Tag Archives: automate


Why 71% of AP Departments are Automating in 2020 and You Should Too

If it feels like processing payments to suppliers is taking longer, you are not imagining things. One-third of accounts payable practitioners are working longer hours these days, according to the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM).  In fact, eight percent of accounts payable practitioners are working an additional two hours or more per day, which … Read More

Best Practices in Test Data Provisioning for Automated Testing

In part one of this series, we covered the importance of automated testing in the FinTech space. In this segment, we highlight best practices in test data provisioning, an essential component of successful automated testing. To meet the demands of business growth and customer satisfaction, technology teams are adopting Agile and DevOps methods to keep … Read More

Accelerating the Pace of Software Development Through Automated Testing

FinTech Innovators Need to Modernize Their Software Development Rapid changes in the payments industry are requiring FinTech innovators to modernize software development processes in order to deliver more efficient and secure means of payments for buyers and suppliers. This places severe demands on software organizations to expand both the volume and quality of product delivered. … Read More

Why 71% of AP Departments are Automating in 2020 and You Should Too

If it feels like processing payments to suppliers is taking longer, you are not imagining things.

One-third of accounts payable practitioners are working longer hours these days, according to the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM).  In fact, eight percent of accounts payable practitioners are working an additional two hours or more per day, which is saying something when you consider the long days that most accounts payable practitioners logged before the move to remote work environments. 

These longer days can be attributed to trying to address the challenges created by today’s reality.  25% of accounts payable leaders say they are struggling to mitigate increased fraud and compliance risks.  22% of accounts payable leaders say their department has experienced a big spike in supplier inquiries regarding the status of invoices and payments.  And 20% of accounts payable leaders say that paying suppliers on-time, while staff work from home, is a major challenge. 

These sobering statistics illustrate the difficulty in adapting manual and semi-automated accounts payable processes to a remote work environment.  Only 9% of accounts payable leaders polled by IOFM say their department is fully automated with few or no manual processes.  33% of accounts payable departments have little automation.  And 14% of accounts payable departments process invoices and pay suppliers in a completely manual environment.

Manual processes create friction and inefficiency across the supplier payment lifecycle:

  • Key information is not captured
  • Data is poorly organized
  • Information is not timely
  • Systems are badly integrated
  • Labor costs are high

As a result, paying suppliers requires accounts payable practitioners to spend most of their working day bogged down on countless menial, manual tasks that distract them from higher-value activities. Manual tasks such as:

  • Supplier registration
  • Supplier data validation
  • Vendor record updates
  • Tax form collection
  • Sanctions screening
  • Invoice processing
  • Payment approval
  • Support for a range of payment methods
  • Remittance delivery
  • Currency conversion
  • Payment reconciliation
  • Tax reporting

This list goes on and on. 

On top of these manual tasks, accounts payable practitioners also must be mindful of dozens of business rules, policies, regulations, and auditor guidelines governing how suppliers get paid. 

The challenge of paying suppliers becomes even bigger as a business grows.

Growing businesses may have many different systems to integrate, complex processes to try to navigate and manage, and far flung accounts payable teams working across multiple sites.

All told, 84% of the typical accounts payable practitioner’s time is wasted on manual activities, IOFM benchmarking data finds.  In fact, most accounts payable managers spend more of their day on transaction processing than on the managerial tasks that they were hired for. 

No wonder that accounts payable has a reputation as a tactical back-office function. 

Businesses have had their fill of accounts payable inefficiencies.

71% of businesses plan to automate their accounts payable function further in 2020, according to IOFM.  Even businesses that are largely automated plan to deploy more technology.  Only 6% of accounts payable departments have thrown in the towel and say they have no plans to budge from their outdated, manual processes.

Automation eliminates friction across the accounts-payable lifecycle.  Invoices are aggregated onto a single platform.  Invoice data is effortlessly extracted, validated, and matched against purchase order information.  Invoices that require review or approval are digitally routed based upon pre-configured business rules.  Approved invoices are seamlessly uploaded into an ERP.  And a single file is used to pay suppliers in their preferred method.  And payments and invoices are reconciled in real-time.

In an automated accounts payable environment, staff only need to intervene when necessary.  The result is a function that delivers better business outcomes today, and greater scalability in the future.

This frictionless process is a far cry from the inefficiencies accounts payable is accustomed to.

Importantly, eliminating inefficiencies in the accounts payable lifecycle enables businesses to avoid costly late payment penalties, create more opportunities to capture early payment discounts, enhance visibility into cashflow and spending, strengthen supplier relationships, protect against fraud, and do more with far less.

Automating payments to suppliers is just what businesses of all sizes need in turbulent times.

Ready to eliminate inefficiencies in the way your business pays its suppliers?  If so, Paymerang wants to speak with you.  Contact us at sales@paymerang.com to arrange a no-obligation product demonstration. 

Best Practices in Test Data Provisioning for Automated Testing

In part one of this series, we covered the importance of automated testing in the FinTech space.

In this segment, we highlight best practices in test data provisioning, an essential component of successful automated testing.

To meet the demands of business growth and customer satisfaction, technology teams are adopting Agile and DevOps methods to keep up with the relentless pace of software development and enhancements required to support growth.

In order to transform to a true DevOps model and reap the benefits of this approach, development and QA/testing teams are shifting testing to the left, automating more tests and automating the provision of test environments. These are all designed to make them more productive and reduce the time it takes to develop, test and deploy.

While development and testing methods are getting a makeover, access to test environments and data continues to be a huge hurdle for QA & Testing teams.

The 2018-2019 Capgemini World Quality report states that nearly 50% of all respondents cite lack of access to test environments and test data as their biggest challenge in applying testing in agile development.

Lean/Agile and DevOps organizations face a difficult challenge to provision the right, high-quality data necessary to produce quality results; use an actual copy of production data and put the organization at risk or accept incomplete or inaccurate data. Neither of these options are good ones.

It is time for a new model for test data acquisition. This new model must result in the right data at the right time.

In the new model consumers of the data will identify the data needed to satisfy specific test cases when the test cases are built. The data will be tagged to the test case for later use. If the data is sensitive, it will be de-identified prior to viewing by the consumer. At the time of testing it will be loaded to ephemeral environments or traditional test environments.

To make this new model robust, development teams need to work with the latest solutions and methodologies to extract large volumes of data from production environment and sanitize the data to remove any personally identifiable information. This requires a significant up-front investment. If you can invest in off-the-shelf solutions to robustly protect your production data while sub-setting parts of it for testing easily, you can create realistic datasets with all the nuances of real data without the risks. By using a robust Test Data Management provisioning tool, one can enter data requirements through data selection, obfuscation of sensitive data like names, accounts, PCI using consistent, easily available, algorithms and then land the data in your testing environments ready to use.

An early investment in test data provisioning will result in robust test data and successful automated testing, allowing your FinTech organization to rapidly scale in today’s demanding world.

Accelerating the Pace of Software Development Through Automated Testing

FinTech Innovators Need to Modernize Their Software Development

Rapid changes in the payments industry are requiring FinTech innovators to modernize software development processes in order to deliver more efficient and secure means of payments for buyers and suppliers. This places severe demands on software organizations to expand both the volume and quality of product delivered. For Paymerang, automated testing has been a critical enabler in this transformation.

When Paymerang was founded in 2010, we were offering a single product along the Procure-to-Pay value chain–payment automation–and relying non-traditional “scrum-fall-ban” development methodologies.

Since then, we have shifted to Lean/Agile Methodologies and DevOps (DevSecOps) in order to significantly expand our velocity.

Shifting methods enables greater features and functionality within core products.

Since making the shift within our core products we are able to offer greater features such as: better security around payments and authentication, new payment methods, such as straight-through-processing, and new products, such as invoice automation and receivables automation.

Given the mission critical nature of each enhancement, Paymerang also made a shift to automated testing.

Automated Functional Tests look at the Paymerang system as a “Black Box”. Functional tests check that the system functions as required by the business. Functional Tests do not target how functionality is delivered – thus the “black box”. Paymerang’s Functional Tests utilize browser-drivers such as Selenium to mimic a user in our app performance any number of tasks.

Automated Functional Testing allows Paymerang to quickly release both product improvements and new products with confidence that our security, user experience and system functionality will continue to deliver without disruption to the product nor other delivery staff. Automated Functional Testing also enables other automation, such as Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery. Failed tests quickly identify where and when an issue is introduced.

We utilize gated check-ins so as to keep our environments working while also giving detailed feedback to our application delivery staff.

Three best practices to consider as one moves to CI / CD

  1. Automated Functional Testing
  2. Gated Check-ins to major repository branches
  3. Test Data Provisioning

The dynamic nature of Paymerang’s business requires constant innovation in both the ways that business payments are made and the means of securing these payments. Automated testing is becoming an essential practice in the FinTech space as organizations increase their velocity and quality control.

In part two of this blog, we will cover best practices in test data provisioning for automated testing.