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AP Best Practices Series -- B2B Payments --

ERP and Accounting Softwares Fall Short of Delivering what Accounts Payable Departments Really Need  PART 2

After security, efficiency should be the next greatest consideration of the Accounts Payable Director.  Seeking and finding an ERP system that allows an AP Department to seamlessly print checks as well as transmit ACH, Virtual Card and Wire Transfers is impossible. 

ERPs are excellent tools for integrating internal and external management information across an entire organization by embracing finance/accounting, manufacturing, sales and service, customer relationship management, etc. ERP systems automate all of this activity with an integrated software application.

Their purpose is to facilitate the flow of information between all business functions inside the boundaries of the organization as well as manage the connections to outside stakeholders.

Yet, ERP programmers are not payment (or E-Payment) experts...therefore, they are not the most efficient or effective at providing Accounts Payable with a process that allows maximum efficiency.

We are constantly surprised that although ERPs can output a check file and positive pay file, users of the ERPs are forced to leave the system to log into the bank website to transmit the positive pay files.  Additionally, while many ERP systems are designed to set up ACH transmissions, users are forced to leave their ERP and log in to a bank website to upload files separately.  Finally, IF an ERP can output a Wire Transfer, the user is forced to leave the ERP and log into the bank website to upload it separately. 

I think you can see where we are going here.  These processes lack efficiency.  And, in most cases, each bank interface is hosted in a unique location with separate log ins etc. 

Additionally, sending email remittance advice to vendors should also be part of the payment process.  If an ERP is not allowing email remittance advice to be seamlessly transmitted to your vendors as payments are issued, STOP, SEEK a better solution. 

Finally, if you are paying hundreds of invoices in one ACH payment, we are certain that you are experiencing high call volume on payment days from payees seeking clarification of the remittance advice.  Seek a solution that can drop your incoming call volume by writing unlimited remittance data to the web.  This can be an excellent solution that marries installed software with web-based solutions. 

Establishing efficiency is key to ensuring that your AP department is working smarter not harder as you implement your electronic payments program. 

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