Embracing electronic payments is necessary for businesses seeking to enhance efficiency, reduce manual errors, and improve financial control. However, accounts payable (AP) automation can make electronic payments in ERP systems, like Netsuite, much easier. AP automation technology enables streamlined and error-free payment processing while maximizing the potential of NetSuite electronic payments and accelerating ROI.
What Are the Basics of Electronic Payments?
E-payments facilitate swift, secure, and efficient fund transfers between individuals and businesses, enabling seamless financial interactions in the digital era. Electronic payments offer advantages such as convenience, speed, reduced reliance on physical currency, and lower transaction costs, revolutionizing the way transactions are conducted and enhancing financial accessibility and flexibility in today’s digital economy.
What Is the Role of AP Automation in NetSuite Electronic Payments?
ERP systems are complex since they handle different functions across different departments. Making updates to these systems can be time-consuming and costly. The right AP automation tool is pivotal in enhancing the efficiency and accuracy of electronic payments within these ERP systems, such as NetSuite.
By automating the accounts payable process, accounts payable software solutions, like MineralTree, streamline invoice management, invoice approval workflows, and payment execution, minimizing errors and reducing the need for AP teams to intervene manually. MineralTree also mirrors the workflow in Netsuite with an API that has a true bi-directional sync. As a result, Netsuite remains the system of record, while AP teams benefit from a tool designed for their needs.
What Are the Benefits of Making Electronic Payments with NetSuite & AP Automation?
Making electronic payments with NetSuite and AP automation introduces several benefits.
MineralTree’s integration with NetSuite eliminates the costs associated with manual check processing, reducing operational expenses and streamlining payment procedures.
Real-time visibility into payments is also a critical advantage of the integration with NetSuite. Through MineralTree, businesses gain comprehensive insight into their payment statuses, facilitating informed decision-making and enhancing financial control. Additionally, teams will have access to AP reporting upon invoice capture. They do not need to wait for invoices to be paid and posted to the ERP system to gain insights into payment trends.
Virtual Card Payments & Vendor Enrollment
MineralTree’s team can identify which suppliers already accept virtual cards. Their team will also help enroll strategic suppliers to accept virtual cards so that buyers can take advantage of rebates and lower payment processing costs.
Additionally, virtual card payments integrated within MineralTree only debit from your bank account (via ACH) when “swiped”, allowing you to keep funds in your account until needed while providing for easy, 1-to-1 reconciliation without waiting for a credit card statement.
In 2022, Netsuite and HSBC announced their plans to collaborate on an accounts payable solution. However, the current collaboration between NetSuite and HSBC would require businesses not already banking with HSBC to open a new account. As businesses get larger and more sophisticated, establishing another bank relationship gets increasingly difficult. MineralTree provides companies with the flexibility they need to manage their payments effectively.
More Options for Subsidiaries
With NetSuite, subsidiaries are treated as different organizations, which can make the payment process more complicated. Each subsidiary must have its own bank account, resulting in different payment workflows for each subsidiary.
MineralTree’s integration simplifies these complexities, allowing everything to be accessed via a single dashboard if desired. With its support for over 100 bank accounts in a unified workflow, MineralTree simplifies these complex banking relationships. This consolidated view empowers businesses to manage multiple banking relationships effortlessly, executing check runs, virtual card payments, or ACH transfers across various accounts.
Once authorization is received, the payment doesn’t need to go back to the AP team to execute the payments. On the contrary, MineralTree will execute authorized payments based on the vendor’s preferred method, and sync updated payment status back into Netsuite. MineralTree also reconciles every payment record individually with its unique reference number depending on the payment method, payment type, date, and account. As a result, it will save teams hours of manual labor, especially regarding high-volume invoices or more complex organizational structures involving subsidiaries.
Payment dates can be set directly within MineralTree, making it easy to reduce overdue payments while optimizing cash flow.
MineralTree does not charge on a per-user basis. As a result, any employee inside or outside accounts payable can be setup as a user for invoice approval, making collaborating easier.
Foreign Currency Capabilities
MineralTree also offers foreign currency capabilities. When companies make foreign currency payments, the bank rate is traditionally locked for the day. However, MineralTree refreshes the exchange rate every 45 seconds — which unlocks huge savings for businesses processing large amounts of transactions.
This locked-in spot rate also makes payment reconciliation easier. Traditionally, it was difficult to reconcile a cross-border payment until it was made since it can be unclear how much a bill will cost in US dollars. In approaching foreign currency payments this way, MineralTree customers know exactly how much their payments will cost.
While some tools limit invoice capture to header data only, MineralTree captures full line item details to allow purchase order (PO) matching with NetSuite purchase orders and receipts,, enabling more versatile and efficient invoice and payment approvals within the platform.
Little to No IT Support Required
Changes to an ERP system often require months of preparation and support from internal and external resources. MineralTree, on the other hand, requires little to no IT support to be implemented with NetSuite. With MineralTree, teams can improve their AP process in weeks instead of months.
Steps for Making Electronic Payments with NetSuite and AP Automation
To effectively enable electronic payments within NetSuite using AP automation, you need to follow a structured approach to ensure seamless execution. Here are the essential steps to initiate and optimize electronic payments:
Set up Bank Accounts in the Platform
With MineralTree, it’s really easy to get the bank account set up. All that is needed are the account details, a backup document, such as a voided check, and a verification process. This can all be done by the company without directly involving the bank.
Define Payment Workflows
Customize and define payment workflows according to your organization’s requirements.
Set Up Payment Methods
Configure the preferred payment methods supported by your chosen solution, such as ACH, checks, or virtual credit cards, aligning them with your business’s payment policies and practices.
Provide comprehensive training to employees involved in the payment processing system. Training ensures proper understanding and adherence to established procedures, minimizing errors and enhancing efficiency.
Monitor Payment Activity
Regularly monitor and review payment activities to detect and address any discrepancies, errors, or anomalies promptly. MineralTree’s platform will automatically flag duplicate payments or anomalies it finds.
Continuously Monitor and Improve Payment Processes
Implement a system for ongoing evaluation and improvement of payment processes.
Consider Automating the End-to-End Workflow
Electronic payment systems remove one manual task from the accounts payable workflow. However, there are still other manual and time-consuming tasks that can be digitized, including invoice approvals. AP teams benefit more when the entire end-to-end AP process is automated.
Case Study: Quartzy Improves the Payment Process
Quartzy has a high number of invoices to process, making its AP process a difficult one to manage. It was also extremely challenging to gain insight into the payment process when suppliers requested payment status. Bheem Bhatia, Vice President of Finance at Quartzy, noted, “It was surprisingly difficult to get this information from the past system.” As a result, Quartzy decided to partner with MineralTree to automate the AP process.
One of the reasons MineralTree was selected was due to its true bi-directional sync with Netsuite. “This two-way integration was so critical that it would have been a non-starter for any vendor that couldn’t offer it,” said Bhatia. MineralTree’s reporting and PO matching functionality were also important features for the team. “MineralTree’s Automated PO Matching is very beneficial for our team,” noted Bhatia. “If an invoice doesn’t match a PO, the system generates an alert, so we don’t pay the invoice until we investigate and resolve the issue.”
The implementation of MineralTree’s system required little to no help from IT. Since engineering time was limited in a start-up environment like Quartzy, this was a key advantage. The process took a few weeks, allowing Quartzy to reap the benefits of AP automation quickly.
In a rapidly evolving financial landscape, integrating NetSuite with MineralTree’s AP automation solution offers businesses a pathway to streamlined, efficient, and secure electronic payment processes. This integration resolves challenges posed by manual AP workflows in NetSuite, driving cost savings, heightened security, and increased operational efficiency.