How to integrate your ERP with Accounts Payable

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By fully integrating your Accounts Payable with ERP, you can experience 40-60% savings in time and cost. Here’s our best tips on how to ensure a seamless software integration.

ERP & AP Integration: Achieving Data Integrity

Accounts Payable is often considered the backbone of any business.

Unfortunately, a poorly run AP process can bring more challenges than benefits.

If you still handle your accounting payables manually, you’ll find that it’s both costly and extremely time consuming. Not to mention, the manual process can lead to unwanted errors that could otherwise have been easily avoided. Without having strict data governance standards, businesses will fail to get an accurate overview of their financial situation, and even run the risk  of relying and acting on inaccurate information.

This can bring severe consequences.

Luckily, these obstacles can be avoided by managing your master data in a single system. By implementing a good ERP, you can close the efficiency gap and leverage the data and business logic that’s inherent in your solution.

But in order for this to happen, it’s essential that your AP speaks directly with your ERP. After all, the easiest way to derail data integrity is by managing it in multiple locations. But what is data integrity, you might ask?

Essentially, data integrity is all about knowing whether or not your data is trustworthy. When looking at your data sources, you need to ask yourself these three questions:

  • Is my data accurate?
  • Is my data consistent?
  • Is it duplicated?

By having a one-stop solution for all your data, you can ensure that you’re always acting on trustworthy information.

The Problem of Integrating Legacy Accounts Payable

When you run a business, data is king.

And if you want to get the most out of your data, it’s imperative that you have a seamless integration between your accounts payable and ERP solution. Essentially, this integration should speed up, rather than slow down, your processes. But for this to happen, you must ensure that the two systems communicate directly with one another.

If not, you might just find yourself in a bit of a pickle.

Unfortunately, many legacy AP solutions lack a proper, real-time integration with ERP systems. This puts extra pressure on the ERP, as many businesses – in the lack of a smooth integration – simply “throw” their data from one system to another, thereby forcing a manual exception processing work stream. But what does this actually mean? And how will it impact you?

Put in plain English, this means that your accounts payable creates operational inefficiencies by pushing all exceptions to the ERP in order to be resolved there instead. In other words, a failed integration is not solving the problem or automating your processes – it’s simply just moving one faulty, manual process from one system to another.

This can be an extremely costly, time-consuming and error-prone process.

The only way to eliminate this challenge is to fully integrate your AP with ERP, and ensure that they both work as an extension of each other rather than two separate systems. This will eliminate the need for unnecessary manual intervention, process latency, and complexity.

Overcoming Your ERP Challenges

Right now, you’re probably thinking that this all sounds pretty complicated. Is it even possible to fully and seamlessly integrate your finance data with your ERP?

Of course it is! Let’s take a look at how you can automate your various data sources – without all the headaches.

The key is simply to leverage a best-of-breed ERP solution that will directly integrate with the AP solution you already have. By doing this, you’ll enable staff to operate in one interface – all while enjoying real-time, bi-directional data integration. Neatly integrated accounts payable and ERP systems can provide organisations with improved staff productivity, better control, enhanced visibility, and stronger working capital management. All while reducing processing costs.

In conclusion, it’s important to realise that accounts payable done right will dramatically improve productivity across the entire organisation, and it will support the overall growth and agility. In order to achieve this, it’s imperative that your ERP works in tandem with your AP to optimise the situation. By fully integrating your solutions, you can achieve

  • Increased profitability
  • Eliminate data entry errors
  • Ensure early payment discounts
  • Reduce operating costs
  • Eliminate late payment fees
  • Match invoices and purchase orders
  • Facilitate approvals
  • Archive documents

Take your business to the next level

There are plenty of ERP solutions available for a variety of processes and industries. However, finding the right ERP software can cost your business a significant amount of time and money.

We here at YourShortlist offer expert, non-chargeable IT buying advice to help you find the right solution for your needs. We can offer a shortlist of vendors, all of whom can offer an appropriate solution depending on your requirements.