AP automation for SYSPRO means leveraging the power of your ERP to reduce costs, drive efficiency, and create visibility in a crucial back-end document process.
Investing in an ERP system like SYSPRO can seem like the pinnacle of digital transformation (DX) accomplishment. After all, you’ve centralized your entire organization with a planning and communications tool that makes the entire company more efficient and organized than years prior.
But as I’m sure you’ve discovered, your investment in SYSPRO was really just the beginning of your experience in DX. And as a leader in finance, you may have already heard a thing or two about AP automation, AR automation, or payments automation. Today we’re going to talk through how you can harness the power of SYSPRO and transform your accounts payable process into a highly efficient payables system.
AP automation for SYSPRO: an introduction
For your company, accounts payable might look something like this right now:
- Lost or misplaced invoices
- Stuffed email inboxes full of invoice coding and approvals
- Constant data entry
- Accounting staff turnover
- Tedious, manual invoice, receipt, and PO matching
- Late payments
- Disjointed payment processes
In manufacturing and distribution, accounts payable can be especially costly and cumbersome thanks to the need for 3 way matching, the opportunity of early payment discounts, and the potential penalties from late payments.
So what does AP Automation bring to the table for your use of SYSPRO and your existing process? An exceptional AP automation solution for SYSPRO should be able to these capabilities beyond the standard data capture and invoice automation capabilities:
- Automatically 2- and 3-way match your invoices against receipt and/or PO
- Create an easily searchable and automatically organized database of past invoices
- Identify exception invoices and automatically route exceptions to appropriate approvers
- Provide advanced dashboards for an easy-to-use and dynamic dashboard view of the process
- View, control, and manage spend from one interface
What is AP automation (and what is it not?)
AP Automation can mean a variety of things depending on which vendor you ask. So let’s start by defining some common terms that are often packaged as an accounts payable automation solution.
1. Purchase requisition automation
Purchase requisition (PR) automation refers to the process of digitizing the purchase requisition process, including automatic generation of the purchase request and purchase order. PR automation will also digitize the comment and approval process, and some PR automation solutions may automatically route requests to the proper approver.
2. Invoice capture (data entry) automation
Invoice data capture refers to the process of scraping the data of an invoice (vendor name, PO #, etc) and automatically organizing that invoice data into a digital format for viewing. Some automation solutions will also allow searching, filtering, and customization of the data captured, while others are more limited in this capability.
3. Invoice process automation
When many people refer to “AP Automation” this is generally what they mean: automatically capturing, entering, matching, identifying exceptions, approving, and posting invoices once the receipt of goods has been received. Invoice process automation is the full or partial automation of the entire invoice process, from data entry automation to ERP posting.
4. Payments automation
Over the past few years, more and more companies claim to offer “AP automation” when really they are offering payments automation. Payments automation refers to the automatic execution of payments for invoices that are approved and posted to the ERP (SYSPRO, in this case).
End-to-end automation v. partial automation
In correlation to the definitions above, the question rightfully becomes: which type of “AP automation solution” should I be investing in?
The simple answer is that businesses on SYSPRO that are processing more than 400 invoices per month, it makes sense long term to invest in a solution that can take care of every step in the process: a true end-to-end AP automation solution.
By this, we mean not just automating the payment process, and not just automating the data entry or invoice organization processes, but actually automating the entire process from end to end. This is why we recommend CloudX’s APSmart program, an adaptable, end-to-end solution that can integrate with SYSPRO to automate your payables process from purchase request all the way to payment execution.
CloudX’s APSmart: An end-to-snd SYSPRO AP automation solution
CloudX’s APSmart solution is an adaptable, end-to-end AP automation software that sets the bar for SYSPRO integrated AP automation product. At every step between the purchase request being created to the payment for that order being executed, APSmart creates automations and efficiencies that expand far beyond the role of the AP clerk. With capabilities in advanced approval automation, tailored invoice data capture, and customized management dashboards for the entire organization, APSmart truly represents the complete SYSPRO AP automation solution.
Request a demo today with CloudX and see how APSmart can drive efficiency and visibility in your accounts payable process, enhancing your department’s usage of SYSPRO significantly.
CPX v. APSmart
As mentioned above, it’s important to distinguish an end-to-end AP automation solution from a payment automation solution.
Comparing CPX and APSmart is a great example. CPX is an approved payment automation solution for SYSPRO which exclusively combines vendor payments into a single payment file, streamlining the payment process. This is a useful solution, since it simplifies the payments process while gaining your organization monthly cash rebates on eligible purchases.
On the other hand, APSmart contains the same capability as CPX when it comes to payment automation. However, APSmart is also capable of automating and affecting far more than just the payment process. CloudX has capabilities at every step of the accounts payable process, including data capture automation, purchase requisition automation, and invoice process automation — all in one place. Plus, APSmart allows you to customize your experience in the program to suit your current workflows and data categorization within SYSPRO.
DASH AP Robot v. APSmart
The DASH AP Robot is another SYSPRO integrated accounts payable solution that partially automates the process. For smaller operations that are processing less than 400 invoices per month, a combination between CPX and DASH AP Robot might be advisable.
However, for larger organizations, here’s where the difference lies. Via CloudX.
Put simply, the DASH AP Robot is going to leave some desire for enhanced functionality without a deeper investment in their document management system. With APSmart, the document management is built in, keeping your entire AP document history (saved for your desired number of years) accessible for you and your determined employees.
Read more about the DASH AP Robot v. APSmart comparison on the CloudX blog.
Integrated vs non-integrated solutions
There are a plethora of AP automation solutions out there – why not use a solution that is not integrated with SYSPRO?
The simple answer is, you’re still going to be left with manual labor at every step. Sure, with a non-integrated solution you could still automate the invoice data capture process, but what happens when the approved invoice needs to be posted to SYSPRO for payment?
This is just one of many instances where an integrated solution enhances the efficiency and experience of the automation solution.
What other types of accounting automation are available for SYSPRO?
Savvy DX accounting professionals understand that like your SYSPRO investment was the beginning of a series of digital transformation investments, as is your investment in an AP automation software.
Here are a few other areas in accounting digital transformation that can apply to your SYSPRO ERP:
- Accounts receivable automation
- Contract management automation
- Non-financial metrics (eco-friendly initiatives, etc)
- Month-end close
- Customized RPA (robotic process automation) solutions
Want to learn more about bringing out the best in your SYSPRO ERP? That’s exactly what ORG is here to help with. Get in touch today and start your path to maximizing your use of SYSPRO.