Afternoon Coffee: Tipalti Adds PO Matching to AP Platform, Several Retailers Named in Bread Price-Fixing Lawsuits

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Payables automation platform Tipalti announced Wednesday it had added purchase order (PO) matching to its end-to-end AP workflow, according to a press release. The company said the new capability will help finance teams eliminate overspending, strengthen internal controls, reduce time and effort spent on invoice approval, and simplify audits.

"We selected Tipalti because they were the only solution on the market with the vision of a truly end-to-end platform to automate the entire accounts payable operation,” said Jason Chen, vice president of finance and operations at Exxact. “Their new PO matching offering is further testament of their ability to deliver on that unique approach. It is the most modern and intuitive solution I have seen and will help our financial operation gain even more efficiencies, while eliminating costs.”

Bread Scheme

Loblaw, Walmart, Sobeys, Metro and Giant Tiger were allegedly involved in a price-fixing scheme for bread sold at their stores, the Toronto Star reports. According to court documents, the scheme allegedly worked through agreed-upon price increases that were on average about 10 cents per product per year, with seven cents going to the suppliers and three cents to the retailers. While Loblaw and George Weston have admitted their participation in the scheme, Sobeys and Metro continue to deny involvement.

Interest Rates

While the U.S. Federal Reserve decided not to raise rates at its regular Open Market Committee meeting Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reports that the central bank offered no indications it would avoid doing the same at its upcoming March meeting, as rate watchers have expected. While a tight labor market and consistent economic growth have made Fed officials more optimistic, they are still keeping rates relatively low to encourage firmer but not rapid inflation.

Employment Costs

And finally, a labor update: Total U.S. employee compensation rose in the fourth quarter at the fastest pace over 12 months since 2008, according to Bloomberg. Private-sector wages and salaries rose from a year earlier by 2.8%, a potential sign that employers are competing for workers in the tightening labor market.

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