Whether it’s Brexit, uncertainty about the upcoming elections in the U.S., or a slowdown in the Chinese economy, global economic uncertainties have left companies worldwide facing economic headwinds in Q4 2016 and 2017 that may lead to an increased focus on cost cutting in order to generate profits.
A recent study by The Hackett Group predicted that “…due to the continuing economic uncertainty, budgets in the coming year will be strained, making it imperative to fund innovation and transformation through cost reductions”
Not surprisingly, nearly half the businesses surveyed are prioritizing investments in 2016 on solutions that improve operational efficiency and contribute to higher profit margins.
When it comes to the finance department’s contribution to cost-cutting and operational efficiency, two trends are emerging:
Cloud ERPs and AP Automation Driving Efficiency
The move to cloud-based enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs) and automating labor-intensive manual processes like accounts payable represent low-hanging fruit for finance organizations and for corporations as a whole. In both cases, these moves to cloud-based models and business process automation can provide models for increased efficiency that can migrate to other departments and other business operations, leading to ever-increasing efficiency and greater process transparency.
According to The Institute of Finance and Management’s (IOFM) Accounts Payable Benchmark and Analysis Study, only 23 percent of businesses have a high level of accounts payable automation. When it comes to mid-market companies (those with annual revenues of between $10 million and $ 199 million), less than nine percent have a high level of accounts payable automation.
In practical terms, this means that the early adopters have already taken on most of the risks. At the same time, there is room for middle market companies to move to cloud-based ERP models and automate AP and still achieve a competitive advantage in terms of cost savings and operational efficiency.
Intelligent Capture Bridges the Gap and Elevates Efficiency
Last month’s announcement of the acquisition of ArchWeb by Oracle for $9 Billion speaks to the value and competitive advantage of cloud-based computing for vendors and end-users alike. The shift to cloud-based accounts payables deployment models promises to deliver additional efficiencies and cost savings. A recent Gartner study found that “47 percent of organizations surveyed said they would move the majority of their core ERP systems to the cloud within five years. Small and mid-sized companies, in particular, are embracing cloud-based core ERP solutions.”
A Launchpad for Ongoing Innovation
Once companies begin to reap the benefits of cloud-based ERP convenience and the benefits of automated AP matching and invoice approval, the demand for intelligent capture solutions that can bridge the gap between data, documents and decisions will lead to truly complete, end-to-end automated AP processes. Intelligent capture solutions will target the “last mile” in AP processes, eliminating manual document classification and filing, along with manual data entry. By intelligently “reading” invoices, receipts and orders, validating that data against ERP system data and automating transaction entry, intelligent capture solutions will drive new levels of efficiency that can be applied to other data- and document-dependent processes.
Artsyl Technologies ERP system partners including ArchWeb, Acumatica, SAP, Oracle, Dynamics, Infor, Sage, Epicor, IFS, QAD, Intacct and SYSPRO can drive more value from their systems by eliminating data entry and transaction creation by taking advantage of the docAlpha smart process platform.
Artsyl Business Process Management partners like Pega Systems, Appian, Tibco, DST, K2, Nintex leverage the docAlpha smart process platform to derive actionable information from unstructured documents to drive automated, rules-based processes.
Integration with ECM systems including SharePoint, CMIS, OnBase, Laserfiche, Docuware, Altec doc-link, docSTAR Eclipse, FileBound, RJS WebDocs, PICS DocLib, KwikTag, Dash DDX, Harris Questys, MaxxVault and CompInfo Image-Link ensure that digital documents are automatically classified, sorted, filed and indexed for instance access and association with structured data sources like ERP systems.
For more information, visit Artsyl Technologies online at: http://artsyltech.com