August 24, 2020

Vendor-invoice workflow within Dynamics 365

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Maybe you are fed up with physical receipts and lack of overview, or you may have solved this issue through a third-party solution, in order to avoid daily manual processes. But did you know that, directly in Dynamics 365 and relatively easily, you can get started with electronic invoice approval procedures?

Optimise your handling and approval of vendor invoices. In the standard version of Dynamics 365, you can digitalise the comprehensive workflow. You will avoid manual approval processes and mistakes, and you will save time.

The implementation of a new ERP system is a major project. Most companies are relieved once it is completed, thus allowing them to refocus their efforts on daily operations. This is a unfortunate as the potential is considerable, and there is much to gain by optimising the use on an ongoing basis.

Through a small series of articles, we will take a closer look at how you can get more value from your Dynamics 365. We will take you through modules already incorporated in the standard system – modules that you can use without additional licenses. This time, we will consider the vendor invoicing workflow.

Digitalisation replaces manual processes

Maybe you are fed up with physical receipts and lack of overview, or you may have solved this issue through a third-party solution, in order to avoid daily manual processes. But did you know that, directly in Dynamics 365 and relatively easily, you can get started with electronic invoice-approval procedures?

Regardless of your current handling of vendor-invoice approval, it makes sense to take a closer look at the options available within the Dynamics 365 vendor-invoice workflow.

Electronic invoice approval, directly available in Dynamics 365

Vendor-invoice workflow is an integrated part of Dynamics 365 which is not common knowledge. As an element in the standard solution, you can process the full approval-flow digitally. The activation of this module takes place directly in the application. This means that you neither need to struggle with installation procedures nor with buying licenses, which is normally the case when using external programs. You also avoid integration which can be a bothersome task.

In addition, you will not be charged on the basis of invoice numbers or users which is often the case for third-party solutions. All you need to do is, once and for all, to define and set up your required flow. From there, it runs by itself.

How you benefit from invoice-approval in Dynamics 365

There are probably fine third-party solutions which, for years, have handled the digital-invoice approval. Why, then, choose Dynamics 365? There are several good reasons:

  • You avoid the maintenance of the third-party solution integration, which can be a time-consuming task during system updates.
  • You benefit from the familiarity across modules which accommodates improved user experience and more efficient work processes.
  • You easily obtain a complete overview of details, such as approval history, receipts, accounting, etc.
  • You store all master data in one place, and you know that changes made within one area will be reflected throughout the system.

The system knows the rules, so you need not worry

The process of setting up the digital approval workflow will ensure very precise approval guidelines. The digitalisation clarifies approval criteria, and compliance with such criteria is uncomplicated. Most people wish to do things right, and with a digital approval workflow – based on predefined criteria – everything runs smoothly. Users need not bother about rules and mistakes are not an option. The system knows the rules, so you need not worry.

Reliable security and control

Digital approval workflow increases traceability because all data are available for each transaction, and you can track workflow history. From a managerial point of view, it is a perfect security and control tool. Also, in relation to auditing, it provides certainty and full transparency. No more uncertainty and flawed information. All you need is collected and easily available within the system.

How to get started on the vendor-invoice workflow

In order to get started on automated vendor-invoice workflow of Dynamics 365, there are two things that need your particular consideration: integration with OCR recognition (optical character recognition) and the definition of approval flow. It is moreover relevant to decide whether specific conditions pertaining to your company call for particular adjustment.

In principle, you can enter invoices manually. If you want a fully automated process, however, you need to set up a module for data conversion. This module will decode and import both physical and electronic formats into Dynamics 365. This procedure is often referred to as OCR recognition. There are numerous useful options, and the process of setting up the module is fairly simple. You must prepare the system for handling the stream of data in line with its flow into Dynamics 365.

Setting up the approval flow

To ensure you correct data handling, you must define and set up your approval flow. The Dynamics 365 vendor-invoice workflow is extremely flexible, for instance allowing you to consider details such as a hierarchy of approvers, approval by head of department, involvement of project managers for invoices related to particular projects, etc. We often experience that the definition and setting-up of the approval flow is considered a valuable element by the company which may be inspirational in respect of revisions and the optimization of the existing processes.

Benefits with digital-invoice approval

There are many good reasons for digitalising the process of your vendor-invoice approval within the vendor-invoice workflow of Dynamics 365. We have listed a few above but let us round off by briefly summarising the most significant benefits.

The Dynamics 365 vendor-invoice workflow facilitates:

  • Complete overview as invoices and related information are collected for the transaction
  • Faster approval as multiple approvers are dealt with, instantly and in parallel
  • Correct flow as information is validated for compliance with approval criteria
  • Flexibility and easy usability as approval can be handled on the go and offline via app or browser
  • Efficient work processes as user interface and logic is familiar across Dynamics 365
  • Easy maintenance as the module is an integrated element in your standard Dynamics 365

We can help you get started

Consider the satisfaction of knowing that when an employee clicks “Approve,” the rest will be taken care of. All that is required is predefined, and all details have been registered, the moment the invoice has been approved. Secure, safe, and transparent.

Regardless whether we already acquainted, or whether you have never worked with us, we can help you get going with the vendor invoice workflow. We can meet in order to establish how, together, we can define what it will take for you to get started, in order that you will get even more value from your Dynamics 365.

YES PLEASE, contact me regarding the vendor invoice workflow!

The original invoice (right side of the picture) has now been converted and is ready to be sent into flow. The predefined approval flow secures that all procedures are followed


Approvers can easily process invoices, regardless of their whereabouts. Using a browser or directly in an app on their mobile device, the approval is quickly dealt with.  


The definition and set-up of the approval flow is a requirement for getting started on the vendor invoice workflow. It often inspires to revision and optimisation of existing processes which, in itself, is a valuable option for the company.