AP invoice automation
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Why you need an AP solution tailored to your Dynamics ERP

In this blog post we discuss the different AP automation options available for Dynamics users and how the quality of the Dynamics connector is crucial to achieve high levels of automation. 

If your organization uses a Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP there are a few options for managing the accounts payable process and vendor invoices as part of, or integrated to, Microsoft Dynamics.  

It may seem tempting to select an AP solution that is built-in to the Dynamics ERP, mainly for simplicity. But before you go down that route, read this blog post and sign up for our upcoming webinar to truly understand the limitations of built-in solutions and how your organization could benefit from a stand-alone, cloud-based AP automation solution tightly connected to your Dynamics ERP. 

Avoid customizations of your Dynamics environment 

In today’s increasingly cloud-based technology environment, most businesses actively move away from on-premise (locally installed) or highly customized solutions. The benefits of cloud solutions are many but maybe most important is the fact that you get upgrades and new features automatically pushed to your solution, rather than needing to invest in a costly and time-consuming upgrade project.  

If you select an AP solution that is built-in to your Dynamics environment, you basically take a step backwards into a “virtual” on-premise situation. By adding a built-in solution to Dynamics, you are actually customizing your Dynamics ERP which in turn will limit the benefits of the cloud. A customized solution will also require more manual IT maintenance and no access to automatic product upgrades. This risk to be a major challenge as Microsoft is moving towards continuous upgrades of their Dynamics 365 ERPs.  

Go for a solution that delivers true AP automation 

Many AP solutions for Dynamics claim to provide automation capabilities, but in fact very few can deliver a truly automated – touchless – accounts payable process. If your organization manages a high volume of purchase order (PO) based invoices, then you’ll need an advanced invoice matching engine that can automatically match invoice data at detailed line-level to purchase orders, goods receipts and contracts to enable a fully automated process – all without any user intervention. 

When selecting an AP solution for your Dynamics ERP, make sure that it is not only easy to implement, but more importantly covers the automation needs of your organization so that it delivers efficiency gains throughout the entire AP process. 

Great user experience will accelerate the invoice management process 

The invoice management process involves many members of the organization, including casual buyers, approvers and budget owners, who may not be heavy users of the Dynamics ERP. Users who are unfamiliar with the interface may perceive it as clunky which in turn slows down approvals, processing, and ultimately result in late payments to vendors. 

A stand-alone solution that is not bound to the Dynamics interface can provide superior user experience for approvers with intuitive steps to follow and templates to apply for recurring invoice types or vendors. Plus, mobile solutions are available that allow users to approve their invoices without being logged into the organization’s infrastructure – even when traveling or on the go. These tools greatly improve response times from users and shorten overall invoice processing lead times to an average of 5 days, and for best-in-class companies less than 1 day. 

The better option: a pre-connected best-of-breed AP solution 

With a stand-alone AP solution you are not limited to functionality in your Dynamics ERP but can select the solution that best matches your AP automation needs. This means you can (and should) go for a solution that offers you best-of-breed invoice matching and automation possibilities to ensure you remove manual and labor-intensive tasks entirely to benefit from fully touchless invoice processing. 

You should ensure that the solution you select has a solid and complete connector to your Dynamics ERP with best practice master data synchronization and standard invoice postings. Also, you should select an AP automation provider that knows Dynamics and has thorough experience of delivering an automated invoice management process for Dynamics users.  

As the saying goes “the devil is in the details”. Therefore, make sure to ask your AP automation partner if they support features like: 

  • Advanced invoice matching to allow for fully touchless invoice processing  
  • Cloud-based reporting so that you can easily access all invoice data and pull reports on process efficiency KPIs as well as key financial metrics 
  • Full control of the AP process including bottleneck analysis within and outside your organization 
  • Pre-packaged connector to your Dynamics ERP with minimal impact on Dynamics, to make sure it’s not limiting upgrade opportunities. 

These are just a few examples of features that will help you be more efficient in your day to day work. The learning is to look at the pain points of your current process and find an AP solution for Dynamics that can actually help solve the issues that truly matter. This is the only way you can reach those high levels of automation in your invoice matching and workflow. Don’t settle for the second best! 

At Medius, we’ve been supporting hundreds of Dynamics customers for more than 17 years. If you have any specific questions about AP automation and Dynamics, feel free to reach out.  

Join our upcoming webinar on 21 February to learn more: "True AP Automation for Microsoft Dynamics" 

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Magnus Jonasson

Magnus Jonasson

VP Integrations

magnus.jonasson@medius-group.com