Guest Post: How to Take Control of Your Operations Starting with Accounts Payable

In an era of digital transformation most organizations are looking for areas of innovation and transformation within their operations in order to provide competitive advantage and position their organization for success. Executives are often collaborating and evaluating their current processes, strategies and technology and looking at current market trends to help define their priorities for improving their operations. Some of these decisions are focused around whether to reinvest in current technology, replace existing technology, or enhance current processes with supplemental technology. And with new offerings around cloud application, AI, RPA and more navigating the evaluation processes can become daunting.

 

In assessing areas which may benefit most from process or technology improvements for the greatest ROI, organizations often start with their core business processes. As one of the most manual, paper-intensive finance and administrative process for an organization, Accounts Payable is often viewed as a costly and unmanageable process.

 

If it feels like your accounts payable operations are out of control, you are not imaging things:

  • Labor represents an astounding 60 percent of the costs of accounts payable processing.
  • Only 4 percent of accounts payable departments can pay all their invoices on-time.
  • Forty-five percent of businesses struggle to access invoices and payables information.

 

When you look at these statistics from the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM), you can’t help but wonder how things got so out of control in accounts payable.  After all, more organizations are investing in implementing state-of-the-art ERP platforms, such as PeopleSoft, or taking on major enhancement projects to further increase the value of their investment.  The problem is that most businesses haven’t gotten around to automating the processes that feed their ERP, including the payables process.

 

[Twenty-seven percent of an accounts payable practitioner’s time is spent on activities that are wasteful or should be automated, PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ benchmark data shows.]

 

Less than one-quarter of accounts payable departments operate in a highly automated environment where invoices are posted to their ERP straight-through, without human intervention, IOFM finds.

 

As a result, many accounts payable departments are suffering from:

  • Long invoice approval cycle times
  • High invoice process costs
  • A high percentage of invoice exceptions
  • Slow delivery of invoice information to the ERP
  • Missed opportunities to capture early payment discounts
  • Strained supplier relationships

 

Things will get worse for accounts payable departments that drag their feet on automation.  Most accounts payable leaders expect that their processing requirements will become more complex over the next three years, per IOFM’s 2018 Future of Accounts Payable Survey.  With businesses eager to improve profitability to drive growth and innovation, accounts payable departments must automate.

 

Continued investment in your PeopleSoft application is a great step towards getting control of accounts payable operations. With the newest Peopletools and PUM releases offering more enhancements focused on supporting individual users in their daily tasks and increase visibility for management teams.

 

However, businesses also must automate their invoice processing to improve the front end of the process which feeds their PeopleSoft application with a solution that provides:

  • Intelligent document scanning and data extraction for ingesting paper and electronic invoices
  • Two-way and three-way matching of invoices to purchase orders and shipping documents
  • Digital workflows for invoice approvals and exceptions handling
  • Real-time visibility into the status of invoices and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Tight integration with any legacy ERP to post invoice data without manual keying
  • Anywhere, anytime access to invoice and payables data via PC, laptop or mobile device

 

The combined value of PeopleSoft with an invoice processing solution such as the one from Canon Information and Imaging Solutions (CIIS) puts accounts payable in control of its operations.

 

This guest post is brought to you by Graviton’s Partner Canon Information & Imaging Solutions. Interested in learning more? Check out Canon’s Infographic “Reasons Accounts Payable Needs Intelligent Invoice Capture” down below.

 

About Canon Information and Imaging Solutions, Inc.

Canon Information and Imaging Solutions, Inc. (CIIS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc., brings together Canon’s world-class imaging technologies and information management expertise to assist organizations in achieving their digital transformation objectives.  With a focus on innovation, CIIS’s software development and solutions delivery capabilities scale across several practice areas: Business Process Automation – including Procure-to-Pay & Order-to-Cash automation, Document Solutions, Information Management Services with a focus on content capture, management and collaboration, and Security and Infrastructure Management.  With expertise in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data analytics, CIIS deploys its solutions in partnership with leading technology providers and offers comprehensive consulting and professional services that are trusted by organizations of all sizes. Additional information about the company, its programs and mission can be found at ciis.canon.com.

 



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