If you’re like the 250+ finance leaders Flywire recently surveyed, your company has a robust ERP strategy. 89% of those surveyed rely on their ERP system as the single source of the truth. You and your department have been diligent about maintaining and championing the system – and aim to ensure that third-party software implemented both pulls from and pushes to that system of record.
We weren’t too surprised to learn of one place where this integration could be improved. Almost 9 out of 10 (89%) of the respondents said they thought their businesses could save money if the cross-border receivables process was more tightly integrated with their ERP system.
We understand how important it is that payment processes are integrated with workflows and systems of record. We have more than a decade of experience building deep payment integrations with complex enterprise systems used in education and healthcare – including Ellucian, Oracle PeopleSoft, Epic and Oracle Cerner. More recently, we have built tight integration with travel booking systems for our clients. Because of these integrations, our clients have been able to reduce the number of banks and technology payment providers on which they rely, achieve faster settlement times and decrease wire and transaction fees (in some cases for our university clients, eliminating wire transfers). In short, they save time and money, and have much happier clients and employees.
In the same vein, there are massive gains yet to be realized for B2B companies when it comes to integrating B2B payments processing with the ERP system. For instance, Basis Technologies implemented Flywire in 2019 to ease cross-border payments and automate foreign exchange at transparent, competitive foreign exchange rates. Flywire is integrated with NetSuite via an API integration configurable within the NetSuite ERP instance. It embeds a payment link in international invoices, and automatically applies incoming payments to open invoices in the NetSuite A/R module. The company’s controller attributes this ease to allowing them to expand to new places where they may not have full finance operations.
Here are a few stats from our recent survey that point to how important ERP and payments integration is.
1. 86% of respondents invoice international customers from their ERP system. Our survey respondents reflected most major ERP systems – Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, NetSuite, Sage Intacct, Epicor and Infor – as well as 8% of those surveyed who were using QuickBooks. They use functionality included in the system for invoicing – which often can support different languages and account for different regulations of the country. But once the invoice is sent - there is a disconnect. More than 50% of the respondents to our survey reported some level of challenge with using ERP for baseline global payments capabilities – including FX complexity leading to short payments, invoicing in the local currency, negative impacts to DSO, managing chargebacks and more.
2. 52% of respondents plan upgrades this year. Survey respondents follow and trust the product roadmaps of their vendor of choice. When your business upgrades its core software, there shouldn’t be any blips in how everything connected to it works. It’s critical that data continues to flow from all of the third-party applications connected to the ERP system.
3. 88% of respondents say with the possibility of a recession, they need to improve their ability to get paid by international customers. DSO is still a very important measurement of the health of the finance department. For international payments, our survey respondents put the average DSO at 97 days, and think they could speed that up if they could offer more payment methods. With the right payments partner, businesses can enable this within an integrated ERP strategy.
It’s great to see that integrated strategies are working for finance leaders, and that we’re now at the point across the board where ERP systems are doing their jobs really well. It’s the perfect time to ask – what can we do now and next with these really solid process flows and reliable data?
Check out our full research on "ERP systems and cross-border B2B payments: Expectation vs. reality," for more details and actionable advice.