APP2P Conference in Orlando

 

By Karen Wainright

June 14, 2019

                     

It’s been a busy Spring for Mekorma. We’ve been attending GPUG meetings, partner events and a few Microsoft conferences. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but we are adding the APP2P (Accounts Payable Procure to Pay) Conference hosted by IOFM (Institute of Finance & Management), which was held recently at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort in Orlando.

 

If you are an Accounts Payable or Procurement professional, this is the place to be!

 

In previous blog posts, we have reporting our findings. Here’s the latest from this show.

 

Payment Automation and Virtual Cards were the stars of the show.

 

According to one session, 100% of AP departments plan to achieve full automation and 59% expect to have full automation. As you can see, it’s top of mind. Just like if you are planning on moving to the Cloud, automation takes time and careful planning because data is the life blood of AP. The sticking point for most companies and organizations is that AP is viewed as “just AP”, so it’s critical to build a sound business case to justify automation projects.

 

Here are some thoughts to consider in building that case:

 
  1. Clean up your current processes: This means how clean is your vendor master? Do you know your payment terms to vendors? How many payment transactions are typical? What is the average transaction amount?

  2. Analyze your costs: What are your bank fees? How much do paper checks cost your department? How often do you respond to vendor inquiries? How are duplicate payments dealt with? Are you manually reconciling?

  3. Ask about the priorities of your executives: Is spend management a focus? Do they analyze early pay discounts? What kind of change will they be amenable to?

  4. Looks at DPO or Day Payable Outstanding: Is it a matter of cost savings or avoidance? What are your costs per invoice or per voucher? What percentage of payments are made electronically?

  5. Cash back rebates: Could this help your AP department transition from a cost center to a profit center?

 

Speaking of cash back rebates, are you familiar with the concept of Virtual Cards? As a side note, this is part of a Mekorma offering called Enhanced Electronic Payments, so we are glad that we are ahead of the curve. We appreciate how the APP2P Conference validated our belief that customers should include Virtual Cards in their payment method mix.

 

Virtual Cards or V-Cards are the fastest growing payment method because they are secure, convenient and fit well into any AP payment processes. Here’s a blog post from September 2018 on the topic:
Virtual Cards (V-Cards): Three Major Benefits

 

There may be a reluctance to asking your vendors to accept Virtual Cards. If a spend analysis is done from your vendor list, many customers are pleasantly surprised to learn that their current vendors will accept a Virtual Card. IOFM reports on surveys that indicate vendors who provide capital assets, printing, transportation, utilities, leases/rentals and telecommunication are great candidates for Virtual Card payments. AP is also using Virtual Card payment as a method for negotiation with their vendors. It was also mentioned in one session that if you plan on going the Virtual Card route, you should work with a vendor who will onboard all the vendors you submit vs. cherry-picking the vendors with your most spend. You might be leaving valuable cash back rebates on the table.

 

Lastly, Mekorma is pleased to announce that Karen Wainwright, our Business Development Executive, completed the Accounts Payable Specialist training at the conference. She is now an Accredited Payables Specialist, having passed the test on the day of training. Congratulations, Karen!

 

Payment Automation and Virtual Cards were the hot topics at the conference. Other sessions included robotics, vendor master basics, future-proofing and mitigating fraud. There were leadership discussions, roundtables and lots of networking opportunities.

 

Mekorma is always committed to the Microsoft Dynamics GP community, but our experiences at APP2P enable us to do even more for our customers. We hope to see you in Phoenix for the Fall APP2P conference!