The goal for any business ERP should be actionable, accurate data. If you are using multiple ERPs, you will want to ensure consistency of data entry into the ERP across the board.
These days, it is not unusual for a company to have multiple ERP systems in use across locations. Mergers, acquisitions and the rapid pace of global IT can make for an interesting stew of tools and technology.
Diverse departments implement ERP for a wide array of functions – from finance and HR to sales and marketing.
While ERPs can successfully streamline all sorts of business processes, the capability for detailed AP processing within an ERP can have its limits. Often, creating an efficient AP automation process within an ERP – or across multiple ERPs – expends unnecessary time and resources in custom design and implementation.
In addition, those using ERP systems for pieces of AP Processing run the risk of managers having to work in two systems to process an invoice instead of one, increasing time and money spent on what should be a simple, elegant solution.
So how can a business efficiently process AP with multiple ERP systems?
Fortunately, the answer is simple. By automating AP with an external system that then delivers information seamlessly into your ERP systems.
Consolidating + Centralizing = Consistency
AP Automation can help consolidate your AP process and reduce the time and resources it takes to manage an invoice from procurement to payment – regardless of physical location.
If you are using many ERP systems, chances are your AP team is either doing manual data entry in a number of systems or having to review the data once it has been entered for error, inconsistencies and exceptions. When not consolidated, departments can waste a lot of time comparing reports and error-checking when in fact, automation is faster and more accurate.
Automating your AP across your enterprise ensures employees have access to one system throughout your organization. Data is uploaded once – regardless of whether it is delivered via snail mail, email or fax. All of the documentation related to the invoice (PO, work orders, contracts, etc.) is also uploaded – once.
By consolidating invoice handling into one system, you reduce the risk of invoices being lost, entered twice, or not at all. You also benefit from greater insight into invoice management via reports and analysis of your data. What’s missing? What’s late? Who is responsible? All you have to do is log on.
Now that you have all of your AP documents in one system, you ensure data integrity and streamlined management with centralized workflow. All documents can be reviewed from anywhere via a secure interface that provides one location for invoice routing and approvals.
With all of the invoice management external to the ERP, all users have access to the same data in the same format in real time – ensuring accuracy and integrity. Users from all departments can access the data from multiple devices, including mobile and tablets without having to be in the office.
Having a single point of entry, you improve the tracking and auditing of your invoices ensuring reduced turnaround times for swift payment. Once approvals are met, data can be integrated with any ERP for uniform 2-3 way matching, line-item reconciliation as well as exception handling.
The information extracted from your AP system is the same – regardless of the ERP you are importing to. If you are utilizing multiple ERP instances or systems, your AP data will remain intact and unaffected. Information is stored, maintained and archived in your external AP system, rendering it immune to any changes to your ERP or other enterprise technologies.
Having consistency from start to finish – from data entry to analysis – means greater business insight with actionable information. With accurate, error-free AP information imported into an ERP, or multiple ERPs, you can count on reliable reporting and analytic data on your financials.
It is ideal if the AP Automation products you choose will integrate directly with an ERP in order to provide the benefit of streamlined reporting and workflow – without your teams having to do double the work.
By taking the time to implement a smart AP automation, your teams can spend less time as task masters and more time focusing on where you can save time and money with suppliers and vendors, planning for efficient procurement and benefiting from dynamic discounting.
Want to know how Best in Class organizations leverage AP automation to streamline workflows and cut costs? Watch our webinar with Ardent Partners Senior Accounts Payable Researcher, Matt Delman as he and Ray Emirzian, AP Practice Leader at DocStar discuss what makes World-Class AP departments stand out from their peers (in just 23 minutes!).