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Generic Workflows in Dynamics ERP – Yay or Nay?

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Many people believe that when you automate your accounts payable process, you have to streamline the number of workflows you currently have in order to maintain the automation system. That's not really the case.

Here's for the Yay

One of the best things about workflows and automated approval processes is the notion of role-based approvals. The opposite of role-based approvals is individual approvals. Role-based approval processes are natural ways to consolidate processes into one consistent workflow. So, if the approval goes from an assistant manager to a manager then to a regional manager and lastly to Accounting, the workflow is role-based. The software would have the ability to find who needs to approve the invoice based on department or location. If you had to name the actual people in the approval process then, using the same string as an examples, the approval process would be Mike (Assistant), Joan (Manager), Luke (Regional Manager), and Sally (Accounting). There are two problems with the second example. If there is more than one location, then you must have separate workflows with different names. The second problem is that if someone leaves the company, you have to change your approval process. Who has time for that?

On the ”Yay” side of the coin, there are great benefits for using a generic workflow if the software will do role-based approvals.

Here's for the Nay

On the "Nay" side, the more generic your approval process is, the more secure, easier to manage and quicker your automation system will be. It’s not true--and here is why:

  1. Easier - If you have a limited number of workflows to start with, it would be easier to get your automation software up and running. However, if your service provider’s software is good, it will have no problem with a lot of approval processes. I have one client that has over 300. You would think that 300 is way too many, but the software using initial assignment triggers knows what to do with each invoice and my client doesn’t have to worry about it.
  2. Quicker –  You would think that a single approval process would make things faster. The fact is Accounts Payable Automation, by itself makes things faster… getting rid of the paper makes things faster. The number of approval processes won’t speed up your process.
  3. More Secure – This false fact stems from the idea that if you had a single workflow, you could monitor it more effectively.  It is the job of the software to track and report against changes, monitor who is doing what, process goals and notify approvers of any delays. If your AP Automation software isn't doing that, it may be time to search for a new provider.

Final Thoughts

On the surface it may seem that less is more when it comes to approval processes, but in reality it is important to have as many workflows as your company needs to make sure that each invoice is approved at the right time by the right person.

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by AvidXchange


2 Responses to “Generic Workflows in Dynamics ERP – Yay or Nay?”

  1. Thanks! If you have any questions about automating your accounts payable process within Dynamics, click here:

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