Legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems can both drain businesses’ time and resources and make accounts payable (AP) processes overly complicated. But, integrating ERP and AP systems can help expedite invoice processing. In the latest Next-Gen AP Automation Tracker, Oracle’s Senior Director of ERP Cloud Development David Haimes explains the key elements of a successful AP-ERP integration strategy.
Automation Integration-Businesses want fast, convenient and cost-effective financial management systems, so many opt for cloud-based solutions rather than those that exist on-premises. According to research, approximately half of businesses will use cloud-based financial management systems by 2022.
Implementing such solutions is not always easy, however. Businesses looking to adopt cloud-based ERP solutions can run into a number of logistical, organizational and even social hurdles that can slow or even halt such systems’ successful integration into companies’ broader accounts payable (AP) operations.
PYMNTS recently spoke with David Haimes, senior director of ERP cloud solutions at Oracle, to learn more about the benefits and challenges of integrated ERP solutions. Haimes explained how businesses can integrate AP solutions into their cloud-based ERP systems to automate payment workflows and reap numerous benefits.
Working Toward “Touchless” Processes
Integrated cloud-based ERP systems that utilize machine learning (ML) can help make the payment process as “touchless” as possible for customers, Haimes said, whether invoices reach AP departments electronically or by paper. These systems’ document processing engines scan for empty or unrecognizable fields, he explained. The solution directs invoices with discrepancies to human clerks, who then fill in missing fields and resubmit documents. This “self-trained model” learns from these inputted responses, recognizes when invoices come in with the same problems and can then provide the correct data without human aid.
ERP systems and third-party solutions that utilize artificial intelligence (AI) and ML can further help optimize payment processing methods, which can give users payment method and timing flexibility, Haimes said. This helps to preserve cash flow, reduce costs, prevent errors and improve speed.