SAPinsider 2023 Conference Session Highlights: Live Q&A from Serrala Session on AR Automation

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Key Takeaways

⇨ Many attendees to SAPinsider 2023 Vegas Conference had questions about how to streamline their financial processes within an SAP environment.

⇨ Serrala offers its Smart Eye technology to automatically scan for and apply payments sent via email.

⇨ Users can also rely on automated workflow to streamline credit management.

The SAPinsider 2023 Live Conference provided attendees with valuable insights into the ecosystem of associated SAP solutions and applications. One of the highlights was a live Q&A session that focused on the capabilities of Serrala, a leading provider of automation in working capital management solutions for SAP environments.

Session attendees had several questions for Michael Koehler, Principal Solutions Architect at Serrala, following his joint presentation of the Zoetis accounts receivable innovation story with Amy Valiant, Global Process Owner at Zoetis. The session served as an excellent platform for attendees to learn about the latest innovations in A/R capabilities and their potential impacts on the business.

In response to a query about using Serrala’s solutions for non-SAP accounts receivable, Koehler from Serrala clarified that their solution is primarily designed for integration with SAP. However, it can support multiple instances of SAP by consolidating them into one hub system.

One attendee asked about the value-added capabilities of Serrala’s solutions compared to SAP’s core capabilities. Valiant, a representative from Zoetis, explained that Serrala’s solutions enable automation of the accounts receivable process by searching for customer payments and automatically applying them.

Daniel Bertaska, Director, Solution Architects from Serrala, added that the business rule engine can search multiple locations for invoice numbers, enhancing automation and efficiency: “One of the good things about the business rule, which is a little bit different from what SAP can provide, is how we build the sequences. For instance, as we identify the invoice number, we can search in multiple places on the FI document so we can search on the assignment field. If we don’t find it, we search on the document number, we look at the reference, we go to the SD module to see if that maybe is a sales order. And from the sales order, we can identify the FI document and the invoice is a consequence. That is also one of the reasons why the automation can get really high, is that you don’t get stuck with just one location where you have the invoice numbers.”

Next, Valiant explained the advantages of Serrala’s Smart Eye technology, following a question regarding rules-based scanning capabilities: “The value add is that the emails for the remittances for the EFTs or the wire payments come into an email and the bank statements come in, Smart Eye takes the email, looks and searches, do we have a payment for that customer in that amount, and then automatically apply it.”

Koehler also discussed the adaptability of Smart Eye, stating, “There are two ways to interpret remittances. There are simple remittances where no mapping is needed. You just send it through Smart Eye, which uses OCR (Optical Character Recognition) on the data, pulls it out, and sends it into SAP. And then there is more complex larger remittance devices with several hundred lines of deduction codes on them. This is where our managed automation team can create a mapping for them so we can extract the right information from the right fields.

“But then once the data flows into SAP, you still have a monitor where you can see each and every remittance device that came in, and then access the remittance device and kind of post-process it in a way where you can validate the fields. We actually had the example last week where we sent in a remittances advice, but it picked up the amount from the wrong column in the Excel loop. You have a screen where you can correct that, validate it, send it over to the cash application module, and then once this transaction is posted, there’s a feedback loop that goes into Smart Eye that tells Smart Eye so the next time that comes in, pick the amount from the field that we just corrected. So that’s a self-loading curve as well. ”

Another attendee inquired about the collection side of the process and how rules and thresholds are managed. Valiant explained that Zoetis uses different bots for the U.S. and international markets, with authorized business users able to modify rules as needed. Serrala’s automated workflow was also highlighted for its ability to streamline credit management, with an additional mobile app feature enabling executives to approve orders from their phones.

Valiant further highlighted the flexibility offered by Serrala’s automated workflow, especially for credit analysts dealing with international companies: “I just wanted to make one other point about credit, because we didn’t really touch on that a lot. So Serrala does have an automated workflow. We didn’t do credit for internationally yet just because it’s a soft compliance, so we’re going to roll all of the internationals out this year. But there is an automated workflow, so if the credit analyst has to send it to a manager or a VP or the president, it automatically workflows.”

Another question centered on whether credit card processing was covered in the transformation project discussed in the session. Valiant clarified that it was a separate project and expressed hope to share more information on the subject in the future.  

In response to a query about using Serrala’s solutions for non-SAP accounts receivable, Koehler from Serrala clarified that their solution is primarily designed for integration with SAP. However, it can support multiple instances of SAP by consolidating them into one hub system. 

Overall, the live Q&A session at the SAPinsider 2023 Live Conference showcased the potential of Serrala’s solutions for businesses seeking to streamline their financial processes within an SAP environment. With insights from Koehler, Bertaska, and Valiant, attendees left the event with a better understanding of the benefits of automation, integration, and adaptability in accounts receivable processes.

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