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The Meridian Monthly - Issue 2

November 2021

In this issue...
Solution Spotlight

SAP® Analytics Cloud

SAP Analytics® Cloud solution combines Business Intelligence, augmented and predictive analytics, what-if analysis and planning capabilities into one easy-to-use cloud environment. The SAP Analytics® Cloud solution helps jump-start the transition into an intelligent enterprise.

Whether in the boardroom, at the office, or during a customer meeting, users can discover, analyze, predict, plan, and report information needed to make decisions with confidence.

SAP Analytics® Cloud provides access to all data, semantics and business logic and enables users to turn formerly hidden insights into well-advised actions that enhance business outcomes. This allows users to analyze and make plans beyond spreadsheet-based analysis and planning and capitalize on enterprise planning and predictive analytics.

Backed by in-memory data management and analytics, it delivers smart insights through natural-language processing without IT involvement and provides machine learning to augment the analytics. SAP Analytics® Cloud can connect live to on-premise applications to avoid uploading data to the cloud.

Rollout can be streamlined through preconfigured industry and line-of-business solutions.

As you look to optimize your decision-making ability, consider SAP Analytics® Cloud.

Meridian Partners are experts at helping customers understand and implement SAP Analytics® Cloud and would welcome the opportunity to help you start making better decisions today.

ERP Tip of the Month

Automating Accounts Payable

When you use a manual accounts payable (AP) process, it’s very easy to make mistakes or spend valuable time and resources just to get payments out the door on time. Not to mention, you probably don't have real-time insight into your cash flow and true financial position.

Imagine an AP department with clean desks, no paper invoices or checks to cut with regular eight-hour workdays – even during close. We live in a world where nearly everything is digital, yet in many organziations AP still hasn’t caught up. According to the Association of Financial Professionals, e-invoicing has only been adopted by 25% of suppliers – meaning 75% of suppliers are still sending out paper invoices.

The bottom line is that processing paper costs more. Manual AP processes can harbor hidden costs such as time, productivity and wages – ultimately adding to the amount of manual work your AP department is doing to get payments out the door on time.

If you’re experiencing any of the following AP pitfalls, keeping your organization from maximizing savings and optimizing cash flow, then maybe it’s time for a change!

  • Pushing Paper You’re unable to capture data trends across spending.

  • Storing Invoices Elsewhere Archaic storage systems dramatically increase audit risk and reduce negotiation position with vendors because of the difficulty of tracking back payments.

  • Emailing for Approvals Emailing to follow-up on missing approvals takes time and increases the odds of late payments due to invoices sitting in someone's inbox or going missing altogether. Not to mention the challenges of keeping that audit trail together!

  • No Mobile Access for Approvers Getting the attention of an approval manager is hard enough, and without mobile access there is a slim chance of them responding quickly to an approval request – holding up the approval timeline.

  • Paper Checks and Payment Fraud Payments are the last piece of the AP puzzle. According to the 2020 AFP payments Fraud and Control Survey, paper checks remain a top target for attempted and actual fraud, with 74% of organizations reporting an instance.

  • Missing Discounts Missing discounts because you are making payments at the last minute.

An automated spend platform eliminates paper and can help protect your bottom line from those hidden AP costs before, during and after spending happens.

Here's how it helps solve each of those pesky AP pitfalls... Let's look at each in more detail.

  • Pushing Paper An automated spend management platform should digitize the AP process from start to finish, freeing up your team’s time for more strategic work. Invoices are received, scanned with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, and verified prior to entering your system – so you can rest assured that you get the right data into the workflow from the very beginning.

  • Storing Invoices Elsewhere Paper filing cabinets and disparate financial systems make it difficult to see the full picture of your spending and are a hassle to maintain. You should keep the payment package together in one system – from the invoice to the approvals to the audit trail – and the next time there’s an audit, you’ll be ready.

  • Emailing for Approvals An automated spend management solution should include built-in reminders and help escalate missing approvals, which is especially important when time is short during month-end close. Automatic reminders and escalations help take the burden off of your overworked AP staff during peak times and help prevent invoices from piling up at the end of the month.

  • No Mobile Access for Approvers Getting the attention of an approving manager is hard enough as it is. Why make it harder for them to respond quickly to an approval request? An automated and secure spend management platform that offers an intuitive mobile app makes it easy for managers to approve those pesky invoices on-the-go, and they will be more likely to approve on time.

  • Paper Checks and Payment Fraud Even if you have the entire AP workflow streamlined and automated, the question do you pay your vendors? If the answer is with postage and printed checks, not only is this process inefficient, but your institution could be exposing itself to potential fraud. Imagine if you could select payments from your accounting system and direct them to “pay” instead of “print.” When payments are integrated into your e-payment software application, they can be reviewed and routed to treasury approvers before being transmitted to vendors, reducing the risk of fraud.

  • Missing Discounts — Because processing e-payments is much faster than paper checks, your organization can take advantage of early payment discounts. Payments are the last piece of the AP automation puzzle, and it’s important not to forget about them as a part of your end-to-end solution.

An automated spend management platform that eliminates paper from capture to payment can help protect your bottom line from these hidden costs of AP.

Meridian Partners has easy to implement solutions from top tier vendors that work with just about every enterprise system or as a standalone. We welcome the opportunity to show you how AP Automation is a huge win with a fast and positive ROI for most organizations.

Contact us to see how we can help you improve your AP processes. You will be glad you did!
Meet the Team
Each month, we highlight a key team member making a difference for our customers. This month, we would like to recognize James (Jim) Rodriguez, Director of Client Relationships.
James Rodriguez headshot

As the Director of Client Relationships, Jim’s responsibilities include strategy, planning, coordinating, and leading all activities related to the design, implementation, and support of the full suite of SAP products and services, including RISE with SAP S/4 Hana, and WorkDay Adaptive Planning.

Jim has 20+ years of experience with enterprise solutions. He spent many years as a business process and system leader across industries. He has especially deep knowledge of the public sector and K-12 environments through his work at one of the largest school districts in the United States. Jim has held senior positions in North America and Canada with SAP, leading and supporting License sales and Implementation processes, and brings knowledge to our organization and customer base.

When not at Meridian, Jim and his wife Tamrah reside in Texas and are fans of everything Texas, including food, culture, and sports teams. Just don't mention his favorite baseball team losing the recent World Series!

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Meridian Partners is a minority owned company and SBA-certified 8(a) leader in providing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Business Intelligence, and Budgeting solutions. Meridian helps organizations maximize business processes to be more agile, efficient, and transparent through the optimization of their enterprise systems.


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