Integrated solutions

How AppZen and SAP Ariba work together

AppZen for SAP Ariba accounts payable auditing

Your team has invested in an efficient, optimized source-to-pay process based on the SAP Ariba platform and network. You are streamlining your procurement and accounts payable operations to be more strategic in your sourcing, manage supplier risk, and be more efficient in your payables process. Standardizing on Ariba is a great step forward, but even world-class finance teams struggle with three challenges when it comes to business spend: spend leakage, non-compliance, and inefficient process. AI-powered spend auditing is just the ticket for making your Ariba S2P process bulletproof.

Leakage, non-compliance, and inefficiencies in the AP process

Even well-run accounts payables operations can result in spend leakage, non-compliance, and process inefficiencies. Spend leakage includes errors, waste, and fraud in invoices such as duplicate spend, “fat finger” errors, inflated charges, invoice or supplier fraud, and missing discounts. Companies have difficulties complying with corporate policy, negotiated contracts, and regulations such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Sunshine Act. But reviewing spend comprehensively for leakage and non-compliance is onerous and resource-intensive, and comes at the cost of not paying suppliers on time.

How AppZen and SAP Ariba work together

Ariba’s platform leads the market in automating sourcing, supplier risk mitigation, procurement, invoice processing, and other supply chain tasks. The solution is a best-in-class way to manage suppliers, POs, and invoice processing. And with AppZen as a critical audit partner, you can be sure to get the most out of your Ariba investment.

The AppZen Platform provides AI-powered auditing across Ariba and other spend systems you may have in your environment. We use AI to review 100 percent of your spend transactions in Ariba – as well as across other spend automation systems such as legacy ERP or ERP systems that you have from business acquisitions, as well as additional contract management systems, and even your expense management systems such as SAP Concur. We audit all of your invoices based on dozens of AI models and surface manual entry errors, duplicate payments within Ariba or across Ariba and other systems (including expense management, such as Concur), mis-classified spend, inflated charges, incorrect prices, missing discounts, and regulatory snafus such as payments to sanctioned entities or debarred vendors.

AppZen takes advantage of the Ariba API set to integrate with the platform. We ingest accounts payable details such as supplier master data, purchase order information, and contract details and images. We extract and understand dates, amounts, applicable discounts, and other key terms from the contract images. When a supplier invoice arrives in Ariba, we pull the invoice data from the structured fields, as well as the unstructured document image of invoice, and place a hold on the invoice in Ariba. We extract and understand information from the image such as the invoice number, line and total amounts, payment terms, and line-level spend classifications. Then we perform a comprehensive, AI-powered audit on the transaction to find duplicates, pricing errors, inflated charges, supplier fraud, mis-applied discounts, mis-classified spend, incorrect payment terms, and regulatory violations such as indicators of bribery or spend with a healthcare provider. We assess risk based on the presence of any of those issues and provide a score to Ariba so the system can automatically approve some or all of the low-risk transactions and route high-risk ones to a reviewer.

Use cases - Accounts payable audit results

Catch duplicate payments.

Identify duplicates payments in Ariba, irrespective of invoice number, including line-level duplicates, multiple invoices adding up to a duplicate, and cross-system duplicates (with another S2P or expense management system).

See inflated prices.

Gain insight into competitive prices from external online marketplaces to make sure you’re getting the best deal from your suppliers.

Identify volume or payment anomalies.

Find anomalies in Ariba that can signal errors, waste, or fraud in your spend.

Get the price and discounts you negotiated.

Verify invoice prices and discounts against your contracts - even ones in unstructured documents - to make sure you get the deal you negotiated.

Comply with contracts.

Ensure that the invoices in Ariba match your contract terms, such as payment due.

Flag regulatory violations.

Flag contracts with or invoice-based payments to foreign officials, politically-exposed persons, and healthcare providers.

DIscover expiring contracts.

Be alerted to expired contracts and notified of expiring or auto-renewing ones while there’s still time to negotiate or identify alternative suppliers.

Approve low-risk spend automatically.

Save approvers’ time by automating low-risk invoices for immediate payment in Ariba.

Bootstrap manual approvals.

Provide risk details and evidence so reviewers can make accurate, consistent approval decisions quickly.

Critical AI capabilities

Audit 100 percent of spend prior to payment

Review or audit all payables before you pay. Because AI auditing is automated and happens in real time, you can review 100 percent of invoices prior to payment, and still pay all of your suppliers on time.

Understand documents

Extract and understand key information like dates, amounts, and spend categories from unstructured documents such as contracts and invoices. These data points can serve as powerful clues in identifying errors such as mis-applied discounts and incorrect pricing.

Enrich with intelligence

Enrich transaction information with intelligence from business systems and external sources. AI gives you the visibility you need to find issues like regulatory violations or fraudulent suppliers that you wouldn’t detect otherwise.

Assess and refine risk

Use AI to assess risk consistently. Refine the way you evaluate risk based on new data and user feedback over time. This gives you confidence that you’re reviewing transactions accurately and consistently in Ariba.

Streamline auditing process

Automate workflows, remove extraneous steps, and arm reviewers with the information they need to make smart decisions. Streamlining your review process lets you review all spend in real time, at scale.

ROI calculator for AI spend auditing

Calculate your ROI on auditing 100 percent of expenses and invoices, prior to payment, with artificial intelligence.

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