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Data Analytics Changes The Working Capital Management Paradigm

November 06, 2020 at 09:00AM

Handling accounts payable (AP), accounts receivable (AR), cash flows and other capital management tasks is an inescapable reality for almost every business that deals with inventory and sales, but these commonplace processes are fraught with obstacles.

Sixty-three percent of businesses in the United Kingdom have received duplicate invoices, for example — with 33 percent mistakenly paying them — 58 percent have had to pay suppliers’ late fees, and 90 percent have been pestered by suppliers demanding payments.

Automation technologies could be key to addressing these issues, but only the largest companies have the resources and expertise necessary to develop in-house solutions. Most companies therefore partner with third-party technology developers, with recent examples occurring with AP automation software provider MineralTree’s acquisition of Inspyrus and Regal Software and VersaPay’s recently announced merger with payments service provider Solupay.

In the November edition of the Back-Office Optimization Playbook, PYMNTS explores the latest in the world of capital management, including the struggles that treasury professionals face in their capital management procedures, the automation technology that can streamline these processes, and the partnerships being formed to make these technologies a reality.

Developments From Around The World of Back-Office Optimization

AP and AR automation initiatives are becoming commonplace amid the pandemic, according to a survey that found 48 percent of businesses have fast-tracked their digitization efforts. Some are deploying in-house technologies while others have turned to third parties, but some of these initiatives could be a ways off. The study also found that only 18 percent of AP employees and 14 percent of AR employees anticipate any major digitization push in the near future.

These automation efforts come at a time when frustration with manual procedures is hitting a boiling point. A study of AP and AR professionals found that 51 percent of respondents reported manual data entry and inefficient procedures as the biggest obstacle they faced, with manual invoice routing, lost or missing invoices and invoice-to-payment matching taking second, third and fourth place at 37 percent, 33 percent and 31 percent, respectively. One particular struggle they cited was three-way invoice matching, in which staff must compare invoices to both purchase orders and goods received notes.

Businesses are often turning to third-party developers to aid them in the automation efforts intended to ease these pain points. One example comes from Iptor Supply Chain Systems, which partnered with Medius AP Automation to improve the efficiency of its supplier invoicing system. The new solution is intended to automate invoice processing, improve companies’ reporting capabilities and automatically match invoices and purchase orders so Iptor’s customers can view their ordering data online.

For more on these and other back-office optimization news items, download this month’s Playbook.

How Advanced Analytics Are Helping Businesses Handle Capital Management Changes

The pandemic has upended the capital management field, turning what was once a strictly financial field into a game of personal leverage. Businesses are finding it hard to deal with the new paradigm, but data analytics could give them the upper hand.

In this month’s Feature Story, PYMNTS talked with Katie Stein, chief strategy officer and global business leader of enterprise services for professional services firm Genpact, about how companies could gain the analytic edge they need by partnering with third-party developers.

Deep Dive: How Businesses Leverage Automation Partnerships To Simplify Capital Management

AP, AR and other capital management processes are fraught with challenges ranging from duplicate payments to slow invoice processing times. Advanced automation technologies could reduce these obstacles, however, with many companies partnering with third parties to do so.

This month’s Deep Dive explores the various artificial intelligence (AI)-driven automation platforms that companies are leveraging to augment their capital management.

About The Playbook

The Back-Office Optimization Playbook, done in collaboration with Coupa, is your go-to monthly resource for updates on trends and changes in capital management.

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