The Key to Optimizing Your ePayables Platform

August 4, 2014 Branden Lewis

key-to-optimizing-epayables-platform

Lack of user adoption is cited as the primary cause of 70% of failed SaaS projects.

In IOFM’s webinar, Key Advantages of an Optimized ePayables Platform, they illustrate the business case for getting the highest ROI out of an ePayables platform.

According to the webinar, the top concerns of an Accounts Payable department are:

  • Improving processes/reducing errors

  • Automating manual processes

  • Managing time/improving productivity

That’s what we’re all about over here at Taulia. We created the platform aiming to automate manual processes with ultimate efficiency and productivity in mind.

Yet, with plenty of ePayables platforms available, the industry still has a long way to go. Roughly 67% of all corporate payments are still made by check, only 32% are made by ACH, and 1% by credit card. The webinar revealed you could be saving between $2 -$5 per payment if you switch from check to ACH. Think of all the payments you make each month, and you’ll have significant cost (and time!) savings just by utilizing ePayments.

It sounds simple, but what’s stopping these companies?

Simply put, a lot of ePayments solutions don’t provide rich remittance information, which is the payment information that would be on a check stub. This is significant--if your company made a substantial ePayment (say, $500,000), your supplier would need to know exactly what it’s for to keep your books accurate. That’s why when you’re evaluating different ePayables platforms, make sure a rich remittance info feature is developed. Otherwise, your suppliers won’t be happy to accept ePayments from you.

But what are the advantages to an ePayables Platform?

  1. Increased efficiencies and error reduction. The more streamlined your processes, and the more you use your platform to automate them, the more time you’ll be saving. Plus, automation reduces the amount of errors produced by manual data entry. Also, no more writing checks means no more having to chase down executives for signatures.

  2. Reduced costs and revenue generation. You’ll be saving on materials and equipment by getting rid of paper checks and printers. You’ll also spend less time answering supplier inquiries, as a supplier payables portal can also give them full visibility into their invoice and payment statuses. Most importantly, you can offer early payments in exchange for a discount, and add millions to your bottom line. If your payables process is as efficient as possible, you’ll be able to pay your suppliers as early as possible, capturing the highest discount available on every invoice.

  3. Increased controls and security. ePayments reduce the risk of fraud and make the auditing process much less painful.

What does an optimized ePayables Platform look like?

  1. Cloud-Based for quicker deployment, instantaneous software updates, and scalability

  2. Simple User Interface so your suppliers enjoy using the portal

  3. Seamless with your ERP so it fits in your existing processes

  4. Single Workflow for all payment types

  5. Supplier Enablement & Management as an ongoing effort

What is the goal of your ePayments program? How do we get there?

The answer may vary based on the change switching to ePayments will bring. Are you aiming to simply save time? Reduce costs? Capture discounts?

Regardless of your goal, achieving success is two-fold: before and after.

Before the go-live of your platform, you must:

  • Evaluate your current processes and determine what needs improvement

  • Identify key metrics and set benchmarks for performance

  • Develop an implementation plan and timeline: Which parts of the projects can be in the early phase? Which can be rolled out a few months after go-live?

  • Assign owners and/or departments to each point of the timeline, and make sure they’re involved from the very beginning

After go-live:

  • Have the right support system and know your point of contact

  • Continuously evaluate performance metrics as set before go-live and adjust efforts accordingly

Think you can’t afford an ePayables/AP Automation platform? See how supplier financing can fund this project.

 

About the Author

Branden Lewis

Director, Solution Consulting at Taulia

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