The introduction of a purchase order driven system has long been the Finance Directors Holy Grail for control and efficiency in purchasing and accounts payable systems. The process should be all about the items to be purchased and not the purchase order. The key to employee engagement, operating efficiency and financial control is setting the approval at the line item level and then the purchase order can serve its true purpose as the means and not the end in the purchasing process.
Invu Purchasing is an end to end purchase order processing software based on line item level approvals that is designed to deliver an efficient straight-through process, providing user compliance through engagement, and thereby, control over spend.
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All users can requisition items – it is as easy as shopping online. Users (we call them Shoppers) can create a basket of Items and when they are ready they can select items and send them off for approval. Instead of just creating Items, Users can search a "catalogue" of Items that have been ordered by users from within the business before.
Each line can be coded in accordance with the Finance system structures but the codes can easily be found and selected by typing part of either the descriptive name or the code itself. In Invu Purchasing, all approval is done at the line level and users can see who owns the budget and who will be the default approver for the Item.
Users can track all Items submitted for approval. If an Item is sat with an Approver who is away, the User can with a single click escalate the request to another Approver.
Authorisation: Approve or Reject
Budget Holders or their Delegates are notified of the Items that require approval. The number of notifications in a day can be changed by each user to suit their preference.
Items can quickly be approved or, with a reason note, be rejected back to the Shopper. If the Authoriser would rather change the quantity before approving it they can do that too and these changes are marker pen style highlighted when the Shopper next looks at the Item.
All items for approval can be grouped by Shopper, Budget, Supplier and more. By grouping them by Budget (GL Code), the budget holder can see the year to date financial commitment (the value of received items and items on orders not yet received) for the account code and make an informed decision.
Both rejected items and approved items are returned to the Shopper for correction/deletion or raising in an Order as appropriate. A full audit trail is maintained.
PO Raising and Sending
The system allows approved items to be raised in an Order, which can be emailed to the Supplier by the system or handled manually (phone, post, fax or online). As you might expect, the Order PDF document is automatically saved to the Invu Document Management System for future reference and discoverability. The Order document layout is driven by a customizable template and can also append a Purchasing terms and conditions page to further control your commitment.
Once an Order is raised users may receipt items on an order which will aid the 3-way matching process once an Invoice arrives. Receipting is done at the line level and lines may be partially received. With Invu Purchasing it is also possible for the approver to quickly receipt an Order line item when processing the Invoice, which helps where the receipting process has not been completed for good operational reasons.
The Invu Purchasing solution includes a complete Invoice Capture module. This module is used by the Account Payables team to capture all Invoices into the system. Invoices can be brought in from a Scanner, Email folder or a network folder and all are processed in the same way. The module automatically extracts ("reads") most of the data from the Invoices (including PO references) and enables the AP clerk to add narrative or correct any data errors. The Invoice PDF's are then saved to the Document Management System and fed into the Purchasing software for Invoice Matching & Posting. Again all Invoices in the Document store are fully searchable (header data and on-the-page content) and rapidly retrieved when needed.
Once captured, the invoices undergo a 3 way match process. One key requirement for today's customers is "Straight through processing". This is where, when an Invoice matches the receipted amount from an Order, the Invoice is passed on for posting without any human review or intervention. This is configurable in Invu Purchasing. Invu Purchasing provides a powerful user interface to make quick corrections – and to distribute that work to the authorised approver to ensure accountability. Only once the Invoice is fully accounted for and authorised is it released for posting. Of course, Invu Purchasing works with all Invu's ERP connectors for posting of Invoices to the Finance system. Also all Orders and Invoices are stored in the Invu Document Management system with full metadata to aid searching and linking.
Reporting and Visibility
With all Order, Receipting and Invoicing data at your fingertips, combined with a full audit trail of activity – full visibility of the Purchasing activity is easy with Open Orders, Commitment and Accruals easily down to line level detail.
Exception reports can be defined to pick up on long lived Orders, Distributions of activity and spend across staff, codes, time and suppliers.
Spend analysis: Understanding spend and behaviours requires having good data. By using a system for all purchases and Invoices the data will be valid and will provide good insight.
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