Invoicing Content

Cloud AP Automation: Where Transparency and Security Intersect

cyber attack

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

When it comes to information security, there might appear to be a dichotomy between what many providers boast as an AP automation solution that is both transparent and secure. A dichotomy because typically when we think of secure, we imagine things like being locked in a file cabinet, stored in a bank vault or safe, accessed by only certain people with biometric verification. That doesn’t sync up with something that is transparent — fully visible and easily accessible. But actually, transparency and security overlap more than you think when it comes to today’s smart AP automation solutions.

Why Payment Companies are Missing an Opportunity with Early Pay (Part 2)

Small Business Credit

David Gustin is the chief strategy officer for The Interface Financial Group responsible for digital supply chain finance and is a contributing author to Trade Financing Matters.

As we pointed out in our last post, payment companies are looking to convert paper checks to cards, and this is drawing interest from many firms, from private equity investing into payment companies to acquisitions (e.g., Fleetcor acquiring Nvoicepay, Visa buying Earthport). The key weapon of payment companies is to leverage interchange fees to entice their clients (buyers) through rebates and extended terms to provide an early pay option for suppliers, typically with a discount from the invoice of 2% to 3%. Yet there are several reasons why a “card only” strategy from payment companies is suboptimal.

E-Invoicing: What it Takes to Get to World Class [Plus+]

e-invoicing

In this Spend Matters Plus series, we explore what makes run-of-the-mill electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) implementations different from those that are transformative and capable of aligning procurement and accounts payable (A/P) with broader business outcomes and metrics. In this analysis, we delve into topics that are important for procurement and A/P teams to discuss with their solution providers — and prospective providers — to enable a world-class e-invoicing deployment on their terms.

As part of this research brief, we first consider the corporate and public perspective on initiatives (aimed at the private sector), both of which involve differing goals, albeit with the need of the individual company deploying capabilities to keep in mind various sets of requirements regardless. In part, depending on jurisdiction, this dual “master” requirement — the business and government — is something that makes e-invoicing quite unique in the area of procurement technology. Next, we include a list of 10 key elements to diagnose the quality of an e-invoicing deployment and how providers stack up, as well as key e-invoicing questions to evaluate your performance and implementation, trends and value-add services that select e-invoicing providers are addressing. Finally, we provide an e-invoicing architecture framework to construct, deploy and manage a set of enabling capabilities based on your specific requirements.

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

BlueCart

Invoice-to-pay requirements in the hospitality industry are unique. Not only do organizations require full visibility at the invoice line level and the ability to manage traditional matching and approval flows, solutions also must support decentralized environments (e.g., franchise models) while still enabling control and visibility — including support for category-specific (e.g., ingredient/food) requirements.

Moreover, global hospitality organizations need solutions that can meet global invoicing requirements, especially country-specific compliance.

BirchStreet, a procure-to-pay solution provider specializing in the hospitality industry and adjacent sectors, stands out in its ability to meet a range of invoice-to-pay capability requirements, both purpose-built for the markets it targets and standardized capabilities. This shows in Spend Matters’ Q1 2019 SolutionMap Invoice-to-Pay benchmark, where BirchStreet is an e-invoicing and payment leader based on demonstrated capabilities and real-world customer experiences.

SolutionMap contains functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks on more than 50 providers within the procurement technology landscape. But where does BirchStreet deliver best-in-class capabilities and top customer reference scores that help “set the bar” in invoice-to-pay, and why should this matter for procurement and finance organizations? Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where BirchStreet is great.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. Based on 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.

MineralTree, an AP and Payments Automation Specialist, Raises $50 Million

MineralTree, a solution provider for accounts payable and payments automation, announced this week that it has received $50 million from three investment firms and that it plans to expand into the middle market. “The entire sector is one large Trojan horse to get to payables/financing and/or broader invoice-to-pay or procure-to-pay enablement — aside from generating value for organizations in its own right,” Spend Matters' Jason Busch says.

SolutionMap: 58 Procurement Software Companies Ranked (Q1 2019 Update)

Q1 2019 Spend Matters SolutionMap procurement software company rankings

Spend Matters today released its Q1 2019 SolutionMap, ranking 58 procurement software companies across 12 solution categories, including E-Procurement, Sourcing, Spend Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management, Contract Lifecycle Management and Contingent Workforce & Services. Click on this article to see how to access rankings for free!

Q1 2019 Invoice-to-Pay (I2P): Provider Scoring Summary

This SolutionMap scoring summary analyzes a select group of invoice-to-pay solution providers. It is part of our Q1 2019 SolutionMap report series, also featuring spend analytics, sourcing, supplier management, contract management and e-procurement providers. Our Q1 release also features a SolutionMap for procure-to-pay and strategic procurement technology suites.

Q1 2019 SolutionMap E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay and Procure-to-Pay Release Notes

Q1 2019 Spend Matters SolutionMap procurement software company rankings

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider Release Note provides insight into the Q1 2019 SolutionMap release for E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) and Procure-to-Pay (P2P), reviewing the process that we follow and highlighting what has changed since the last release. The Q1 2019 SolutionMap release sees very few changes from the Q4 2018 release. Mainly, the Procure-to-Pay customer reference set added 14 new individual customer references in Q1. No new providers were added for Q1, but will be added for the Q2 2019 cycle. This SolutionMap Insider research note provides insight into these and additional changes in the Q1 2019 SolutionMap release.

Sponsored Article

E-invoice Sending is Accelerating — Are You Ready?

Companies gain tremendous benefits from sending e-invoices to their customers — from streamlining processes to increasing efficiency, decreasing costs, speeding up payments, and gaining visibility and control. Plus, your customers can receive their invoices via their preferred channel and in any digital format. Wherever your organization is in its automation journey, read on to learn the benefits of going electronic and understand what the upcoming regulatory implementations mean for you.

Sponsored Article

L’Oreal Finds the Beauty of Bonfire’s Solution: Stakeholder Buy-in and Better Supplier Relations

Every growing company reaches a point when transaction volumes overwhelm misapplied IT systems and manual business processes. When that happens and the risks rise, businesses have to begin the necessary task of identifying a better way forward. For many organizations, that means automating and optimizing the sourcing process with dedicated e-sourcing software — ideally a setup that’s easy to use and gives your company a competitive edge.

As a division of the beauty products maker L’Oreal found out, the strategic sourcing platform from Bonfire could resolve many of these issues.

WPS Management (Wescale): Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]

Wescale is the broader “procurement umbrella” and new open business integration platform of WPS Management, a provider that traces its roots to 1997 with the creation of Wallmedien AG, one of the first e-procurement solutions for the SAP environment in Europe. We’re sorry if this sounds confusing (it is). But what matters is that since its founding, Wallmedien AG has managed to grow its core business in e-procurement while also adding additional capabilities through its affiliated businesses and product lines, including WPS4/Procure, Meplato and recently Wescale.

Wescale is the platform through which all WPS Management solutions are integrated. WPS Management (branded as Wescale) has participated in the Spend Matters E-Procurement SolutionMap, competing with specialists such as Vroozi, BuyerQuest, OpusCapita (jCatalog) and others with similar platforms like Basware, Tradeshift and Determine (now Corcentric).

This three-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot uses facts and expert analysis from Wescale’s participation in the 2018 SolutionMap to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about the broader umbrella of capabilities this provider offers. An update will be published this summer, based on Wescale’s latest 2019 capabilities.

Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as suggestions for when organizations should consider the Wescale platform. The remainder of this multipart research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, user selection guides, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

What the Heck are Companies Buying When They Purchase Accounts Payable Technology?

Spend Matters recently ran two surveys (one to procurement/finance practitioners and one to technology providers) in preparation for the launch of the Spend Matters Accounts Payable Automation SolutionMap later in 2019. Many of our questions focused on how users and providers define the bounds of AP automation solutions since there is often a disconnect even within the vendor community — let alone the user community. Accounts payable technology covers many business areas, so the market for the solutions is confusing. It's hard to compare them apples to apples.