Given the historical lack of innovation in the AP processing arena, today’s buyers and suppliers are experiencing a number of problems that prevents the optimization of AP processing:

  • Manual and Inefficient Processes: The purchase-to-pay process has long suffered from the inefficiencies inherent to manual, paper-based processes including the lack of visibility and control over financial transactions, unavailability of timely information and high processing costs.
  • Lengthy Processing Cycles: A long invoice receipt-to-pay cycle, which for many companies is well over 20 days, and a high number of exceptions result in increased processing costs and inability to capture early payment discounts offered by suppliers.
  • High Cost of Financing: Uncertainty around the timing and amount of approved payments compel suppliers to maintain excess cash as a “hedge”, which leads to unnecessary increase in working capital.
  • Lack of Spend Management Visibility: Tracking and managing supplier spend and usage becomes a gargantuan task when dealing with large amounts of paper.  The lack of visibility limits organizations ability to consolidate spends, negotiate favorable pricing agreements and bulk discounts with high volume suppliers.

During one of the survey’s conducted, it was highlighted that the front-end of the invoice processing, namely around invoice receipt, data entry and exception management, caused the most heartburn to AP personnel.

Pain Points 

The adoption of electronic invoicing solution is on the rise. According to an estimate, the number of electronic invoices traded within the US will overtake paper invoices in 2010.

Delivery Methods
Stages of AP Automation
Increasingly organizations are recognizing that the transition from manual and expensive paper-based processes to more efficient cost-effective processing can be achieved through multiple small steps rather than a big-bang initiative.  The first step towards this goal lies in the removal of paper.  The following figure outlines the various stages of automation that an organization can experience in its quest to transition from mere tactical benefits to more strategic objectives.
Level of Automation

iDEP - Electronic invoice receiving and processing solution streamlines the invoice receipt-to-pay cycle by enabling organizations to electronically exchange invoices, use sophisticated workflow tools for invoice routing to interface with Payables systems.

Supplier Recruitment and Enrollment: Recruitment activities typically start with supplier segmentation analysis and identifying vendors to target first for on-boarding.  Aparaa Corporation adds value to the equation by leveraging proven best practices to develop various activation campaigns – emails, phone and direct mail – for different supplier groups.  The iDEP™ solution offers functionality to allow suppliers to enroll themselves by logging into the application and provide registration information.  Alternatively, Aparaa’s support staff can manually enter supplier information or import information from buyers ERP or AP systems.

Invoice Generation and Delivery: iDEP solution facilitates the exchange of invoices between buyers and suppliers by providing several interfaces like Email, fax, online invoice entry, FTP invoice files.  iDEP™ solution offers more advanced file connections via EDI, XML, CSV  for high volume suppliers or those who prefer a more automated approach.  iDEP™ solution also offers options to handle paper invoices.  Each invoice, whether submitted electronically or manually, is converted into a common document format for querying and filtering.

Exception Handling: Validation of invoices is a critical step to ensure that only clean and valid invoice data is viewed by the AP department.  With iDEP™ solution, invoices are automatically checked for duplicity and mathematical integrity.  An additional layer of validation is provided by checking invoices against a set of buyer defined criteria and routing information.  This process identifies errors and exceptions in the invoice proactively at the time of invoice submission and notifies the infringing party to correct those errors before the invoice can be accepted and routed.  These validation rules can be configured and changed, as needed.

Workflow and Dispute Management: This is the process that buyers follow to sort, route, review, dispute and approve invoices for payment.  iDEP™ solution supports invoice routing.  The system allows buyers and suppliers to investigate and collaboratively along with Aparaa support staff, resolve disputes and exceptions.

Payment Processing: iDEP solution includes integration with and posting of the payments from buyers ERP and accounting systems so that suppliers have a near real-time access to the payment information.

Reporting and Analytics: iDEP solution includes the ability to generate standard and custom reports and provides visibility across transaction to buyers and suppliers.  The iDEP™ solution also provides comprehensive audit trails of all actions taken within the system and vendor self-service options.

Benefits of iDEP to Buyers

  • Reduce processing costs
  • Increase efficiency and productivity
  • Compress invoice-to-pay cycle
  • Reduce errors and accelerate discrepancy resolution
  • Minimize fraud and duplicate invoices
  • Increase early payment discount capture
  • Strengthen vendor relations
  • Improve cash flow forecasting ability
  • Improved visibility and control

Benefits to Suppliers:

  • No Cost to Supplier
  • Submit 1, 100 or 1000's of invoices
  • Send invoices using Email, Fax, Online invoice entry or FTP
  • 24x7 tracking of invoices from submission to payment
  • Sort, search, view, print and download invoice data
  • Eliminate printing and postage costs
  • Eliminate mail float
iDEP works with -