How to Integrate Invoice Automation into your ERP
Seamless integration helps AP departments get to the next level of operational efficiency. Learn how to integrate invoice automation into your ERP with Edenred Pay.
Businesses invest lots of time and money into their legacy accounting software and enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications – the financial systems of record for the organization.
Whether a business uses a legacy system from SAP, Oracle, NetSuite, QuickBooks, Sage, Acumatica, or another provider, accounting software and ERPs play a big role.
Accounting software and ERP applications manage general ledger (GL) and supplier data. They enforce payment terms and other finance rules, define workflows, streamline financial processes, and more.
The best accounting software and ERPs provide a foundation for agility and robust operations.
But even the best accounting software or ERP application cannot deliver optimum performance across the invoice-to-pay lifecycle if they are not well-integrated with the accounts payable (AP) processes that feed them. That’s why more businesses are deploying AP automation or invoice automation solutions that integrate seamlessly with their legacy applications.
The benefits of invoice automation
Invoice automation software streamlines AP to deliver better business outcomes.
- Increased staff productivity: Invoice automation aggregates all paper and electronic invoices onto a single platform, including those sent via e-mail, supplier portal, or fax. A single platform to process all invoices reduces operations overhead, eliminates data silos, accelerates staff training, and improves visibility into invoice information.
- Lower invoice processing costs: Invoice automation captures and validates all invoice header and line-item data, including the supplier’s name, remittance address, invoice total, the quantity of goods purchased, and more.
- Faster invoice approval cycle times: Invoice automation software eliminates manual steps and opportunities for errors that delay invoice approvals. Pre-configured business rules digitally route invoices to the right person preventing them from being misrouted, lost, or “stuck” in someone’s physical or electronic inbox. Approvers are notified for invoices requiring approval and alerted about approaching invoice due dates. Invoices are automatically escalated to a manager for review if not approved in a preset amount of time. Additionally, AP managers can see the status of invoices in real time and re-route them to avoid bottlenecks.
- Fewer duplicate payments and other errors: Eliminating manual keying reduces mistakes that result in incorrect supplier payments. Discrepancies between the data on invoices, purchase orders (POs), and proof-of-delivery documents are flagged for operator review. Also, duplicate invoices are detected before payment.
- Enhanced visibility: Invoice automation solutions put intelligent insights at decision-makers’ fingertips. Graphical dashboards display Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), operational metrics, and invoice status. Drill-down capabilities enable decision-makers to identify trends in invoice data and uncover the source of cash flow issues. Invoice data is available by mobile device at any time from any location. Exports accelerate the delivery of information downstream. Also, ad hoc reporting makes it easy to keep up with changing business requirements.
Invoice automation delivers these benefits with any legacy system a business uses.
What is the difference between AP automation and an ERP?
Legacy accounting software or ERP applications are the financial nerve center of a business.
Centralizing all transactional data and financial rules streamlines accounting decisions and processes. Legacy accounting software and ERP applications help finance and accounting teams perform budget and expense planning, core accounting, revenue management, and tax management.
Although they perform some of the same functions, legacy accounting software and ERP applications are not the same as invoice automation solutions.
Invoice automation software was purpose-built for AP tasks such as capturing and validating invoice data. In addition, it gathers and routes invoices for approval and generates reports on invoice data.
Some legacy ERPs offer predefined workflows to manage invoice approvals. However, invoice automation software has configurable workflows to meet the requirements of any business. This distinction is critical as approvals can quickly get bogged down by rigid or inflexible business rules.
Why integrate AP automation with your legacy software?
Invoice automation software can integrate with legacy solutions to streamline AP.
Best-in-class invoice automation solutions work with legacy systems to automate AP tasks such as:
- Invoice gathering: all invoices aggregated onto a single platform
- Intelligent data capture: all invoice header and line-item data is captured and validated
- Dynamic workflow routing: digital routing of invoices based on predefined rules
- Invoice posting: direct uploads of approved invoices to any legacy system
- Supplier payments: electronic payment of suppliers using ACH, vCard, and P-card
- Reporting and analytics: real-time visibility into invoice data and AP information
Leading invoice processing software works with an extensive list of top-tier ERP providers. No business should have to change its legacy software for the sake of an AP automation system.
The best AP automation solutions can easily integrate with ERPs from providers such as SAP, Oracle, NetSuite, Sage, Infor, Microsoft, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, Advantage, and more. These invoice automation solutions deploy fast without disrupting existing rules.
When seamlessly integrated with legacy accounting software or ERPs, invoice automation or AP automation delivers improvements across the invoice-to-pay lifecycle.
Businesses in any industry can benefit from the seamless integration of invoice automation software with their legacy systems, including companies in media and advertising, property management, pharmaceutical and life sciences, banking and financial services, and manufacturing and distribution.
How to improve the ROI of your legacy systems
An ERP is one of the most significant technology investments that any business will make.
By integrating invoice automation software or an accounts payable automation solution with their legacy accounting system or ERP, businesses of all sizes can be sure that:
- Approved invoice data is uploaded directly without manual keying
- Invoice data in the legacy system is complete, accurate, and timely
- Finance professionals can easily access data to resolve exceptions and other errors
- There’s no need to depend on back-and-forth e-mails and calls to track down information
- Vendor master data is synchronized
Seamless integration helps AP departments reach the next level of operational efficiency – a level they may never reach if they manually process the invoices they receive from suppliers.
Edenred Pay, an Edenred Company, is the global leader in invoice-to-pay automation. Our integrated platform connects businesses with suppliers, ERPs, banks, FinTechs, and payment rails to automate, optimize, and monetize the entire B2B payments lifecycle – from invoice receipt through payment reconciliation. Edenred Pay’s efficient, integrated solutions create a frictionless process and help deliver value to the enterprise by enhancing visibility and monetizing AP.