The Accounts Payable Category

From Artificial Intelligence to Financial Intelligence: Leveraging AI to Strategically Transform Finance Teams

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Laurent Charpentier, chief innovation officer and COO at Yooz North America.

When we talk about AI, we immediately think about what we use every day, such as virtual assistants or chatbots (e.g., Siri or Cortana), smartphones that identify us through fingerprint or facial recognition, cars that are able to detect pedestrians and to park themselves (often better than humans do). We also think about computers that recognize and analyze documents automatically. But AI is also widely present in the business environment, and has even made its way into finance departments.

Tradeshift: What Makes It Great (Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap Analysis)

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There has been no greater transformation from a vendor in the procurement and finance software sectors than Tradeshift’s growth in recent years. Within the solution category Spend Matters terms invoice-to-pay — which includes accounts payable (AP) automation, e-invoicing, receivables and payables financing, supplier networks and related capabilities — Tradeshift is now one of the top-performing vendors based on demonstrated technology capability in the Q2 2018 Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap.

Tradeshift has differentiated its invoicing and payments solutions in a number of functional areas. As the Q2 2018 Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap illustrates, Tradeshift delivers above-the-benchmark functional capability in over 80% of the requirements that Spend Matters tracks. Its SolutionMap performance provides compelling evidence that the provider is a must-shortlist candidate for all invoice-to-pay buying scenarios.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. Based on both our rigorous evaluation process and customer reference reviews, each brief offers quick facts on the provider, describes where it excels, provides hard data on where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark and concludes with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider it.

Implementing Order Processing Automation: A Case Study of Lam Research and Esker

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When Lam Research, a U.S. maker of semiconductor equipment, began implementing Esker’s order processing automation technology, in early 2016, the decision had already been a while in the making. Founded in 1980 and headquartered in Fremont, California, Lam Research counts Samsung, Intel and IBM among its customers. The past decade has been one of impressive growth for the company, whose revenue expanded from $2.1 billion in 2010 to around $9.6 billion in 2017. But as the company grew, so too had its workforce.

Best Practice Tips For Implementing Dynamic Discounting and Other Trade Financing Programs [Plus+]

In this Spend Matters Plus analysis, we investigate some of the key best practice tips for dynamic discounting implementation and trade financing programs. In a follow-up post, we will also share “worst practices” that far too many procurement and AP organizations are pursuing with dynamic discounting and trade financing programs because they don’t know better.

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How Mid-Market Companies Can Benefit from Innovative AP Automation Solutions

Not all organizations are created equal. Far from it, in fact. Many mid-sized companies feel like they are getting overshadowed by large multinational enterprises when it comes to having access to purchasing solutions that meet their unique procure-to-pay (P2P) needs. We think that in 2018 that is about to change. 

Nimble Buying: A Guide to P2P Solutions for Mid-Market Companies

Procure-to-pay needs can be quite different for the large corporations of the Fortune 500 and small and medium-sized companies, yet the former has tended to dominate. Fortunately, now there are plenty of flexible and economical solutions that meet mid-market companies’ P2P needs and budgets. Xavier Olivera, lead P2P analyst at Spend Matters, and Justin Holden, a vice president of sales at Yooz, recently presented a webinar geared towards the mid-market company, Year of the Nimble Buyer: Quick-Hit Tools for P2P Success in 2018.

AmeriQuest and Corcentric Unify Under a Single Brand: A Q&A with Matt Clark

Earlier this week, accounts payable automation provider Corcentric announced it had unified the AmeriQuest and Corcentric brands under one name: Corcentric. To learn more about the decision, what the new brand strategy means for customers and how Corcentric sees its future in the P2P space, we sat down with President and COO Matt Clark for a quick Q&A on the news. 

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What CFOs and CPOs are Looking at to Transform Accounts Payable in 2018

As companies set their strategic priorities for 2018, the push for digital transformation has taken hold. But while functions such as sales and marketing already have a firm foothold in the digital world, supply chain-related functions have had to wait their turn to revolutionize their tools and process. This year, however, stands to be the one where procurement and accounts payable organizations shed their back office brand for a new, strategic approach. To find out just where CPOs and CFOs are focusing in 2018 as they lead their digital transformations, we sat down for a quick Q&A with Xavier Olivera, our in-house purchase-to-pay (P2P) expert, and David Gustin, executive editor of Trade Financing Matters, for a conversation spanning procurement-finance collaboration, common barriers to technology adoption and the future of early payment programs. 

10 Reasons For Procurement to Work With Payments (Part 2) [Plus+]

e-invoicing

In the first installment of this series, we explored several arguments in favor of why procurement should get closer to the actual settlement process and cash flows of the final step in procurement transactions: payment. Today, we move into reducing supplier risk, capturing savings and reducing contract/compliance leakage through closing the transaction, invoice, and payment loop, and the importance of greater visibility into supplier engagement models and supplier network fees (amongst other reasons).

Payables Automation Provider Tipalti Raises $30 Million in Series C Round

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Tipalti raised $30 million in its Series C financing round last week, bringing the global payables automation solution provider’s total funding to more than $50 million, according to the press release. Zeev Ventures, which focuses on investments on small businesses, led the round. This is the venture capital firm’s first investment in the P2P market, notes David Gustin, lead analyst and founder of Trade Financing Matters. Oren Zeev, the founding partner of Zeev Ventures, is also the co-founder of Tipalti, playing what Forbes has called a hybrid founder-investor role.

10 Reasons For Procurement to Work With Payments (Part 1) [Plus+]

Sometime shortly after the phrase “P2P” was born, we managed to collectively forget what the second “P” meant. As a friendly reminder, it stands for “pay.” Rather than spanning the length of a transaction from an initial order to payment to a vendor, P2P became known (while companies wrote RFPs for solutions and as vendors marketed tools) as the combination of e-procurement and e-invoicing. This duo, while extremely valuable, doesn’t exactly impact payment all that much (if at all).

But payment matters much more than most folks we talk to in procurement think. By taking control of payments, we can, for example, do an end-run around the administration hassles and supplier headaches that poorly run accounts payable (AP) functions create. And this is just one reason to consider getting more involved in payment strategy and execution. In fact, we can think of at least 10 reasons that should factor into a business case for procurement to seize control and initiative around payments.

An Opportune Time for Collaboration: Procurement and Accounts Payable (Part 1) [Plus+]

Historically, procurement and accounts payable have been slightly awkward bedfellows in many companies. They’ve been loosely coupled through the front-end (e.g., vendor on-boarding, registration process) and the back-end (e.g., approvals, dispute management, discounting, payment, invoice auditing) in both online and offline worlds for various aspects of supplier engagement and management.

Yet in the past decade, procurement as a role and business focus (not always as function, mind you) has garnered greater respect as a means of driving bottom line savings — often identified, not always implemented. It has still been one part of an odd couple, unfortunately, but the lesser odd partner. But that’s the subject for another post, let alone a volume of books. More important, for our purposes, accounts payable has not garnered the same level of interest, and has truly remained an odd cost-center and stepchild under the broader finance umbrella.

In fact, as many procurement organizations have been able to make the business case for more strategic resources based on quantifiable value (e.g., cost reduction, risk analysis/reduction) in the past decade, accounts payable has faced a near constant pressure to cut costs through reduced resources based on various automation schemes — internal shared services, business process outsourcing (BPO), technology or a combination thereof.

Procurement has not been overly keen on taking ownership of accounts payable, either. This goes back a long way. One of my favorites comes from Spend Matters UK/Europe Managing Director Peter Smith. Below, we feature his story and view into accounts payable from a CPO perspective.