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Guest Post: 3 Ways AP Automation Improves Working Capital Performance

March 6th, 2019

Guest Post: 3 Ways AP Automation Improves Working Capital Performance

Most companies are doing a better job of managing their working capital.

That’s according to The Hackett Group’s 2018 U.S. Working Capital Survey based on a review of the annual financial statements of the 1,000 largest non-financial companies in the United States. 

The average Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC) of U.S. businesses – a measure that uses a company’s payables, receivables and inventory to determine its ability to convert invested resources into cash – improved by 4 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year, The Hackett Group found.

Companies also extended their Days Payable Outstanding (DPO) in 2017 – taking 3.4 days longer on average to pay their suppliers compared to the previous year, per The Hackett Group.  Extending the average amount of time to pay suppliers enables businesses to free up cash that can be used to pay down corporate debt, invest in research and development and support other growth initiatives. 

But not all companies are cashing in on stronger working capital performance.

The gap between top performing companies and their also-ran peers is growing, The Hackett Group found, indicating that many companies could be doing a better job at managing their working capital.

If your company’s working capital performance is lacking, accounts payable automation may be the answer.  Automating accounts payable processes improves working capital in three powerful ways:

  • Enhanced cash flow analysis and liquidity management: The data generated by an accounts payable department provides a unique window into the financial health of a business. The importance of Financial data continues to grow and be considered a critical corporate asset.
  • With an automated accounts payable solution, CFOs and other financial decision-makers can drill down into cash and spend data to identify trends and patterns, determine how well-positioned a company is to take advantage of early payment discount opportunities, assess budget performance and support strategic decision-making.  The technology provides actionable cash flow insights such as: the status of invoices and payments, on-time payment percentage, spend visibility and trends, spend-to-supplier ratio, and the percentage of early payment discounts captured.  All this enables timelier and more accurate accrual reporting and greater reporting integrity, which supports improved working capital performance.
  • Your ERP is at the center of this data and will become an increasingly vital source for business insights. IT and Finance will not only provide actionable insights to management, but be able to provide improved role based reporting to users by leveraging the latest ERP features.
  • Lower the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): Most suppliers will exchange discounts on the amount due on an invoice for early payment.  The earlier the payment, the larger the discount that suppliers will offer.  The average discount that suppliers offer for early payment stands at 2 percent.  But many buyers in industries such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, consumer packaged goods and high-tech consulting routinely capture early payment discounts of more than 6 percent.  Unfortunately, it takes so long for accounts payable departments that operate in a manual or semi-automated environment to approve invoices that most discounts for early payment are out-of-reach.  Automating accounts payable can reduce invoice approval cycle times by more than 75 percent, opening the door to capturing more early payment discounts.
  • Better DPO: DPO is a key component of strong working capital performance.  One way that automation helps businesses manage DPO is by facilitating supply chain financing: when a buyer pays a supplier early using cash from a third-party, such as a bank, financial institution or investment firm.  As with other approaches to early payment discounts, a buyer and a supplier negotiate discount terms on an approved invoice.  Once the terms of the discount are agreed upon, the third-party assumes the risk and pays the supplier.  When the invoice reaches maturity, the buyer pays the full invoice value to the third-party.  The buyer receives a cut of the discount on the invoice while maintaining DPO and preserving their cash.   Additionally, paying suppliers using certain card programs enables buyers to instantly extend their DPO, without changing their payment terms.  The funding for the payment is provided by the buyer’s bank via the card program.  Since the payback period to the card issuing bank only starts after the payment is initiated, businesses can extend their DPO by several weeks.    

Each of these benefits contributes to better working capital performance.
Together, they are the beginning of a tantalizing business case for accounts payable automation.

Rising interest rates and record levels of mergers and acquisitions will force more companies to take a hard look at how they manage their cash.  Automating accounts payable is one way that companies can improve their working capital performance in 2019. 

If your company wants to better manage its working capital, contact us to learn more about AP Automation and key ERP features you can leverage to bring even greater value to your organization.

This guest post is brought to you by our Partner Canon Information & Imaging Solutions. Ready to take action? Download Canon’s latest white paper “10 Proven Steps to Accounts Payable Automation Success” to arm your team with a clear path to success. A

This guest post is brought to you by Elire’s Partner Canon Information & Imaging Solutions. Interested in learning more? Download the CIIS white paper “10 Proven Steps to Accounts Payable Automation Success.”

Elire was recently named the Partner of the Year with Canon Information & Imaging Solutions for 2018. Elire and Canon have partnered to successfully deliver the AP Automation Solution from Canon to Elire’s PeopleSoft and E-Business Suite Customers, as well as develop the future of OCR technology to streamline and automate day-to-day business processes for AP Users.

About Canon Information and Imaging Solutions, Inc.

Canon Information and Imaging Solutions, Inc. (CIIS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc., brings together Canon’s world-class imaging technologies and information management expertise to assist organizations in achieving their digital transformation objectives.  With a focus on innovation, CIIS’s software development and solutions delivery capabilities scale across several practice areas: Business Process Automation – including Procure-to-Pay & Order-to-Cash automation, Document Solutions, Information Management Services with a focus on content capture, management and collaboration, and Security and Infrastructure Management.  With expertise in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data analytics, CIIS deploys its solutions in partnership with leading technology providers and offers comprehensive consulting and professional services that are trusted by organizations of all sizes. Additional information about the company, its programs and mission can be found at ciis.canon.com.

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Cloud ERP Updates: Oracle Partner Cast

January 24th, 2019

Cloud ERP Updates: Oracle Partner Cast

Oracle hosted an Oracle Partner Network (OPN) webcast yesterday with some exciting updates to Oracle Cloud ERP and EPM.

Market Highlights include:

  • ERP SaaS market will reach $23.8 Billion in 2018 for 17% CAGR since 2013 (IDC); ERP includes accounting & finance, procurement, supply chain, and HR
  • Accounting and Finance was ~25% of the ERP market in 2016 (BCC Research)
  • Procurement Market (full Source-to-Pay) is growing rapidly with total revenues of $7.9 Billion in 2017 for 13% CAGR (Forrester)
  • Mid-size companies are expected to make up the majority of cloud customers
  • Oracle has around 10,000 E-Business Suite customers, of wich over half are mid-size
  • Organizations are reducing their TCO by over 50% and increasing their ROI by 3.2 when moving to Oracle Cloud

Industry Trends & Challenges you should know:

  • 81% say staying current on technology is a top benefit of ERP Cloud (ERP Trends)
  • Average age of ERP systems nearing 20 years (ERP Trends)
  • Average lifespan of an ERP system is from 10-20 years (e2bteknologies)
  • ERP performing more routine, core processing typically done in Excel (CIO.com)
  • Compliance with SOX, GDPR, etc. becoming more critical for ERP (CIO.com)

Oracle Cloud ERP Benefits:

  • Simultaneously access real-time financial data & automate processes
  • Improve cash inflows and manage cash positions across the enterprise
  • Reduce transaction processing costs, data entry errors, and delays
  • Comply with global accounting standards, legislative, & industry requirements
  • Modernize, simplify, and accelerate project planning and execution
  • Improve collaboration and productivity among project teams and managers
  • Realize maximum savings and simplify purchasing with self-service procurement
  • Standardize and streamline sourcing negotiations and contract creation
  • Ensure contract compliance by monitoring for standard language deviations

Want an introduction to Oracle Cloud ERP? Join our next webinar, “Streamline & Simplify: An Intro to Oracle Cloud Financials” on February 19th. Register Here.

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PeopleSoft FSCM PUM Image 30 Release

December 11th, 2018

PeopleSoft FSCM PUM Image 30 Release

PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM) Image 30 for FSCM was released and includes a large array of new features, including enhancements to Procurement Contracts, Credit to Cash Global Search, the addition of UPN types to Procurement and Payables Tables and Components, multiple updates to Grants, and enhanced visibility for Fluid Expense Approvers. 

To view all of the highlights from FSCM Image 30, view the video below from the Oracle PeopleSoft Youtube Channel.

For a comprehensive overview of all fixes and functionality in Image 30, view the Cumulative Feature Overview tool. 

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Guest Post: How AP Automation for PeopleSoft Helps Mitigate Fraud and Compliance Risks

December 10th, 2018

Guest Post: How AP Automation for PeopleSoft Helps Mitigate Fraud and Compliance Risks

If it feels like it is getting harder to manage your finance organization’s fraud and compliance risks, you are not imagining things.  The finance department is a target-rich environment for crooks:

  • Collusion
  • Vendor schemes
  • Inventory theft and fraud
  • Computer-based payments fraud
  • Conflict of interest
  • Fraudulent financial reporting

All told, 75 percent of global senior executives surveyed by Kroll say their organization has experienced some type of fraud, whether it’s insider fraud or supplier fraud.  Each year, corporate America loses the equivalent of 5 percent of its total revenues due to fraud, studies show. 

Making matters worse, businesses must contend with an ever-increasing regulatory burden and the risk of financial penalties, loss of business, reputation damage, and more. For starters, there are dozens of lists of parties that either a buyer cannot do business with, or that have specific restrictions on how a buyer can do business with them.      

Having a state-of-the-art ERP application like PeopleSoft isn’t enough to manage these risks.  Businesses must rethink the other systems and processes such as accounts payable that feed their ERP. 

Regardless of your ERP application, manual and semi-automated accounts payable processes leave finance organizations extremely vulnerable to fraud and compliance issues in several ways:

  • No tracking of document history and approvals
  • No way to ensure that employees adhere to approval policies and separation of duties
  • No chain of custody assurances
  • Audit information that is not readily accessible
  • Poor PCI compliance controls
  • No way to prevent documents from being discarded or destroyed ahead of deadlines

Importantly, organizations that rely on manual and semi-automated accounts payable processes don’t have the real-time visibility into their financial data to tightly control their risks:

  1. Key information is not captured
  2. Data is poorly organized
  3. Information is not timely
  4. Systems are badly integrated
  5. Decision-makers cannot access key variables

That’s why 24 percent of all fraud cases are the result of billing schemes that could be prevented or detected by sound vendor master database controls and other reporting and visibility measures, per the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. And that’s why audits induce feelings of nausea.  

Finance executives have had enough.  Eighty percent of finance executives tell Accenture that they are “concerned” or “very concerned” about their organization’s compliance and security risks. 

For their part, 9 percent of accounts payable leaders identify security and compliance as their top improvement priority, per the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM).

This is where accounts payable automation comes in.

Combining an automated accounts payable solution with your PeopleSoft application enables organizations to mitigate fraud and compliance risks.  Here are three ways how:

  • Intelligent data capture: Automated accounts payable solutions capture information from invoices based on pre-configured business rules and validate the information against data that resides in PeopleSoft.
  • Automated workflow: Automated accounts payable solutions electronically route invoices based on pre-defined business rules, ensuring chain of custody and separation of duties and eliminating the possibility that invoices will fall into the wrong hands.  What’s more, automated solutions track all activities within the system, such as who approved an invoice.  And standardized processes ensure transparency and compliance. 
  • ERP integration: Automated accounts payable solutions seamlessly upload data and images on approved invoices to PeopleSoft, providing 360-visibility into a transaction and the supplier.  Invoices can be accessed directly from PeopleSoft transaction screens.  And images and data are securely archived and maintained per your guidelines and cannot be discarded prematurely.   

Fifty-five percent of finance organizations are investing in digital solutions to mitigate fraud and compliance risks, Accenture reports.  Accounts payable automation should be part of this plan. 

The control provided by the combination of PeopleSoft and an automated invoice processing solution, such as the one from Canon Information and Imaging Solutions (CIIS), gives businesses an upper-hand against fraudulent activities. By pairing continued investment in your PeopleSoft application and implementing integrated user enablement tools, you empower business users and IT to gain control of financial operations while creating the visibility required by management.

This guest post is brought to you by our Partner Canon Information & Imaging Solutions. Interested in learning more? Download the CIIS white paper “3 Ways Accounts Payable Automation Mitigates Fraud”.

Elire was recently named the Partner of the Year with Canon Information & Imaging Solutions for 2018. Elire and Canon have partnered to successfully deliver the AP Automation Solution from Canon to Elire’s PeopleSoft and E-Business Suite Customers, as well as develop the future of OCR technology to streamline and automate day-to-day business processes for AP Users.

About Canon Information and Imaging Solutions, Inc.

Canon Information and Imaging Solutions, Inc. (CIIS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc., brings together Canon’s world-class imaging technologies and information management expertise to assist organizations in achieving their digital transformation objectives.  With a focus on innovation, CIIS’s software development and solutions delivery capabilities scale across several practice areas: Business Process Automation – including Procure-to-Pay & Order-to-Cash automation, Document Solutions, Information Management Services with a focus on content capture, management and collaboration, and Security and Infrastructure Management.  With expertise in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data analytics, CIIS deploys its solutions in partnership with leading technology providers and offers comprehensive consulting and professional services that are trusted by organizations of all sizes. Additional information about the company, its programs and mission can be found at ciis.canon.com.

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Redesigned Payroll WorkCenters in PeopleSoft HCM

November 28th, 2018

Redesigned Payroll WorkCenters in PeopleSoft HCM

Utilizing Fluid UI, Payroll WorkCenters for PeopleSoft HCM have been redesigned! Payroll employees can now complete all daily payroll processing tasks from one central area with WorkCenters created by system administrators utilizing the PeopleSoft Enterprise Components Fluid WorkCenter framework. Learn more with this recent video from PeopleSoft: 

 

 

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Oracle OpenWorld 2018: Top 5 Technology Highlights

November 7th, 2018

Oracle OpenWorld 2018: Top 5 Technology Highlights

Team Elire packed their bags and set off for an exciting week of networking, knowledge sharing, and Oracle product updates at Oracle OpenWorld from October 22nd-25th. While in San Francisco, the Elire team was able to take advantage of all #OOW18 had to offer – including exciting keynotes, product roadmaps, product demonstrations, customer success stories, and networking with other Oracle Partners and User Group Partners!

With four days of action-packed activities and sessions, there were a LOT of exciting announcements for the future of Oracle’s Cloud and On-Premise solutions. If you missed out, don’t worry – below are the top five takeaways and announcements you need to know!

  1. Announcement – Oracle Gen2 Cloud – During Monday’s keynote, Larry Ellison announced the arrival of Oracle’s Generation 2 Cloud Platform. Previous Cloud Platforms relied on Shared computers for User Code and Cloud Control Code – meaning that the Cloud Provider can see your customer data and User Code can access Cloud Control Code, making the system vulnerable. Previous Cloud Technology was not meant to run “Mission Critical” business applications, and security was simply an afterthought. Oracle’s new Gen 2 Cloud is run on Separate Cloud Controlled Computers, meaning that Oracle cannot see Customer Data and no user can access Cloud Control Computer or Code. This updated platform has new Cloud Architecture with security built-in from Core to Edge, allows the easy move of Enterprise Workloads to Cloud, and has Oracle’s Autonomous technology to streamline and optimize day-to-day tasks, which enables superior price performance. Gen2 Cloud is an extensible Platform for SaaS applications as well, meaning you can run your open source programs and other applications on the Oracle Cloud with ease. For more information on Gen2 Cloud, watch Larry’s keynote here.
  2. Security, Security, Security with Gen2 Cloud Infrastructure Services – Another part of Larry’s first keynote included the introduction of Oracle Gen2 Cloud Infrastructure Security Services. This new security infrastructure includes key management services – creating customer control of network keys for all levels. Additionally, the Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) automatically and continuously monitors and remediates changes and threats. CASB utilizes AI technology and machine-learning to observe your network usage patterns and recognize anomalies to identify and kill security threats immediately with minimal downtime – specifically 99.9995% availability, even under attack. A press release on the announcement can be viewed here.
  3. Analytics Data Warehouse – As a part of the closing keynote, Larry Ellison announced the new Fusion Analytics Data Warehouse, enabling extended analytics for all fusion applications. The Data Warehouse is built on Oracle Analytics Cloud and Autonomous Data Warehouse with packaged KPIs, visualizations, and dashboards. The analytics can be produced in a matter of seconds without database design, tuning, ETL, modeling, etc. Just a few clicks and your fusion data is at your fingertips!
  4. Oracle Digital Assistant Voice UI – The closing keynote also announced the new Digital Assistant Voice User Interface, allowing you to interact with your Siri and Alexa devices for transactions throughout your Fusion applications. A video of the interaction can be viewed here. 
  5. Mark Hurd’s Predictions for 2025 – Similar to the last OpenWorld, Mark Hurd included his predictions for 2025. Predictions this year were comprised of the inclusion of AI technology in ALL Cloud Apps – predicting that these apps will have AI woven into all business apps and platform services, further distancing them from legacy apps. Mark predicted that AI will power 85% of customer interactions, which would improve service levels, engagements, and allow retailers to create personalized experiences on any channel. This would infer that hotels could run 24/7 without people constantly at the front desk and for all industries to connect with their customers in new, innovative ways. He also predicted that 60% of the IT jobs that will exist in 2025 have not been created yet – including Data Professionals, Robot Supervisors, Human to Machine UX Specialists, Smart City Technology Designers, and AI Assisted Healthcare Technicians. Interested in learning more? View Mark Hurd’s keynote here.A full list of predictions can also be found here.

 

Stay tuned for more information on individual product keynotes and roadmaps!

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#TeamElire in the Community – Firefighters for Healing Project Joy

May 1st, 2018

#TeamElire in the Community – Firefighters for Healing Project Joy

While the holidays are usually a time of excitement and cheer, for families who have recently lost everything in a fire and individuals healing from injuries in the burn unit it can be difficult. Firefighters for Healing tries to ease that pain and worry with Project Joy, by providing gifts for children in the burn unit, and families who might not have a Christmas without their intervention. The project aims to provide hope and joy to those who have already been through so much. As one of FFFH’s Corporate Partners, Team Elire lent a hand in wrapping up dozens of toys and gifts for families in our community and children in the HCMC Burn Unit.

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Team Elire was also invited to ride along to deliver these toys and gifts, as well as participate in the unveiling of the Firefighters for Healing Family Playroom at HCMC. The FFFH team filled the new playroom with toys, games, and medical supplies free to use for families of healing children. 

photo-dec-06-10-33-49-am photo-dec-06-10-34-09-am photo-dec-06-10-36-20-am photo-dec-06-10-52-00-am photo-dec-06-10-54-40-am photo-dec-06-10-56-22-am photo-dec-06-11-00-09-am-1 photo-dec-06-11-15-05-am   photo-dec-06-11-37-44-am  photo-dec-06-11-44-36-am

We are so proud to be a part of the Firefighters for Healing Family, and to continue to support the phenomenal work they are doing. 

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PeopleSoft Lease Administration and Lease Accounting Updates

April 6th, 2018

PeopleSoft Lease Administration and Lease Accounting Updates

As a part of the new FASB and IASB regulations for Lease Accounting, Oracle PeopleSoft has developed a four-phase release of new and updated functionality to consolidate Asset Management and Lease Administration Leases into a single data structure. Lease Administration (formerly Real Estate Management) enables users to manage the entire lease lifecycle from planning and acquisition through lease expiration. Lease payments interface to payables, receivable to billing, and accounting entries to general ledger. In a recent PeopleSoft Talk, Marc Weintraub spoke with Loida Chez, Product Strategy Director for PeopleSoft ALM to detail these phases.

Phase 1 and 2 were a foundation to deliver functionality for leasing guidance

Phase 3 and 4 have new functionality to address debits and credits, as well as consolidate leases into single data structure.

Phase 1 – Image 10 (Foundation)

  • Extended enterprise wide frameworks to Real Estate Management
  • Tighter integration with Asset Management

Phase 2 – Image 19 (Foundation)

  • Real Estate Management extended to allow for leasing of property and equipment, finance and operating

Phase 3 – Image 24 (Lessee Accounting)

  • Multi-asset leases
  • Dynamic lease classification at Asset level
  • More precise data capture of financial terms
  • Allocation of lease payments

Phase 4 – Image 27 (Migration and Transition)

  • Introduction of Asset Management’s share product functionality with Lease Administration
  • Activity Guide – Migrate Asset Management leases to common lease data structure
  • Transition to new FASB and IASB leasing guide

Shared product functionality is huge, but is not Lease Administration. The following are not included:

  • Receivables/Lessor Leases
  • Operating Expenses/CAM
  • Security Deposits
  • Clauses
  • Options & Critical Dats
  • Site Selection & Acquisition

To utilize share functionality, utilize the following information detailed in the PeopleSoft Lease Accounting overview.

This shared functionality relates to core accounting requirements for payables leases. Shared product functionality does not require a Lease Administration license.

The first step to using the shared product functionality is migrating your AM to the Lease Administration data structure. A new Activity Guide enables you to perform all migration tasks. Select the Asset Management Lease data migration tasks from the left panel. They are divided into three phases – Initial Assessment of AM, Pre-migration Configuration, and Migration Process. Selecting the initial assessment allows you to review current assets. Since AM now shares functionality with LA, you have to configure common components including amendment types, role types, routing codes, and other configurations like Business Units. The tasks in the Pre-Migration section guide you through configuration changes required for migration. Once these are completed you are ready to migrate.

From the migration process section, you’ll migration AM leases to the LA data structure and review leases online after migration.

The activity guide serves as point to complete transition to the new accounting guidance.

Select “Preparing to Transition to the New Standard” to view guidance and with analytics review expected costs of operating leased assets on transition date.

Finally, you’ll update to “Transition to the new standard” to capitalize operating leases, transition leases to new accounting guidance, and transition to the corresponding straight-line schedule.

Learn more about Elire’s Lease Administration Services here.

For more information on how Lease Administration or to speak with our Lease Administration team, email Practice Lead, Carlos Conde, at [email protected].

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Ask the Expert – Developing your Treasury IT Roadmap

March 8th, 2018

Ask the Expert – Developing your Treasury IT Roadmap

New Year, new Ask the Experts!

We connected with Elire Treasury Advisory Services Practice Lead, Cory Bratts, to discuss what obstacles organization’s usually face when tasked with a Transformation to their Treasury Operations or a new Treasury Workstation implementation. Here is what he had to say!

 

Interested in learning about Elire’s Strategic Treasury Roadmap to avoid these common obstacles? Attend our webinar, “Treasury Transformation: Plotting a Course with Elire’s Treasury Strategic Roadmap” on March 27th. 

Register here.

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PRESS RELEASE: Elire Inc. becomes a Certified Oracle Reseller!

March 1st, 2018

PRESS RELEASE: Elire Inc. becomes a Certified Oracle Reseller!

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Elire Inc., Oracle Gold Level, Cloud Standard Partner, becomes Certified Oracle Reseller

 

Providing additional value for long-term and new clients.

 

Minneapolis, MN March 01, 2018

 

Trusted Oracle Partner, Elire Inc., is now a certified Oracle Reseller for Oracle PeopleSoft, Cloud HCM, Cloud Financials, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Services. Elire Director of Sales, John D. Scott, states, “Elire is extremely excited about being an approved Oracle Reseller. This is a great opportunity for us to offer a value-add service to our existing customer base, help oracle prospects in their software buying journey, further support Oracle Reps in their sales cycles, and expand our overall Partnership with Oracle.”   

 

Elire Business Development Manager, Geoff Engelhart, adds, “Elire is excited to expand our long-term partnership with Oracle and grow the strategic partnerships we have with our current, and future clients.  As an approved Oracle re-seller, we’ll be able to help our clients maximize their IT investments like never before” in regard to Elire’s new capabilities.

 

During Elire’s 13 years in business, the company has focused on being a Trusted Advisor and Partner to their 200+ clients. Elire’s prominent clientele are revered as leaders across a wide range of industries and verticals. The move to becoming a Reseller further solidifies Elire’s industry-leading position as a “go-to” Oracle Partner, and allows for organizations to have an experienced partner across all their Oracle needs.

 

Elire Inc.

 

Minneapolis, MN. | www.elire.com | 612.486.4220

 

 

 

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