With 2024 just around the corner, many companies are evaluating their priorities for the coming year.
It's always a challenging juggling act for CFOs and other finance decision-makers, but also a time to ensure that the company is getting the biggest bang for its buck.
To that end, few business investment priorities will have a more far-reaching, positive impact on how a company operates than optimizing your current Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
Companies have been using ERP systems going back to the early 1990s. Back then, they were powered by stand-alone software that tapped into human resources, sales, accounting and other departments. Still, such ERP platforms had limitations, including an inability to handle large amounts of data.
Now, businesses have to navigate technology driven shifts in everything from commerce and communication, to payments and government regulations. That's why the most useful ERP systems for today's rapidly changing world are not confined to a single software solution. Instead, they are able to integrate with leading AP software.
It's not surprising then that companies have increasingly moved to upgrade their ERP platforms in recent years. According to a 2020 report by business management firm Panorama Consulting Group:
"Legacy systems and other outdated technology are becoming increasingly burdensome as we move into the post-digital era. As a result, more organizations are replacing their old systems with modern ERP systems and are gaining competitive advantage.”
Here are four ways that an ERP integrated with AP and payment software can be a game-changing upgrade for businesses:
1. Cash Flow Visibility
Managing cash flow effectively can be the difference between a business that thrives and one that's not likely to last long.
A modern ERP platform that's integrated seamlessly with accounts payable, accounts receivable and other departments can give executives a comprehensive, real-time view of their company's cash flow status.
That's worth its weight in gold for a CFO managing day-to-day costs.
Savvy managers know how to capture that data quickly and accurately, and analyze it to better organize their cash flow life cycle and limit unnecessary expenses.
2. Real-Time Insights
Businesses prize few things more than accurate and timely business data. This goes beyond cash flow levels to include up-to-the-minute data on sales, timing of invoices, and updates on procurement orders. All of this data has always been within reach, but never as easily and quickly as through an integrated ERP.
This makes CFOs more agile in their decision-making and their companies more competitive.
That same real-time access to information or advanced data analytics would be difficult to achieve with a stand-alone ERP solution. The absence of integration between ERP solutions and other enterprise software also opens the door to possible errors that may occur when data has to be re-entered into different software.
3. Limited Workflow Pain Points
By design, an ERP system that's fully compatible and linked with an AP automation solution can go a long way toward eliminating potential problems that can stem from manual data entry and other snags.
Handling a high volume of invoices by hand could lead to mistakes, missed entries and processing delays, but an automated invoice capture and approval system integrated with an ERP system means faster processing speed and less opportunity for errors.
Communicating with vendors and keeping track of orders outside of an ERP system can be time-consuming and keeps employees from more high-value work. An ERP platform can streamline the process and ensure no communication falls through the cracks.
A well-integrated ERP also makes it possible for managers to automate project approvals and notifications, speeding up workflows.
4. Increased Efficiency
Perhaps the most important benefit from ERP integration is its ability to make businesses more efficient by serving as the digital connective tissue for a company's various software platforms.
This enables businesses to streamline their workflows and organize their work force to create the most value. Consider that some 65% of participants in one study reported improved operational efficiency after switching to a new ERP system.
Time for a Change?
Shifting to an ERP that's compatible with other enterprise software comes with unique rewards and challenges for every company, but sticking with a legacy ERP platform isn't likely to pay off in the long run.
DocuPhase's AP automation solution integrates seamlessly with a company's existing ERP system and other popular enterprise software, including Microsoft Dynamics, NetSuite, Acumatica, SAP, Workday and Procede.
Ready to see how integrated AP automation software can make your ERP system work better for you and your customers? Request a demo today.