Data Hand

Data Analytics; Assimilate, Process, and Report

Gathering and reporting pertinent details from disparate ERP systems is a big challenge for many of today’s growing businesses.  System upgrades, mergers and acquisitions are three major contributing factors.

Are you going through one of them now?

When looking for accurate reporting during this turbulent period, you need the right IT resources, skill sets, and hardware to analyze the data in the exact same manner from each system.  Don’t make decisions based on inaccurate data.  They will lead you down the wrong path.

Here are some reports that are typically easy to produce when systems are not in flux:

  1. Accounts Payable (AP) Aging – Days to pay
  2. Payment Terms Analysis
    • What is the average number of invoices paid per payment?
    • What are the number of invoices processed per day/month/quarter?
    • What is the loss of cash discount as a percentage of purchases?
  3. Average amount of invoices outstanding

Some of the more challenging reports to create when an ERP system is in flux are those that span a longer time period such as:

  1. Trend Analysis of payment days from the invoice due date to the payment date by vendor over time. Reporting this accurately during the transition is key.
  2. Cash Flow Reporting. This report compares potential cash outflow scenarios based on due date and the cash discount date. Determining the amount of discount to be received vs paying the full invoice amount.  Payment delays are common during the period of invoices being paid from an old system and then into the new system.
  3. Noise report of transactions failing the three-way match. Typically caused by incorrectly mapped item master and vendor masters created by the merger of two systems.

 Are your internal IT resources qualified for such a task?

Most of your IT employees only have skill sets and knowledge of your own ERP system.  That system probably has been in place for years, if not decades.    AP Recovery Audit Firms are highly experienced in multiple ERP systems.  They have clients who utilize many different ERP systems and as a result their IT staff is cross trained to work on most types.

Their major strength is that they have experience in YOUR system, on YOUR data, and understand YOUR business.  That element combined with the experience on other ERP’s can make them an invaluable asset.

What ERP systems are out there?  Here are some examples of the more widely used ones:

Lawson SAP
PeopleSoft Oracle
Macola JDE
Great Plains Baan
McKesson Retalix


In many instances the AP Recovery Audit firm in place at your company is already receiving the data you need analyzed.  They have the server storage space and processing power to quickly mine through huge amounts of data and find those KPI’s vital to grow your business.  They have the right IT experience and skill sets to merge two systems and create the reporting you are looking for.  Is your ERP system homegrown and therefore not listed above?  They also have worked with clients who use stand-alone databases or legacy ERP systems to track and report metrics.

How do I know if my Accounts Payable Recovery Audit organization can do it?

  1. Interview them. Make sure they can answer and talk about your specific business need to the level you feel they can produce what you expect.
  2. Ask for references and examples of the work they have done.
  3. Challenge them with a proof of concept. Boil down your report to one vendor with specific dates and have them prove they can do it.

Data analytics is a growing industry.  You probably receive calls all year from sales reps selling off the shelf solutions.  Have you been hesitant to take that call because you know an off the shelf solution will not provide you with the accuracy you need?

Contact SAS to learn more on how we can bring OUR senior level, highly talented, IT professionals to your organization, and they will deliver the customized, meaningful, actionable analytics you are looking for.

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