On average, companies change their ERP every 8 years. One of the tasks that takes most time is the analysis of the purchasing process and provider invoices or accounts payable (AP) for its adaptation to the new system. The simple process of registering invoices take on average 18% of the implementation time. Much time is dedicated to adapt the new system a manual and imperfect process, repeated for many years due to the requirement "We register invoices this way." In short, new names for transactions and more attractive interfaces but the same old processes. For this reason, we've analized the ERP implementation challenges with AP process specifically.
ERP implementation challenges with AP invoice process
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is a set of information systems that allows the integration of certain operations of a company, especially those related to production, logistics, inventory, shipping and accounting.
ERP implementation challenges
Added to this habitual practice, the first generation ERP makers continue not paying sufficient attention to the received invoice registration process, and in many cases do not feature technologies such as electronic invoice or certified digitalization, and when they do have these features, they come are the work of third party developers and there cost can be prohibitive for many companies.
Proof that the invoice process has no improved with the implementation of ERPs is that in the last 10 years the productivity of the Accounts Payable department has evolved from 10,000 invoices per Accounts Payable FTE to 10,500 in 2015, a negligible increase.
In our 20 years of experience automating the invoice process, we repeatedly see how the companies relegate the improvement of the AP process to the finalization of the ERP implementation project, in short, don't change anything so that nothing changes...At least till the next migration.
Benefits of ERP implementation improving AP process
The implementation of optimal solution for the AP invoice process independent from the ERP, but totally interconnected has many beneficial aspects:
Productivity y efficacy
Independence of the invoice process from the restrictions of the implemented ERP technology.
Adoption of new technologies, adaptation to regulatory changes.
Favour the externalization of tasks without breaking corporate systems security rules.
The implementation of a specialized AP process will lead to a dramatic increase in productivity, with amounts of 60,000 or 70,000 invoices per FTE (even up to twice that amount) per FTE possible, depending on the process. The use of technologies such as Electronic Invoices, Invoice Workflow and automatic accounting mechanisms for the registering of provider invoices brings solidity to the process. The automation of matching tasks (confirming of invoices with purchase orders or delivery notes) and codification (assigning to accounts and analytical criteria) back up the improvement in productivity.
Additionally the automation of the process by specialists reduces enormously the ERP implementation challenges and times, dropping from an average implementation dedication time of 18% to one of 2-3%.
The ERP is the last step in the processing of invoices. To have at your disposal a robust, automated and efficient process is possible, independently of the ERP and the changes to which the accounting system undergoes.