For the accounts payable (AP) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) automation space, it’s no longer business as usual. Firms looking to strengthen their interactions with customers and vendors by adopting comprehensive, automated AP and ERP solutions are increasingly turning to cloud-based products in lieu of on-premises systems. These firms are finding that managing both systems in the cloud offers the flexibility and security needed to streamline invoicing and cut costs, while keeping operations running as smoothly and accurately as possible.
In the February Next-Gen AP Automation Tracker, PYMNTS highlights how tech-first firms are finding that managing AP in the cloud offers greater insights into the entire invoice-to-payment-to-reconciliation process, essentially transforming the efficiencies of AP departments.
Recent research suggests that businesses, including FinTech firms, racing to stay ahead of digital fraudsters’ schemes have further to go. The share of companies reporting fraud experiences jumped to 60 percent this year, according to a survey by Bottomline Technologies and Strategic Treasurer of more than 350 global corporate practitioners and bankers, up from 40 percent in 2017. AP departments are the prime targets of bad actors, and automating AP processes poses a strong defense against criminal breaches. The uptick in fraud, such as the Business Email Compromise, has continued to target areas like bank transactions, despite firms’ increased spending on anti-fraud measures, the survey found.
Cloud computing’s scalability, flexibility and cost-efficiency are facilitating AP automation adoption. Research firm IDC predicted in a recent report that cloud-based financial application demand is outpacing that of on-premises applications. This shift to the cloud is supported by companies of all sizes, but service-centric enterprises specifically lead the way. The report found that the key benefits enticing adopters to the cloud include faster returns on investment, quicker implementation processes and more affordable entry costs.
One of the world’s largest media service providers has jump-started its productivity with a new AP integration, according to recent reports. The company’s solution works with multiple aspects of clients’ media strategies (including branding and communications across multiple channels, analytics, competitive research and creative services), which creates 40,000 monthly invoices on average. That volume meant that the firm struggled with time-consuming invoicing and a lack of transparency under legacy operations, requiring 20 to 30 employees to manually input data into its corporate system. Growth encouraged the media company to switch to automated processes.
For more on these stories and other recent next-gen AP automation developments, read the Tracker’s News & Trends section.
Oracle Bets On Education-Centric Integration Strategy In Cloud Computing Race
Businesses want fast, convenient and cost-effective financial management systems. Many are opting for cloud-based solutions — in fact, research projects that approximately half of businesses will use cloud-based financial management systems by 2022. However, businesses looking to adopt cloud-based ERP solutions can run into a number of logistical, organizational and even social hurdles, which can slow successful integrations into companies’ broader AP operations.
In this month’s feature story, David Haimes, senior director of ERP cloud development for Oracle, explained how businesses can integrate AP solutions into their cloud-based ERP systems to automate payment workflows and reap numerous benefits, starting with the education of AP professionals.
Combining ERP, AP To Power Workflow Automation, Payment Processing
Successful companies know they must be agile and flexible to meet the ever-changing demands of customers, as well as to forge valuable long-term relationships with suppliers and run streamlined operations. Yet, many still ignore AP automation capabilities’ importance when upgrading their ERP software platforms. Some firms are beginning to recognize, however, that combining ERP software and AP automation is a powerful tool to drive business value, enhance working capital management, reduce operational costs and improve productivity.
This month’s Deep Dive explores how speedy cloud-based automation software adoption is promoting healthy business growth.
About The Tracker
The Next-Gen AP Automation Tracker, a PYMNTS and Bottomline Technologies collaboration, is a monthly report that highlights the most recent accounts payable developments and automated solutions disrupting how businesses process invoices, track spending and earn rebates on transactions.