If you’ve invested in an ERP like Oracle EBS, it’s because you already know that the tools it offers can help boost your operational efficiency. You’ve begun a process to optimize and document all of your business units and get a sense of the big picture so that you can make informed decisions.
ERPs are designed to do just that. But did you know you can add functionalities to your ERP that will help you go the extra mile by automating certain tasks such as managing accounts payable (AP)? In this article, we’re going to explain the advantages of such functionalities and the impact Oracle EBS can have on the everyday performance of your teams.
Automating AP with Oracle EBS
Your ERP entails manual processing
ERPs let you structure your operations and organize your processes. Everything from supply chain and human resources to accounting is documented in your ERP, affording a more comprehensive overview and better control of your operations. However, one of the limitations of an ERP is that it doesn’t automate data input and sharing functions, meaning data needs to be entered manually. To address this limitation—and offer decision-makers a clearer, more reliable vision of cash flows—INTEGRIM and Insum have created a bridge between Oracle EBS and the digital transformation service SenSaaS!
For example, your AP teams must digitize, download or extract email attachments from invoices, and manually input the data (supplier code, date, PO number, amounts, taxes and other extra charges) in Oracle EBS. This tedious, time-consuming task can lead to data entry errors, not to mention that it doesn’t bring much added value.
However, tasks like this can be easily automated by integrating optical character recognition (OCR), a solution that lets you automate AP functions directly in Oracle EBS. After all invoices received by email, EDI (electronic data interchange), standard mail and digitized mail have gone through the OCR module, the data is automatically linked to the corresponding transaction field of your ERP. Manual entry errors are therefore eliminated.
Human intervention thus amounts to checking and validating the information as well as approving invoices. After this, payment is made through the payment module in your ERP.
As you can see, automating AP within your ERP has many advantages. In this article, we will focus on operational efficiency and competitiveness.
Integrating AP automation in your ERP to streamline operational efficiency
Reducing invoice processing costs
As previously mentioned, a traditional ERP like Oracle EBS usually requires manual invoice processing. One of the most obvious benefits of adding AP automation to your ERP is the elimination of manual input, which lets you process invoices faster.
This is an opportunity to significantly boost productivity: On average, AP teams that automate the process are up to 86% more efficient. These gains come from automating incoming invoices through character recognition, reducing manual data entry times, reducing errors, boosting
validation process efficiency and managing the entire approval process. Once the approval levels are defined, the invoice with the correct information is sent to the right person, who can trigger a transfer of payment in the ERP with just one click.
A positive impact on your supply chain
A major advantage of ERPs is that they can optimize and streamline your supply chain for the purpose of tracking inventory and the raw materials needed for production. This provides your teams with indicators that let them work more efficiently.
AP automation lets you cut your invoice processing time by 73%, improving supplier relationships and reducing approval times by up to 70%.1
For example, if a supplier asks for a deposit prior to shipping, a delay in payment could lead to late deliveries, production interruptions or stock shortages, which in turn could delay deliveries to your customers. All of this can be prevented with an AP automation system, since a promptly paid invoice won’t have a negative impact on delivery timeframes.
Eliminating duplicate invoice and payment errors
When suppliers aren’t familiar with your payment process, they might resend the same invoice several times within a short space of time in an attempt to get paid more quickly. If you’re inputting data manually, you might end up processing those invoices separately, leading to additional work and checks for your staff. When you automate the AP process in your ERP, each invoice is automatically linked to the correct PO number and duplicates are detected as soon as the invoice enters the system.
Better risk management
Secure your data and control access to it
An ERP already centralizes a portion of your company’s data. You can define different access levels with user-based permissions, thus ensuring each user has the access they require.
However, when part of your AP processing is handled manually, you lose control over data access. Your information gets saved in shared files, emailed or filed in paper folders, all of which can lead to breaches in confidentiality. Managing follow-ups and reminders also becomes tedious.
Integrated with your ERP, an AP automation solution will manage incoming invoices (whatever their source), dispatch the data to the right employees and carry out all the required checks before integrating the data directly into the ERP. Only staff with the necessary permissions (determined based on your business rules) will be able to access the information.
Improved transaction traceability
Another advantage to integrating AP automation with your ERP is transaction traceability. The system instantly links the PO number with the corresponding invoice. So instead of having to reconcile the various data, your teams simply need to verify it. In just a few seconds, you can ensure that your payments correspond to placed orders, eliminating the risk of fraud as well as incomplete payments or overpayments. All of this works out to sound management of your finances and cash flow.
AP automation also ensures that, with every year-end, each transaction is associated with the right sections in the ledger. This frees up your team, since it does away with the need to retrace transactions and figure out which section they belong in.
All of this enhances the transparency of your accounting system: You have an overview of your accounts payable and can ensure compliance with regulations at all times.
You’ll save precious time in the event of a financial audit or regulatory control.
Encourage staff to work from home, securely
After months of working remotely due to health and safety measures, many employees and managers are keen to establish a work-from-home policy.
This can be problematic if your AP department isn’t automated, because managing paper documents and accessing shared files from home poses a data security risk. Someone still needs to be at the office to digitize the documents so that they can be integrated with your ERP.
Integrating a 100% automated solution with your ERP will let your accounts payable team work from home, too—and with no data security or document management headaches for you.
Desirable working conditions help improve employee retention. Eliminating the need for staff to travel to the office for repetitive tasks that don’t contribute any added value has a positive impact on motivation.
We’ve seen it firsthand: Integrating an AP automation solution with your ERP has distinct financial and operational advantages.
To help you benefit from all these advantages, INTEGRIM and Insum have created a solution integrating SenSaaS! and Oracle EBS. The aim is to add a digital transformation service that deploys and integrates easily with your ERP, with options that can be customized to your needs. Plus, the intuitive interface makes training and implementation easy for your teams. Our partners will support you at every stage to integrate the AP automation solution with your Oracle EBS environment. Contact an INTEGRIM expert today!
Insum is a custom application development and consulting firm specializing in Oracle products. Insum designs and deploys enterprise-grade solutions for public and private organizations—including Fortune 500 companies—operating across a broad range of sectors such as finance, education, travel and government. Insum is a recognized leader in Oracle APEX development and Oracle Cloud integration.
The company was founded in 2002 with the sole purpose of helping organizations leverage the power of Oracle to boost productivity, expand capabilities and enhance their ability to execute on new initiatives.
 Source : https://www.bluecreeksoftware.com/blog