The Service That May Be Missing From Your AP Automation Solution

Honor Donnie  |  April 2, 2020   |  AP Automation  |  Data & Technology  


Over the past few years, AP automation solution providers have substantially stepped up their service offerings to boost efficiency for customers. Between robotic process automation, AI, and advanced OCR, technology has enabled solution providers to automate more and more of their invoice collection, resulting in more time-to-pay, efficient workflows, and better experiences for customers. Yet there’s one invoice type that is often left out in the cold: utility invoice automation. 

The value of automation for utility invoices 

The digital transformation has rippled across most aspects of accounts payable, but utility invoice processing has, for the most part, remained manual. These non-PO invoices are still largely distributed in paper and PDF formats, and utility suppliers have been slow to adopt e-invoicing methods like EDI and supplier portals. 




Manual data entry for non-PO invoices requires a large amount of processing time and has its fair share of roadblocks, due to lost invoices, late fees, and human error – all of which result in higher costs. According to Levvel Research, about 71 percent of AP staff spend up to eight hours each week resolving issues that arise from manual data entry. Full automation of recurring non-PO invoices is needed to centralize this process and reduce these costs. 

71% of AP staff spend up to 8 hours a week resolving issues that arise from manual data entry.

Connecting to the end user’s online utility account to extract invoice data is a viable option that B2B payments service providers can offer to enhance their suite of solutions. This new technology joins the broad spectrum of services that automate and streamline back-office functions like accounts payable.  Automated capture of utility invoice data not only reduces existing operational costs, but it also helps to fuel scalable growth for AP service providers as they capture more of their customers’ invoice volume.

Connect directly to utility suppliers with Urjanet

The proof is in the direct connection. Urjanet integrates directly with thousands of utility suppliers, across electric, natural gas, water, telecom, and waste. This direct connection eliminates paper and PDF invoice distribution and ensures that utility invoice data is accurately extracted and delivered in a machine-readable format. After the supplier connection is established, recurring invoice data is automatically captured as soon as it’s available from the utility and delivered on a monthly basis. 

A win-win for AP automation solution providers

Touchless utility invoice automation generates myriad benefits for AP service providers: 

  • Recurring revenue growth – Processing utility invoices is a burden for companies of all sizes, and the problem continues to recur month after month. Offering a complete utility invoice automation solution enables AP automation solution providers to capture more of their customers’ invoice volume, including ones they are currently managing in-house. 
  • Elimination of late fees and service cutoffs – Digitizing invoices on the front end helps to accelerate downstream AP functions like approval routing and payments, ensuring on-time payments and fewer late fees.
  • Improved internal operational efficiency – Automation of invoice payment data collection removes human intervention from the equation, allowing teams to spend more of their time on strategic functions. 


The fact is: digital transformation cannot be fully attained while paper-based and manual processes are still regularly used. It’s time to switch to a simple, automated process for utility invoice collection, to move the industry toward the future of 100 percent paperless processing. Are you ready to streamline your utility invoice collection process?

Contact us today to learn how our utility invoice capture solution can help your business reduce costs and increase automation.

You might also be interested in:

If you like what you’re reading, why not subscribe?

About Honor Donnie

Honor Donnie is a Marketing Coordinator at Urjanet, with a passion for content creation. When she’s not at Urjanet, she can be found reading, cooking, and listening to great music.