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Extending the Value of ERP Investments with E-Invoicing

On:
Thursday, August 30, 2012

Extending the value of ERP investments with e-invoicingEnterprise resource planning (ERP) systems remain the transactional backbone of the financial supply chain. But a company's level of sophistication and investment in ERP technology can have a significant impact on its ability to access critical information in a predictable and timely fashion.

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One way to close this gap, and extend the value of any ERP investment, is with e-invoicing.

When it comes to maturity with ERP systems, companies fall into multiple categories. Here are three of them:

  1. These companies have invested in their business, rather than ERP systems. These companies recognize the need to make changes in their financial management and reporting processes and systems, but lack the knowledge of ERP technology to know how to proceed.
  2. These companies invest in ERP technology without the backing of a solid strategy. As a result, their deployments take longer, and cost more, than necessary. On the positive side, these companies eventually get to a point where their ERP environment is manageable.
  3. These are mature users that made wise, well-planned investments in their ERP environment, backed by an adequate amount of staff, knowledgeable on its capabilities. In these companies, middle managers often use the ERP system for budgeting and planning.

Regardless of the category that a company falls into, there are three common denominators that it shares with its peers: 1) its accounts payable department pays the bills 2) its suppliers want to get paid and 3) its CFO is looking for ways to reduce spending and improve return on investment.

Too many people lose sight of the last point. In today's economy, CFOs need timely information on their cash flow and liabilities. ERP systems keep track of the details that CFOs need. But the level of sophistication a company has with ERP technology will influence its ability to access critical data in a predictable and timely fashion. Things get even more complicated depending on the size of the company, the complexity of its financial supply chain, and its number of deployed ERP systems.

Value-added services such as Direct Insite's PAYBOX® helps companies get at the data they need, while extending the value of their ERP investments, by providing standard reports and formats across business units, eliminating manual keying to compile data from disparate systems, and identifying opportunities for supplier discounts.

And PAYBOX® can accomplish all of this regardless of the strength of a company's IT department, its level of investment in an ERP system, or how wisely a company invested in ERP.

By Matthew E. Oakes

Matthew E. Oakes is President and CEO of Direct Insite. He can be reached at 631-873-2932.

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