How to modernize accounts payable and accounts receivable

“Enterprise inertia,” or an organization’s unwillingness to accept emerging payment technologies, is infecting businesses worldwide by quietly paralyzing revenue growth and data processing from the inside, and many executives are hesitant to abandon their antiquated systems in search of a cure.

While some understand the importance of automating their accounts payable and accounts receivable, many executives are still apprehensive to adopt. According to a recent study by Corcentric and Ardent Partners, only about 60 percent of payments are made electronically. That leaves many businesses in today’s digitally driven marketplace vulnerable to severe revenue loss.

Outdated AP and AR processes can be incredibly cumbersome for a company’s limited resources, with some departments still resisting the transition to the cloud. When businesses reduce time spent meticulously tracking and monitoring, they are able to spend more resources focusing on growing sales, expanding markets and boosting efficiency.

With this evidence in mind, it’s time to fight off enterprise inertia for good and update your business’s P2P process. Here are four tips for implementing cloud-based accounts payable and accounts receivable systems to accelerate processes and ensure accuracy:

  1. Measure what your current processes cost you. Supply chain can be a cumbersome process to manage and monitor and executives are usually shocked when they see the inefficiencies in both time and money from manual paper invoice processing. Automation speeds up the flow of information and data, leading to faster payment processes.
  2. Pinpoint processes to streamline. Understand the specific points in your business’s P2P process that would be streamlined by automation. By presenting hard numbers and statistics, such as how automation reduces the number of disputes and exceptions, department executives can envision the specific problems that can be resolved.
  3. Show the department how easy it is to switch. Demonstrate the limited IT involvement needed for automation. Many executives are turned off by the seemingly intangible complexity of “the cloud.” In actuality, implementation of cloud-based systems requires very little IT savvy and fits seamlessly into systems already in place. By bringing the functions of the systems back down to earth, executives will be able to grasp the reality of technologically driven P2P.
  4. Reinforce the long-term savings. Faster and more efficient data processing allows for greater insight and forecasting. In today’s fast-paced economy, businesses spend as much time planning as they do executing and managing. Because automated payment solutions provides dashboards and reports that will allow for more accurate forecasting, AP and AR executives will be attracted to the new levels of cash management insight.

By embracing accounts payable and accounts receivable automation technologies, businesses can defeat the plague of enterprise inertia and increase revenue without adding unnecessary overhead with the confidence that all data and payments are communicated between buyers and suppliers. The key to lucrative adoption lies in introducing a system that is open, scalable and flexible, something that can accommodate existing data assets as well as potential new ones.

Matt Clark is the COO for Corcentric, and oversees all software engineering and operational efforts, including implementation, client services, integration, and IT infrastructure. Before assuming the role of COO, he was vice president of operations for Corcentric. He joined the company in 2004 as director of sales. Visit www.corcentric.com for information.