42% of Businesses Say Better Payment Processes Lead To Expand Vendor Relationships

Many companies have faced significant disruption during the pandemic in how they manage routine sales and payments, prompting chief financial officers (CFOs) to reexamine how they currently handle many of these processes. A growing number of these decision-makers are working to consolidate payments as the needs of their employees, clients and partners evolve.

Bolstering growth is a priority for CFOs. In fact, 42% of businesses are aiming to enhance their business processes to expand their relationships with vendors, according to the Next-Gen Digital Payments report, a PYMNTS and Transcard collaboration.

Get the report: Next-Gen Digital Payments

Solutions such as customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are becoming ever more appealing as tools to help achieve these goals. In fact, 41% of CFOs said that implementing both systems was essential to improving financial processes at their companies.

Keeping Payments Running Smoothly 

Currently, most organizations handle business-to-business (B2B) payments through a variety of methods, channels and tools, such as paper checks, automated clearing house (ACH) payments or virtual cards, all managed through separate accounting systems.

Dealing with this type of fragmentation is growing more frustrating for businesses, though, and CFOs charged with keeping payments running smoothly are facing a growing number of challenges to keep clients satisfied.

Many firms cite long wait times to receive payments as their most critical pain point. Reducing these pain points is key for businesses, which is why 42% of companies are moving to innovate their payment processes to expand or improve their relationships with suppliers.

Making AR and AP Processes More Convenient for Customers and Suppliers 

Integrating CRM and ERP systems could reduce fragmentation in companies’ accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP) processes by aggregating their payments operations in one place.

“Integrating payments capabilities into an ERP [system] wipes out most of the friction that bogs AR and AP teams down,” Transcard CEO Greg Bloh told PYMNTS. “Payments can be made and received in any method. Remittance data can be uploaded directly to an ERP without human operator intervention and reconciled in real time, and decision-makers always know where things stand with their cash flows.”

More CFOs are also analyzing how ERP systems could be paired with emerging technologies — most notably the cloud — to grant firms more advantages as they accelerate their plans for digital transformation. CFOs are also paying greater attention to automation. Automation is helping many businesses eliminate errors originating from employees conducting manual processes, thereby overcoming one of the main barriers to seamless financial processes.

Paired with those solutions, tightly integrating payments and ERP systems helps aggregate all payments and remittance data in one place, making AR and AP processes easier for businesses and speedier and more convenient for customers and suppliers. This may be an essential step for CFOs looking to provide the next-generation AR and AP processes their organizations need to stay competitive in a world where seamless payments are rapidly becoming table stakes.