Tomorrow’s Accounts Payable Department: Simple, Transparent and Seamless

Tomorrow’s accounts payable organization will be a radical departure from the status quo.

The Accounts Payable department of the future will no longer be a tactical, paper-intensive transaction processing and reporting function. Tomorrow’s Accounts Payable department will be:

• Highly efficient
• Digitally connected
• Analytics-driven

Importantly, the role of the Accounts Payable department and the people who run it will grow within the corporate enterprise.

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Early Payments: How Organizations Can Become “AP Free”

Early-payment programs – paying suppliers before an invoice due date in exchange for a discount on the amount owed – make Net Payment Terms a thing of the past.

Early-payment programs also appeal to top suppliers.

The problem is that for all but the biggest businesses, manual approaches to early-payment programs:

  •  Are incredibly complicated to deploy
  • Often require risky underwriting
  • Result in a significant reconciliation effort

But that doesn’t mean your business should abandon its dream of being “AP Free.”

The emergence of automated supplier payment processes is making it easier, more affordable, and less risky for businesses of all sizes to employ early payment programs.

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The Key to Smarter T&E Expense Auditing

Businesses worldwide spend a staggering $1.25 trillion on travel each year. In fact, travel and entertainment (T&E) expenses account for more than 10 percent of the average company’s overall budget, and are the second-largest corporate expense behind payroll.

With T&E expenses representing such a large part of the corporate budget, it is no surprise that companies are thinking more strategically about their expense management processes.

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Electronic Payments and the Last Mile of Procure-to-Pay Transformation

More accounts payable departments are deploying procure-to-pay solutions to transform their department into a revenue-generating strategic partner to the enterprise.

But you will never attain the full benefits of P2P transformation without completing the last mile of automation: payments.

Until recently, payments often have been overlooked, as many accounts payable departments focused on automating invoice processing.  

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Solving T&E Expense Reporting’s Top Five Toughest Challenges

U.S. companies will spend $293.1 billion on travel and entertainment costs in 2017, a 3.8 percent increase over the previous year, Global Business Travel Association Foundation estimates.

Considering the average American company also earmarks between 6 and 12 percent of total budget for T&E expense spending, the efficiency and effectiveness of managing employee expense reports can have a big impact on an organization’s financial performance and profitability.

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7 Trends that Will Reshape Purchase-to-Pay in 2017

The dizzying rate of change in Procure-to-Pay is enough to overwhelm most finance professionals. Yet innovations in technology promise to cause even greater disruption in 2017. Procure-to-Pay processionals must prepare for these trends.

IOFM’s latest white paper describes the seven trends set to reshape Procure-to-Pay:

  1. Holistic Procure-to-Pay automation
  2. Advanced analytics
  3. The consumerization of Procure-to-Pay
  4. Artificial intelligence and robotic process automation
  5. Blockchain
  6. Crowdsourced procurement
  7. Corporate social responsibility

Some of these trends will have a significant short-term impact. 

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Why AP Automation Initiatives Fail & Best Practices to Achieve Success

The CFO wonders How hard can it be to ‘just’ pay invoices? and as a result, the only communication that Accounts Payable receives from the CFO is a directive for them to reduce processing cost. Then AP reacts to that directive by attempting (and failing) to implement best practices. These initiatives are often unsuccessful, and may have failed for one or more of the reasons:

  • AP is the last step of a very chaotic purchase process
  • AP does not have ownership of the process
  • Procurement &

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5 Ways to Increase Performance and Improve Processes in Accounts Payable

Accounts Payable earned a dubious trifecta in a recent IOFM survey of controllers: it topped the lists as the most time-consuming, laborious, and paper-intensive finance and administration function, ahead of activities such as payroll, tax, and even audit and reporting.

Worse, Accounts Payable received nearly twice as many votes from controllers as the most time- and labor-intensive finance and administration function than the next highest-ranked function.

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5 Ways Electronic Invoicing Networks Transform Accounts Payable into a Profit Center

Businesses are facing the perfect storm of slow revenue growth, volatile markets, digital disruption, and new competitors. As a result, most CFOs are taking a cautious approach to business investments, despite the seemingly improving global outlook. No doubt, CFOs are mindful of the outsized impact that poor financial processes have on the fortunes of a business.

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The Single Solution to Invoice Processing Headaches

In a perfect world, all invoices would arrive electronically into an Accounts Payable department, and be processed and posted straight-through, without human operator intervention. Unfortunately, Accounts Payable departments do not operate in a perfect world.

The wide range of channels through which buyers receive invoices is a major contributor to the costs, errors, delays and visibility challenges that have become synonymous with Accounts Payable.

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