As organizations look for ways to improve processes and extend automation, finance operations can offer great opportunities. This guest post from Gideon Taylor partner Canon Information and Imaging Solutions (CIIS) looks at the impact automating AP processes can have on increasing efficiency and visibility, and improving cash flow management.

After years of defensive strategies, CFOs are squarely focused on helping grow their business. Most CFOs say that helping their business develop strategies for growth is a top priority, per Accenture.  To accomplish this, CFO’s must partner with management teams across the organization to align everyone in achieving the same goals. Supporting technology, often including the core enterprise systems, play a key role in the ability to achieve these goals. Because of this, the IT leadership team becomes a vital partner in executing initiatives related to overall company strategies outlined by the CFO.

To achieve growth, CFOs will need to get better control of their outbound cash flows.

  • 69% of CFOs say they need better control over their working capital.
  • Most businesses have visibility into only half of their enterprise spending.
  • 45% of CFOs say they cannot readily access accounts payable data.

These statistics from the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM) paint a sobering picture for CFOs who want to harness outbound cash flows to help drive corporate growth and profitability.  The statistics drive home the point that businesses will never achieve strong control over their cash without automating the invoice processes that feed their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

Poor control over outbound cash flows negatively impacts:

  • Budgeting, forecasting and planning
  • Cash management
  • Payment strategies
  • Supplier relationships

Regardless of the ERP you use, in a manual or semi-automated invoice processing environment:

  • Key information is not captured
  • Data is poorly organized
  • Information is not available to the ERP in a timely manner
  • Systems and processes are poorly integrated
  • Decision-makers cannot access key variables

81% of accounts payable professions describe financial visibility as “critical” or “important” to controlling their cash, the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM) reports.

For example, automating the invoice processes that sit in front of your PeopleSoft system provides businesses with greater control over their outbound cash flows.  By leveraging OCR for data extraction, workflow, and deep integration with PeopleSoft, you enable visibility and collaboration never before possible. Data is organized, timely, and easier to access and documents are organized and available within PeopleSoft transaction screens via a split screen view.

Configurable dashboards track accruals and other information in real-time, enabling CFOs to quickly access the data they need to accurately predict their cash needs.  And data can be pulled in from other systems, providing a 360-degree view of outbound cash flows.  CFOs also can drill-down into data and instantly access key metrics such as the volume of invoices out for approval, the dollar amount of invoices in each stage of processing, and invoice data by month, supplier, and type of invoice. And integrating an automated invoice processing solution with PeopleSoft provides two-way data integration to help ensure that data on outbound cash flows is synchronized in both systems.

The insights provided by PeopleSoft, made even more powerful with a tightly integrated automated invoice processing solution such as GT eForms with Canon Information and Imaging Solutions (CIIS), puts unprecedented control into the hands of CFOs to manage their organization’s outbound cash flows.  At a time when CFOs and CIO’s are looking for ways to help their organization grow, this control over cash flows is critical.

Interested in learning more about the key metrics across your payables process? Download CIIS’s sponsored white paper: “6 Most Important Metrics to a Winning Business Case for AP Automation”.

Wrestling with paper-based processes? CIIS and Gideon Taylor solutions can transform any document into an efficient, mobile PeopleSoft-based form, complete with data validation, dynamic form behavior, workflow, email notifications, and an intuitive user experience.

About Canon Information and Imaging Solutions, Inc.

Canon Information and Imaging Solutions, Inc. (CIIS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc., brings together Canon’s world-class imaging technologies and information management expertise to assist organizations in achieving their digital transformation objectives.  With a focus on innovation, CIIS’s software development and solutions delivery capabilities scale across several practice areas: Business Process Automation – including Procure-to-Pay & Order-to-Cash automation, Document Solutions, Information Management Services with a focus on content capture, management and collaboration, and Security and Infrastructure Management.  With expertise in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data analytics, CIIS deploys its solutions in partnership with leading technology providers and offers comprehensive consulting and professional services that are trusted by organizations of all sizes. Additional information about the company, its programs and mission can be found at ciis.canon.com.

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