When Dynamics 365 for Finance users open the Invoices tab in the Accounts payable module, there are so many options that it’s easy to overlook the three at the bottom – Invoice register, Invoice pool, and Invoice approval.
These three features shouldn’t be discounted as they offer very important functionality that can be quickly utilized and implemented.
Why Would a Company use the Invoice Register?
The Invoice register allows users to input invoices that may not be ready to pay or require additional approvals to move forward. There may be several use cases where this would come in handy, for example:
- Users at multiple branches submitting invoices to a central Accounts payable department.
- Keeping paper off someone’s desk, reducing clutter and the risk of an invoice getting lost.
- Tracking an invoice with long payment terms where you might want to delay payment.
Whatever your reason, the Invoice register and its companions, the Invoice pool and Invoice approval, can be highly beneficial to your organization. Keep reading for answers to commonly asked questions about this functionality.
Can Approvals be Set Up on the Invoice Register?
Approvals are a big part of the functionality of the Invoice register. You can set up the basic approval with one user/a user group or you can activate workflow. The basic approval process is simple and clean, allowing the same user or user group to approve of the Invoice register. If you have a tiered approval process, complex approvals, or even different approvers for certain vendors, than a workflow is the right answer for you. Workflows offer additional functionality such as delegation and historical timestamps of when approval occurred.
Why does the Invoice register force me to add a Worker into the Approved field?
This is one of those topics that is debatable and can be used in the manner of your choosing. This field doesn’t influence the approval process but is required to Post the Invoice register. One school of thought is that the person submitting the Invoice register should add their own name, showing ownership of entering this information and having their stamp of approval to move this to the next level. Another thought is that the submitting user should enter the name of their approver. Either way, this is a choice of what works best for your organization.
Why Can’t I Create a Payment Journal on a Posted Invoice Register?
So, you’ve posted your Invoice register and want to create a Payment journal. That’s not how this works. The Invoice register is the first part of this process. When the Invoice register gets posted, it goes to the Invoice pool where it awaits being pulled into an Invoice approval journal. Invoice approval journals can be included in a payment journal once they have been posted.
What is the purpose of the Invoice pool?
The Invoice pool is a repository, or holding bin, for the invoices that have been posted from the Invoice register. The accounting team can view what has been registered at any time and track how long it has been in the pool. The Invoice pool is also where the Invoice approval pulls from in order to create a journal that will be paid through a payment journal.
Where is the Approval Process on the Invoice Approval?
Similar to the question about approvals on the Invoice register above, the approval process for the Invoice approval needs to be set up. It can be a basic approval allowing for one user/a user group to approve it, or it can be a workflow. Setup for this journal type can be found in the General ledger module.
Do I Want Approvals on Both the Invoice Register and the Invoice Approval?
It is up to you how you want to configure the system. Every company is different and has a different process for approving their invoices. Adding approvals or workflows on the Invoice register and Invoice approval can be done but will increase the amount of time it takes the invoice to navigate through the approval process.
If approvals are set up on the front end, or at the Invoice register, then there is more room for error at the Invoice approval process where accounts can be specified on the journal. If approval is set up at the end of the process, or on the Invoice approval step, then the Invoice has been registered, and put into the Invoice pool without having any sort of review outside of the person entering it.
This doesn’t mean you can’t allow for two different approval processes. For example, let’s consider the branch example as a use case. If someone is entering Invoices from a branch that is going to be processed by a centralized AP department, then the branch manager may want to approve or reject the invoices that are being registered. The centralized AP department can then take all approved and posted invoices from the Invoice pool and apply them to an Invoice approval journal that has to be approved by the controller before being submitted for payment.
These are some of the commonly asked questions surrounding the Invoice registration process. You may come up with additional questions or decide to implement this for yourself. Wherever you are in this process, you can always count on the Ellipse Solutions Help Desk to answer your questions or help you set this up within your Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations environment.