Cost Center < Expense Reduction Analysts

As we move into the late Summer and Fall months, CFOs and controllers are turning their attention towards assembling 2020 budgets. Leadership is thinking about where to find the dry powder if revenue goals do not materialize or if the budget is coming up short of stakeholder expectations. However, many organizations may not be aware of the opportunity to convert a traditional cost center Accounts Payable function (A/P) into a revenue source.

Organizations who transition their A/P function into a revenue source will experience increased control and efficiency, streamline payment execution, reduce internal staff time spent on payables, in addition to earning financial rebates.  Extensive knowledge and insight are needed to help navigate pitfalls and achieve key success factors in Accounts Payable Optimization provider selection and implementation.

Here is how your organization can transition a cost center into a revenue generator.

Obtaining Financial Rebates

Many organizations are unaware of financial rebates available to them. The type of payment method determines the rebate. Also, the validity of the rebate is dependent on vendor enrollment and the number and value of individual payments. Financial rebates are derived from Interchange fees assessed to the recipients of e-payments. Rebates can be as much as 1.75% of the payment value, depending on the volume and frequency of payments.

Exploring Solution Options

Two primary AP solution options offer rebates for your organization. A ‘Comprehensive’ payment solution occurs when a payment file is uploaded, and the provider issues the proper method of payment. Conversely, the “E-Payable only” solution involves card payments to enrolled suppliers. Options such as these should be considered top of mind for companies who are looking to add a new revenue stream to their 2020 income statement.

Moving Away from Check Payments

Most organizations pay vendors via check, electronic check or ACH. The invoice comes in and the payments are sent via their bank or directly to the vendor that submitted the invoice. However, as mentioned above, several service providers execute vendor payments via a virtual card platform.  For this reason, some payment service providers have started specializing in converting traditional vendor payments to card payments.

The time is now to evaluate your opportunities to introduce a new revenue stream into your 2020 budget.  As a result of following the simple steps outlined here, your organization will begin to benefit from a new revenue source. Understand the areas that can be improved today for your A/P function to contribute new revenues tomorrow.

About the Authors

Rob Katzman

Rob Katzman has been with Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA) for more than 12 years. In that time, Rob has helped generate savings for various organizations in their treasury services, accounts payables, merchant card, small package freight, payroll processing, international shipping, FTL/LTL, uniform and telecommunication expense categories.

Before joining ERA, Rob had more than 20 years of business planning, revenue growth and cost containment experience in the financial services industry, including the last 12 years as a Regional CFO for Wachovia Bank (Wells Fargo) responsible for the Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. markets. He has a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Tennessee and a MBA in Finance from Texas Christian University.

As a result of Rob’s corporate experience, he established the Banking Service Practice within ERA and is currently serving as the Chair of the Practice Group. Since inception, the Banking Services Practice Group has generated an average savings of more than 30% for ERA clients.

Mike Wolk

Mike is a Principal Consultant with Expense Reduction Analysts and has 31 years of experience in serving clients globally and across a range of industries.  Leveraging his years of experience in Information Technology and Financial Operations, Mike’s focus is on helping ERA clients in the US with financial services operational improvements.  Mike also works with ERA’s team of category specialists to identify and implement qualitative and cost improvement opportunities in a wide range of areas for his Washington, D.C., metro area clients.

Prior to joining ERA, Mike was a Partner with Accenture and SunGard Consulting and was a Managing Director of services with Allegro Development.  Mike has led programs with start-up businesses to Fortune 500 clients, which helped clients improve financial operations in customer billing and call centers, commodity trading and reporting, fuel procurement, logistics and shipment, and fleet route optimization.

Mike has an MBA from Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC), and a BA in Economics from the University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA).