify wasteful spend, spot trends, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your budget.

Gaining visibility and control over your P2P invoicing processes may require an investment in technology and resources upfront but can pay off significantly in the long run through hard-dollar savings, reduced risk, and improved efficiency. No more flying blind – achieve 20/20 vision into your business spend.


So there you have it, the three biggest headaches with P2P invoicing and some easy solutions to remedy them. Managing invoices and the overall P2P process doesn’t have to be complicated or frustrating. With the right tools and strategies in place, you’ll be paying vendors on time, catching errors before they happen, and avoiding those stressful fire drills. And the best part? You get hours of your day back to focus on more important things. So do yourself a favor and implement a few of these tips. Your accounts payable team and budget will thank you for it.