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An Integrated, Collaborative Approach to Invoice Management

by Bil Khan | SAPinsider, Volume 15, Issue 2

April 1, 2014

For many organizations, a key area in the business that’s ripe for operational improvement is accounts payable (AP) — opportunities abound to optimize and automate invoicing processes, reduce associated costs, create global visibility into liabilities and payments, and improve cash flow. This article provides an overview of SAP’s collaborative invoice management solution, which leverages a unique combination of on-premise and cloud-based solutions, along with the collaborative layer of the Ariba Network, to help companies streamline the AP process and gain new levels of visibility, flexibility, and collaboration in an integrated framework.
 

After installing SAP software, customers should next look for ways to enable new efficiencies to optimize business operations even further. For many organizations, a key area in the business that’s ripe for improvement is accounts payable (AP). SAP offers solution extensions to help streamline the AP process, and because these applications uniquely leverage both on-premise and cloud capabilities, businesses can achieve amplified benefits.

Any organization looking to transform its AP processes typically wants to optimize and automate invoicing processes, reduce associated costs, create global visibility into liabilities and payments, and improve cash flow. Deploying SAP’s collaborative invoice management solution, which leverages a unique combination of on-premise and cloud-based solutions, along with the collaborative layer of the Ariba Network can help companies meet these goals, delivering the benefits of both solutions in an integrated, collaborative framework (see Figure 1).

Figure 1 — Delivering strategic value to customers

Both the cloud and on-premise invoice processing elements connect to the Ariba Network, which provides a one-to-many connection to virtually all suppliers via a cloud-based platform. This helps companies gain new levels of visibility, flexibility, and collaboration by:

  • Creating workforce efficiencies through an automated, streamlined process (including mobile approvals)
  • Improving working capital management through better visibility into cash requirements
  • Cutting costs through automated data extraction, process automation, and control (including shared services)
  • Eliminating costly, time-consuming exceptions caused by paper-based data and manual errors
  • Optimizing early payment discount savings (including dynamic discounting)

With dynamic discounting, suppliers achieve an unprecedented level of collaboration with buyers and capitalize on payment acceleration on approved net term invoices (for example, net 60) on an automatic or ad hoc basis in exchange for a discount. Conversely, buyers can automatically present discount offers to a supplier when an invoice from that supplier is approved. At that point, the supplier can choose to accelerate the payment simply by clicking a button. The supplier can rapidly determine cash flow needs, identify invoices that qualify for early payment discounts, and select which invoices to accept.

To learn more about SAP’s invoice management solutions and the Ariba Network, visit http://global.sap.com/campaign/ne/2013/08_cross_invoice_
management/index.epx
.

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Bil Khan
Bil Khan

Director
Global Ecosystems and Channels
RTM Marketing
SAP



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