Published: | Time to read: 5 minutes

Procure to pay SAP: 3 alternatives

Jon Schreyers
Author:Jon Schreyers

Have you been considering SAP Ariba to transform your procure-to-pay process? 

Or maybe you already use Ariba, and it’s not quite doing what you want. True, procure to pay SAP solutions are great when you need something cloud-based, without the heavy on-premise machinery. And, it offers remote access for your team to work from anywhere. 

But the benefits of SAP Ariba can also be found in tons of other procure-to-pay software platforms, one of which may be better suited for your individual business situation. So in this piece, we’re offering up four alternatives to procure to pay SAP Ariba, in the hopes you might meet your perfect match. 

But first, a word of warning: 

With more than twenty years of experience in the industry, we tend to find that companies will choose a solution and just drop it on their team without proper training or support. It leaves your team in the dark, pushed to the limits of their upskilling and creates unnecessary friction. Not quite the perfect efficiency you may have pictured. 

CoreIntegrator builds a custom workflow so that your people can take what they already love about their processes while implementing the new technologies you need. So that your people get to uplevel their procurement experience without wasting precious time learning the intricacies, inside out. 

Get a free consultation with an AP automation expert

Pros of SAP Ariba

Before we get into the alternatives, it’s important to point out the best bits of SAP Ariba, since it could be the right choice for you. 

In particular, reviewers point out the impact on spend management, with leadership gaining better control over costs. Of course, this also leads to more precise cash flow predictions and informed decision-making over business expenses. 

Moreover, SAP Ariba customers like the streamlined nature of the platform, which is able to customize towards your business needs. For example, during purchase requisition, users can configure different processes for different goods categories. Then, the processes will automatically occur, triggered by the input of whichever category label is applied to your goods.

Cons of procure to pay with SAP Ariba

Unfortunately, there’s no free trial option with SAP. While you can do a demo and talk to the sales consultants, there’s still an element of risk to opt for a program that might not be the best fit for your team. Not to mention the huge investment that procure-to-pay programs usually amount to – opting for the wrong software would be an expensive error to make.

Moreover, users report that it’s hard to get up and running with SAP Ariba. Many of the reviews state that it can be difficult to get to grips with and that support is sometimes inaccessible. This could make your entire implementation much slower, leaving longer to reap the rewards.

Pros of SAPCons of SAP
Cloud-based procurement software without any on-premise machinery to purchase and maintainNo free trial option: a bit of a risk
Gain control over costs including future expenses, and better inform the budgetBig learning curve during the onboarding stage
Streamlined and efficient platformWithout detailed training, you could be missing out on some of the platform’s biggest benefits
Good automation capabilities with triggers and notificationsHard to access support from their internal team

Of course, some of this feedback is the opposite of what you want to achieve: efficiency and productivity in each and every business process. So here are some alternatives to the SAP Business Suite for your procurement department.

Procure to pay alternatives

Here are three of our recommendations for procure to pay solutions. Since we’ve worked with each of these platforms in the past – we’ll share why we like them and some tips for success. Let’s dive in!

  1. Microsoft Dynamics
  2. Coupa
  3. Yardi

Microsoft Dynamics

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Microsoft Dynamics is the original platform for procure-to-pay transformation. In fact, we’ve been helping clients move to Microsoft Dynamics GP (and later Microsoft 365) for over 20 years! 

When comparing Microsoft Dynamics against the SAP solution, users sometimes prefer the fact that they are already familiar with the Microsoft interface and get the benefits of access to other programs in the Microsoft Suite. 

The average time to payment in medium-sized companies currently sits at over 39 days. But Microsoft Dynamics can help reduce your time to payment so that your vendor knows that you prioritize their relationship and value their work.

This was the major benefit for our client Vertical Bridge when they integrated their systems with Microsoft Dynamics, “while we used to sometimes fall 2 to 3 months behind in processing invoices leading to late fees, we are now on-time and can even qualify for early payment discounts.” 

Now, Vertical Bridge have optimized the procurement process, from purchase order confirmation to goods receipt financial accounting. Each order has a specific transaction code that’s tracked and managed through the cost center – for better budget control and lean growth.

Coupa

coupa

Coupa is another high-profile alternative to SAP procure to pay software. It could be a better option if you’re already an established company that’s moved into the later stages of the procurement maturity model

Coupa excels at giving you a single resource for all of your spend control, which can significantly increase efficiency within the finance function. Plus, requests and approvals through the platform are intuitive, following the previous patterns of your decision-makers. For example, your team can create purchase requisition forms, send them, and receive approval all within the platform.  

However, choosing Coupa as your procurement solution can get pretty expensive, pretty fast. So if it’s the perfect match for your business, it might take some convincing for the stakeholders. 

One way that you can position your upcoming procure-to-pay transformation with Coupa is by ensuring you are making the most out of the platform with process mining. For example, your team could benefit from integrating Coupa with invoice data capture technology, which would eliminate the need for manual data entry during invoice processing.

Yardi

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For real estate companies, Yardi might be the best-suited procure to pay SAP alternative. 

Specific benefits for this industry include: 

  • Property management software (gain extra insight into your asset portfolio and close deals faster)
  • Accounting document software (which includes sections for construction materials management and maintenance costs)
  • Centralized document SharePoint (to secure your documentation around prying eyes and make it easy to search and find later on)

Compared to SAP Ariba, Yardi Voyager is definitely better-suited to real estate companies that want to screen tenants, manage their finances and project asset returns accurately. 

However, the common theme among Yardi reviews is that “the capabilities are almost limitless but onboarding is brutal”. Easing in your team is the key to minimizing disruption and getting set up quickly. 
Integrating Yardi with the CoreIntegrator AP automation provides access to better support resources, such as personalized training, 1-on-1s and even video tutorials. While we know your people don’t need any hand-holding, our approach to personal support can get them set up faster and improve efficiency.

SAP vs Microsoft Dynamics vs Coupa vs Yardi

Here’s a quick summary of the advantages and disadvantages of each program:

SAPMicrosoft DynamicsCoupaYardi
Better cost controlBuilt-for-purposeGain financial agilityBuilt for real estate businesses
Good customization and automation capabilitiesReduce time to paymentOne single dashboard for all your dataSpecific technologies for asset management, tenant screening and rent payments
Big learning curveAccess to Microsoft suiteExpensiveDifficult onboarding process

Smooth implementation with CoreIntegrator

Whichever procure to pay platform you choose, we can help customize it to your needs. This way, you get to really lean on the program to do the heavy lifting, but aren’t stuck going through the motions with the processes they’ve already got on lock. 

And yes, even if you’re set on choosing SAP, you can benefit from full training and support from the CoreIntegrator team.

Get a free consultation with an AP automation expert