Buried Beneath the AP Paper Crush?

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1 Buried Beneath the AP Paper Crush? Simple Steps for Automating Invoice Workflow and Approval within Oracle JD Edwards Environments As seen in Quest Q&A TM Magazine Fall 2007 Issue

2 Today s accounts payable professionals spend much of their day handling paper, resolving vendor disputes, attempting to keep up with phone inquiries and other onerous processes in the effort to move invoices from the in box to the out box. Over the course of the last few years, ERP-driven businesses have introduced varying elements of automation into their AP departments. In doing so, these organizations have managed to not only streamline approval processes and reduce their reliance on paper, but stretch the benefits of AP automation into core operational functions that include cash management and regulatory compliance. For organizations standardized on Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, however, the transition from paper to electronic invoice management has proven to be an especially difficult task. Without inherent capabilities for automated invoice processing, the ability to link invoice images with corresponding data, or integrate non- EnterpriseOne users into an automated invoice workflow is virtually impossible. As a result, many organizations leveraging EnterpriseOne have struggled to achieve maximum efficiency within their AP departments. With the need to accelerate invoice approvals and strengthen supplier relationships increasing, new thinking on how EnterpriseOne users can address inefficiencies within AP are emerging. The Importance of Going Electronic Without an efficient, centralized system for processing AP invoices, many approval cycles are segmented in such a way to provide little control and visibility into the status of an invoice as it moves from receipt through to payment. According to the Boston-based research advisory firm, Aberdeen Group, approximately 81 percent of bills received in the United States are paper-based. Further complicating this scenario are discrepancies between invoices and the actual goods or services received. When this occurs, AP professionals must contact the vendor to discuss the discrepancy, generating what can often be a sizable delay before payment can be made. Though the accounts payable function has long been viewed as a cost center, AP departments can increase efficiencies, contain costs, provide better support for regulatory requirements and improve vendor relationships through investments in third-party solutions for JD Edwards that automate invoice management and help take the paper out of the equation. New process efficiencies may also provide a company with the opportunity to improve cash flow by timing payments to take advantage of payment discounts. At the same time, the transition from paper to electronic creates an electronic data trail that enables organizations to prevent fraud, duplicate payments and comply with government-mandated regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley. In this day and age, even smaller companies not required by law to abide by Sarbanes-Oxley are expected by customers or financial partners to adhere by the law s transparency rules. Breaking Down the Barriers Despite all of this talk of automation, the AP environment of the foreseeable future will continue to consist of both paper and electronic invoices. Therefore, any solution for such an initiative has to have the flexibility to handle invoices in any form in which they can be received.

3 The modular nature of some Web-based document process automation solutions has opened the door for EnterpriseOne users seeking greater business value out of their ERP investment. Whether an AP department is large or small, combining traditional document scanning applications with modular software components for automated invoice workflow can provide the opportunity for EnterpriseOne users to automate the entire invoice-to-pay process. Through such an approach, it s possible to quickly and easily achieve the following benefits: Streamline invoice approval routing inside or outside of EnterpriseOne; Accelerate the invoice approval process for faster processing and opportunities to capture early settlement discounts; Improve supplier relationships through real-time visibility into invoice status; and Reduce the number of lost or duplicate invoices. Source: Aberdeen Group, March 2007 Transform AP for Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Transform AP helps organizations modernize their AP systems with a single solution, tightly integrated with EnterpriseOne, that manages and streamlines the most critical, and often the most challenging aspects of the AP invoice process. Transform AP is the product of more than 15 years in partnership with JD Edwards, and reflects Bottomline s experience of implementing solutions for more than 3,000 JD Edwards customers worldwide. Transform AP merges the accounts payable process within JD Edwards with Web-based user interaction and document storage. The result is an unparalleled AP user experience within EnterpriseOne, and a highly agile business process designed to meet an organization s unique AP invoice processing needs. With Transform AP, organizations gain full visibility of each invoice as it progresses through various stages of exception handling, coding and approval. In addition, Transform AP creates a standard JD Edwards Media Attachment link that allows the invoice to be retrieved by standard AP users from within EnterpriseOne, as well as outside EnterpriseOne via a webbased portal for non-licensed users. Transform AP breaks the traditional and costly model of paper-based invoice processing while allowing organizations to protect and preserve their existing JD Edwards investments. Critical AP functions remain within EnterpriseOne, eliminating the need for new investments in user training and/or business process re-engineering, while approval and coding are now possible outside EnterpriseOne. The result is a vastly more efficient and transparent AP process that marries the benefits of digital invoice processing and online storage with the power of EnterpriseOne.

4 Transforming the AP Process Transform AP is a business application built on Bottomline Technologies powerful document automation platform, combined with EnterpriseOne business functions, tables and forms. Highwoods Properties Reaps the Benefits For Raleigh, North Carolina-based Highwoods Properties, a self-administered real estate investment trust, this approach proved to be the ideal answer to manual invoice processing. Faced with processing approximately 150,000 invoices per year, the company leveraged Bottomline s solution to extend its EnterpriseOne system for a new invoice automation initiative. Once deployed, the organization immediately eliminated the need for manual invoice data entry and approval, and gained an unprecedented level of visibility into invoice status. By using the solution to monitor invoices and payments, the company can spot and respond to approval bottlenecks more readily. Since going live in 2006, "Our document automation solution Highwoods Properties has been able to significantly reduce processing costs by up to $25 per invoice. has enabled us to consolidate our AP Automation: The Next Frontier Many companies are beginning to understand that replacing traditional invoice handling methods bears enormous potential to impact cash flow and regulatory compliance like few other IT investments. As a result, invoice automation is beginning to reveal its broader business value and ascend the IT priorities ladder. In order to transform the AP function into a key component of operations, EnterpriseOne users must bypass short-term fixes, and instead focus their efforts on strategies capable of creating longerterm efficiency and business gains. By expanding the use of document process automation solutions, which many EnterpriseOne users already leverage for other transactional document processes, these organizations can firmly place themselves on the path toward realizing the benefits of accounts payable automation. end-to-end procure-to-pay processes into a centralized shared services model that cuts approval time, lowers processing costs, and improves supplier relations by ensuring on-time payment." Art McCann CIO Highwoods Properties

5 About Bottomline Technologies Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) provides collaborative payment and invoice automation solutions to corporations, financial institutions and banks around the world. The company's solutions are used to streamline, automate and manage processes and transactions involving global payments, invoice approval, purchase-to-pay, collections, cash management and document process automation. Organizations trust these solutions to meet their needs for cost reduction, competitive differentiation and optimization of working capital. Headquartered in the United States, Bottomline also maintains offices in Europe and Asia-Pacific. For more information, visit Corporate Headquarters 325 Corporate Drive Portsmouth, NH USA tel , fax Europe, Middle East, Africa 115 Chatham Street Reading, Berkshire RG17JX UK tel fax Asia Pacific 206/12-14 Cato Street Hawthorn East, VIC, 3123 Australia tel fax Copyright Bottomline Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved. Bottomline Technologies, the BT logo and Transform AP are trademarks of Bottomline Technologies, Inc. which may be registered in certain jurisdictions. All other product/brand names are trademarks of their respective holders.

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