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AFP 2019 Blog

Integrated Payables and Strategic Supplier Enablement

Sep 17, 2019

By Cindy O’Neill, President of Priority Commercial Payments

Do you think your organization has a grasp of integrated payables, accounts payable (AP), accounts receivable (AR), AP automation, EAP, supplier enablement, and how they all work together? There are many views of what these mean and how they work, and very few of them are the same view. Even fewer are correct!


Integrated payables is widely misunderstood. It is a solution that incorporates all payment types—virtual card, ACH, check, and wire—into a single payment process.

It is available to organizations to automate the payment portion of their electronic accounts payables (EAP) process. This differs from AP automation, which is only the automation of the invoice processing that comes prior to the payment itself. Many organizations today realize that they have automated the invoice process, but don’t have a payment hub built into their process to actually complete the payment. This leads to buyer's remorse.


Suppliers are still resistant to accepting electronic payments. There are disparate approaches for virtual card and ACH payments, which result in a fragmented supplier onboarding experience. But today, solution providers are focusing on the convergence of AP and AR processes to make it easy for suppliers to accept electronic payments.


Sourcing an integrated payables solution does not have to be a daunting task for organizations. However, ensuring that the solution selected is successful does require input from treasury and finance, as well as a partner that understands the importance of the supplier side of the equation. Your partner should also support technology solutions that require minimal dependencies on your IT staff.


In our education session at AFP 2019, “Integrated Payables (IP) and Strategic Supplier Enablement,” we will discuss current trends in integrated payables and how an effective and consolidated supplier enablement strategy leads to a stronger overall value proposition for both the buyers and suppliers.

I’ll be joined by Ray Champ, Head of Commercial Card Product for Citizens Commercial Banking, and Richard Walker, Controller, Finance Operations for New Balance. Join us at AFP 2019 in Boston to learn more about this exciting and very relevant commercial payments trend.