Driven by technological advancements, companies are increasingly focused on becoming efficient in their cash management, payment process and supply chain management. Historically, business-to-business (B2B) payments were dominated by checks, which started to move towards simplistic check to ACH conversion through initial digitization initiatives. These were largely driven by internal treasury and accounts payables functions as simple cost reduction and efficiency projects. Other internal stakeholders, such as procurement, were often not an active part of the process.

Over the years, the definition of digitization has grown more sophisticated, especially on the payment side of the equation, presenting treasury with a bigger cash management opportunity. In the push to electronify payments, the menu of options available to both the payer and supplier has multiplied. New innovative payment methods such as Supply Chain Finance, Dynamic Discounting and Virtual Cards are transforming the Payments function from a cost center to a profit center that is aligned with corporate working capital and cost reduction objectives.

In addition, these relatively new tools provide enhanced visibility into the financial health of the supply chain and help further solidify critical vendor relationships. However, taking full advantage of these tools requires careful analysis of the spend profile, consistent execution to ensure success with suppliers, proper alignment between Treasury, Account Payables, Procurement and IT organizations, and constant monitoring and tracking of progress to ensure alignment with corporate objectives. As companies continue to optimize their payment processes, it is becoming increasingly clear that choosing the right provider with experience and expertise across products is critically important to the success of these initiatives.

Integrated Payables

With the variety of payment options available to payers and suppliers today, it is more important than ever for Treasury and Accounts Payable to fully understand the intricacies of each option and how they will impact the organization and that of their suppliers.

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