New feature: Invoice workflow responsible with notifications

 

Release date: February 2, 2018

 

Most marketing team have an invoice approval process when receiving invoices from media vendors.

The complexity of the process mostly depends on the size and responsibilities of your marketing team:

A small team may have a single person to validate and approve the invoices with very few interactions, whereas a larger team may have multiple persons interacting together to approve invoices. 

For example,

  • the marketing coordinator might be responsible for receiving the invoices;
  • each marketing manager might be responsible for validating/approving the subset of invoices associated to the media insertions of their campaigns or organizations;
  • the marketing coordinator might be responsible for sending the approvals to accountable payable for due payment of the invoices to the vendors.

Processing media invoices on-time has 2 main benefits:

  1. it keeps your media vendor happy
  2. it keeps your expenses/remaining budgets up-to-date with actual amounts. 

Unfortunately, processing media invoices is typically not a high priority task in most marketing team leading to invoices piling, processed late, or lost. 

In most case, invoices get lost in the approval process because it is not clear who's responsible for the next action on the invoice.

With this release, we're introducing workflow responsibility and notifications in the accounting module: a simple way to add accountability and clarity to your marketing team by knowing who's responsible for the next required action on an invoice and notifying them to take action.

Let see how it works...

 

Before we start, please note that the following walkthrough assumes a specific invoice workflow configuration.  If you need help to configure your invoice workflow, don't hesitate to contact our support center at support@mediaplanhq.com.

 

Define your invoice workflow

The first step is to define your invoice workflow. 

The invoice workflow is a set of statuses that your invoices will go through to be processes.  Here's an example of a typical simple invoice workflow:

Waiting -> Received from vendor -> Ready for approval -> Approved -> Sent to AP -> Paid to vendor

Additionally, you could define statuses for when an invoice is Partially invoiced or Rejected.

Go to Administration > Invoice statuses to review your invoice workflow:

 

Define who's responsible in your invoice workflow

The next step is to define the role(s) responsible to take action on the different statuses. 

In practice, the person assigned for this role will be responsible to take action when an invoice is at the given status.

To continue the previous example:

  • The assigned marketing coordinator is responsible when invoices are in the Received from vendor, Approved, Partially invoiced, and Rejected statuses
  • The assigned marketing manager is responsible when the invoices are in the Ready for approval status

To set the responsible roles, click the edit button (e.g. pencil icon) of a given invoice status:

 

Find the expected invoice

Now, when you receive an invoice from your media supplier, the first step is to find the "expected" invoice associated to the "planned" media insertion.

Go to the Accounting module and use the search and filters.  For example, you can search with the IO # or Vendor name to find the expected invoice information.

 

If not found, click on the "New invoice" to create the new invoice.  Note that this will also create a corresponding media insertion in the Planning module to keep your expenses/budgets up-to-date.

 

Assign responsibility

In most cases, the assignments are done prior to processing invoices.  If not, assign the invoice to the proper persons.

 

Transition the status of an invoice

It's now time to process the invoice by taking action on the invoice. 

This is done by changing the status of the invoice.

For example, if you've just received the invoice set the status to "Received from vendor" in the list:

 

Depending on your configuration, changing a status might display a form to view/update the invoice information, including:

  1. The invoice date
  2. The invoice number
  3. The invoice cost information.  Note that the estimated "planned" cost for each line item is displayed in italic.
  4. The invoice status
  5. A copy of the invoice document (pdf, jpg, etc)

 

Also, depending on your invoice workflow and the current status of the invoice, some information might already be filled in. 

For example, the marketing coordinator may have captured the invoice information and uploaded the invoice document when the invoice was received, whereas the marketing manager might just need to review and validate the information when approving the invoice.

 

Get notified when you need to take action on an invoice

The system will notify the persons responsible to take action on an invoice.

For example, if Sarah Smith is the Marketing manager, and the Marketing manager role is responsible when invoices are in the Ready for approval status, she will receive the following notification when an invoice gets transition to that status:

Note that notification can be enabled/disabled per invoice status by toggling the "Notify responsible" configuration in the Administration > Invoice statuses module.

 

Know who's responsible for the next action on an invoice

Finally, the Accounting module highlights in a blue background the responsible user to take the next action on each invoices.

 

Also, you can quickly view if you, personally, are responsible to take the next actions on invoices by consulting the "My responsible invoices" quick filter and count in the left sidebar:

 

Clicking on the "My responsible invoices" quick filter will list all the invoices you are responsible to take the next action.

 

That's it ! We hope you'll enjoy the new invoice workflow with notification feature.  Give it a try and let us know what you think !

As always, don't hesitate to send us your great feedback or other idea for new features !

 

Have a great day,

The MediaPlanHQ team

 

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