Take AP Automation to the Next Level While Reducing Fraud with NetSuite & HSBC

Lorna Garey, Executive Editor

October 14, 2022

NetSuite SuiteBanking aims to transform the way financial services and ERP work together, because ‘there's magic to be had there.’

Why is accounts payable automation all the rage? An expected $7 trillion dollars of embedded banking flows by 2026, to start. Companies that are still manually entering and paying vendor bills — a labor-intensive and fraud-prone process — will fall further behind competitors that have automated their AP systems to process bills and make payments via banking integration. 

NetSuite not only automates the entire invoice-to-pay process, from data capture to reconciliation. Companies can also take advantage of embedded banking services executed by HSBC to pay bills directly from NetSuite, and businesses that use HSBC virtual credit cards to pay suppliers can earn cash-back rewards.

At SuiteWorld, NetSuite announced new AP automation functionality, and Scott Derksen, Senior Director of Business Development at NetSuite, and Brian McKenney, Chief Business Officer at HSBC Platforms, shared insights on added benefits from the NetSuite/HSBC partnership.

Cutting the Phishing Line

NetSuite AP Automation automatically imports bank and card data into NetSuite each day, which smooths reconciliation and allows for greater visibility.

“This will help you reduce fraud and human error,” said McKenney. “For organizations, about 5% of their revenue is lost to fraud every year, and about 80% of organizations in any given year will experience a fraud attack. Payments is one of the main vectors.”

In fact, AP accounts for 18% of business fraud, with an average loss of $300 per month for 10 months before it's discovered. Often, the fraudulent payment goes out repeatedly until the legitimate vendor goes, “Hey, you haven't paid me for 10 months!” 

These attacks are often accomplished via phishing, where a fraudster acts like a supplier or potentially even the CEO or CFO.

“They'll send a spoofed email and target someone that works in accounts payables or in treasury and say, ‘You have an urgent payment that's overdue. Can you please make this now?’” said McKenney.

Where in the past, an employee would receive that request, log on, and make the payment, AP Automation adds a layer of protection. A minor change in, for example, the supplier’s bank account information would flag as an exception that requires additional approval.

The process goes like this: With bill capture, finance drags and drops digital invoices into NetSuite, or vendors send them to a designated email inbox. Bills are scanned, and relevant details are converted into digital text. NetSuite uses machine learning to compare the bill to previous invoices, including bank routing info. The bill is then automatically matched with the associated POs and receiving documents to ensure details like unit pricing, quantity and totals are accurate, then routed to the appropriate personnel for review and approval. 

‘Quantifiable Savings’ with HSBC Partnership

As for the HSBC partnership, at SuiteWorld, NetSuite group VP of product management Craig Sullivan showed how NetSuite AP Automation now goes beyond scanning and matching bills to save on headcount, add business agility, and improve cash management. 

“This is the kind of thing that fuels growth,” said Derksen. Having banking embedded inside of NetSuite will eventually change the way companies access capital.

Sullivan walked through how customers can now track balances on their HSBC virtual cards and quickly and seamlessly make payments, all from the SuiteBanking dashboard. 

Additionally, a new account reconciliation tool can automatically match thousands of transactions across all journals and general ledger accounts, including transactions from third-party point-of-sale systems and corporate credit cards. 

“It's just the beginning,” said McKenney. “We'll be working to continuously improve the product, bring additional payment types in and also open up a world of opportunity, helping customers internationally.”

HSBC operates and has banking licenses in over 60 markets. By embedding that global outlook in NetSuite, finance can easily manage international vendor payments, currencies, and foreign exchanges across jurisdictions.

From vendor billing through three-way matching, approvals, and convenient, automated payments via HSBC, AP Automation and embedding financial services in the suite is all about keeping finance teams from having to leave NetSuite to jump into a banking portal — another significant time-saver. 

AP Automation has long delivered better security, reduced fraud, and fewer human errors. Now, add in cash back.

Want to learn more about NetSuite AP Automation? Watch this on-demand webinar: Increase the Accuracy and Speed of Processing Invoices and Making Payments(opens in new tab)

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.