In order to facilitate payment of your invoices, you can export invoice information from Brightflag for your accounts payable process in a variety of ways. This guide will provide you with an overview of these options.
Brightflag's AP export options are highly configurable and can be customized to fit your requirements. For example, we can establish different AP routing processes for different jurisdictions, entities, or business units within your company.
1. API Integration
For optimum processing times, you can opt to send invoices to your AP system automatically via API. This approach will require some engineering resources at the outset, both from Brightflag and from the client, but the long-term benefit could be significant. It is also preferable to schedule SFTP-style automation as it allows for the transmission of errors between the two systems.
2. AP Email Integration
Upon final approval, an email with the original invoice PDF, as submitted by the vendor, is sent to an AP email address, where it is received and processed by the AP team.
3. AP Batch Export
Approved invoices are grouped into a 'batch' and sent to AP as a single shipment, enabling bulk payment. This approach improves processing efficiency while also simplifying payment tracking and auditing. Each batch of invoices is tagged with a unique ID and time stamp, then stored in the AP export section for future download and reference.
An AP Batch Export can be exported in 3 ways:
- Manual Export: An admin user logs into Brightflag and downloads a batch of the latest approved invoices.
- Scheduled export to an email address: A recurring scheduled batch is automatically sent to an email address in accounts payable.
- Scheduled export to an SFTP: This allows for a centralized repository of all batches. Brightflag will host the SFTP and provide you with access. If preferred, you can use this to build in automated uploading of this batch to your payment system.
An AP batch can include three types of information:
- Summary file (csv/xlsx/xml/.data): This is typically the focal point of the export and used by AP teams in their bulk payment processes. It can contain identifying information such as the invoice number and subtotal, as well as information about the matter, the law firm that submitted the invoice, the legal entity the invoice was billed to, as well as tax information and allocations. The summary file can be loaded into the AP system manually or automatically.
- Original Invoice PDFs: The original invoice PDFs submitted by the corresponding law firm can also be included in the AP batch. This is typically a requirement in APAC and EMEA business regions where firms submit a Final Tax Invoice that must be kept on record for tax auditing purposes.
- Invoice Summary PDFs: These PDFs are auto-generated summaries of each invoice, produced by Brightflag’s software. They specify details including invoice number, subtotal, and approval history in a standardized format. They are also kept on file as records and can have additional utility for AP teams with OCR processes.
Your vendors may ask questions about when they will be paid. The AP Reverse Feed allows your AP team to send Brightflag a feed of invoice status updates. This will include the new invoice status (paid or void) and a payment note (e.g. date of payment). The feed will be sent by your AP team so an SFTP on a recurring basis, where it will be automatically taken into Brightflag and actioned appropriately.