The Postmodern ERP and Accounts Payable Automation

November 21, 2016

By Bruno Vande Vyvre, Solutions Manager, Canon Information & Imaging Solutions

The ERP is still by and large the system of record for the enterprise, but the business results of heavy investment in monolithic ERP systems have often been limited by the lack of flexibility of the solution. One limitation of the legacy ERP architecture is that it only deals with highly structured data while it is generally recognized that more than 80% of the enterprise information resides in unstructured or semi structured content, such as invoices and contracts.

Technology advances such as Service Oriented Architectures have now made it possible to provide agility, flexibility and scalability in what Gartner has called “the Postmodern ERP” to expand the reach of the ERP beyond its traditional limits and to finally provide the promised business benefits.

Accounts Payable is one function where the benefits of increased flexibility enabled by these advances are the most significant. A first opportunity is in the front end of the Accounts Payable process, where the invoice comes into the enterprise but is not yet visible to the ERP system because it is in most cases not in a format that the ERP system can consume. Regardless of the invoice format, the imaging technology can now extract key information from the invoice and, if required, go through a verification stage and to a configurable approval workflow before the voucher is created in the ERP system.

This is just one example of a Business Process enabled by combining the power of the imaging solution with the ERP system to greatly expand its capabilities and to finally deliver on its promises.

To find out more on this topic, recently explored by the Institute of Finance & Management, read the whitepaper “3 Ways Accounts Payable Automation Delivers Value in a Postmodern ERP”, which can be accessed here.