Daniel Andrew, Senior Vice President of Sales for Financial Process Automation at Corcentric, examined the importance of digitization for invoice and payments management during his presentation at the 2018 Chief Financial Officer Leadership Forum in New York on November 28. In his presentation, “The Payable to Payments Revolution,” Andrew offered tips to help organizations transition from paper-based invoices and payments to digital alternatives.
Digitization is a top priority for global organizations. Yet few organizations understand what it takes to deploy digital technologies relative to their day-to-day payments processes.
Organizations can use electronic billing and payments technologies to foster customer loyalty. They also can leverage these technologies to gain a competitive advantage, as well as reduce day-to-day operating costs.
Ultimately, electronic billing and payments are exceedingly valuable for organizations. If an organization can send electronic invoices and accept electronic payments, it could streamline its payments processes. Plus, this organization could reduce its payment processing expenses and provide its customers with unparalleled experiences.
“There is no reason why your company cannot be 100 percent electronic for all of your invoices and all of your payments,” Andrew pointed out. “There is a blueprint for what your company can do to achieve that.”
Having the ability to process electronic bills and payments often proves to be a competitive differentiator for an organization, too.
Research indicates that an organization that leverages electronic bills and payments is more likely to rank among the top in its industry than an organization that ignores these options. Furthermore, if an organization can use electronic bills and payments to distinguish itself from the competition, this organization could accelerate its revenue growth and bolster its customer retention levels.
“The time today that it takes to process an invoice for companies that are best in class is almost five times faster than those that are not,” Andrew indicated. “For organizations that reach best in class, they’re processing data five times faster, and they’re doing it in an electronic environment.”
Electronic billing and payments technologies are available that allow an organization to speed up its payments processes. Best of all, these technologies typically are easy to deploy – regardless of an organization’s size – and help an organization drive continuous improvement.
“If you’re a company that is processing an invoice five times better than your competitor, than that is a dramatic improvement,” Andrew noted.
Additionally, electronic billing and payments technologies provide organizations with insights that they may struggle to obtain elsewhere. These technologies empower an organization with customer insights. At the same time, they allow customers to securely process payments and manage invoices with an organization they can trust.
“Visibility has to be present on both sides, as well as the opportunity to get rid of an electronic process and allow customers to pay faster if they choose,” Andrew said.
Paper-based billing and payments quickly becoming obsolete. If an organization ignores digitization technologies for billing and payments, it risks falling behind the competition without a clear path to recovery.
“Managing all the paper and dealing with all of it, there’s no reason for it. There is no reason why your organization cannot be streamlined,” Andrew stated.
Thanks to digital technologies, organizations now can reap the benefits of electronic billing and payments. These technologies can help organizations leverage financial data across an entire supply chain, too.
“If companies want to optimize their accounts payable environment … they may thousands of suppliers and one or many [enterprise resource planning] systems,” Andrew pointed out. “And you want to have the ability to integrate your data with your entire supply chain.”
Also, electronic billing and payments technologies ensure employees can be reimbursed for business expenses faster and more efficiently than ever before. If an employee can capture a picture of a receipt on his or her smartphone, for example, this individual then can submit a digital version of the receipt for reimbursement. Next, an organization can seamlessly process the reimbursement request, thereby ensuring this employee won’t have to wait too long for his or her reimbursement.
“You need to be able to digitize [invoices],” Andrew said. “You need to be able to capture non-PO invoices and have them electronically integrated into your system.”
As organizations search for ways to stand out from the competition and bolster their efficiency, digitization is paramount. With electronic billing and payments technologies, an organization now can instantly use state-of-the-art tools to differentiate itself from the competition and become more efficient than ever before.
“Change is geometric; it is no longer linear,” Andrew indicated. “We are growing at a rate that is geometric … and there is no reason why you can’t deploy [digital] solutions in a rapid time frame.”
Daniel Andrew, Vice President of Strategic Accounts for Corcentric, a provider of cloud-based financial process automation solutions, has over three decades of experience in the area where finance and technology merge. He works with some of the country’s biggest companies to configure innovative payables solutions that can deliver return on investment (ROI) in the first year.
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