Accounts Payable Automation – Trends 2021

The accounts payable function traditionally occupies a back-office role for most of the enterprises. It is not uncommon for enterprises to overlook AP processes as a part of the big picture for success even though the function’s work is very critical. Accounts payable presents some of the greatest opportunities for transformation. Let us look at some of the trends in accounts payable automation.

High Demand for AP Automation even after the Pandemic

According to a recent report, remote work is likely to continue even after the COVID-19 pandemic. However, AP teams continue to make regular trips to the office in order to process invoices and payments. Enterprises therefore are starting to see the importance of accounts payable automation.

According to a recent report, just 50 percent of enterprises automated their AP processes before the pandemic. 24 percent of enterprises still scanned and emailed by hand, with 23 percent operating entirely manually pre pandemic. Adopting AP automation during the pandemic helped enterprises make a seamless transition to cloud collaboration to support remote workers. As more organizations implement remote work setup, accounting teams will employ automation tools that can allow them to work flexibly.

Enterprises are looking to reduce costs and increasing productivity by fully digitizing their accounts payable process. Organizations are not looking to automate only tasks such as invoicing or billing but are also automating manual process in the operations such as accounting, finance, vendor & client communication etc. AP executives want to reduce costs to support organizational growth, which often means handling larger invoice volumes with less FTEs and do away with inefficient processes. Automation will help Accounts Payable stay on top of invoices, approvals with enhanced process control and visibility of the financial situation of the enterprise.

Enterprises across industries are turning to cloud-based accounts payable solutions. Cloud based solutions make invoice automation scalable and adaptable for organization of all sizes. Remote workers would be able to execute tasks such as invoice approval from anywhere and at any time. Another benefit to cloud-based solutions is its affordability. Compared to on-premises software, cloud-based systems are offered in subscriptions. Moreover, the cost of maintaining the system itself no longer falls on your shoulders since your service provider will be the one handling it.

For most enterprises the AP process contains critical information regarding cash flow, expenditure, liabilities, and more. This data can be immensely valuable to your strategies especially within the departments like finance & accounting, procurement, treasury etc. Increasing number of enterprises are starting to factor this in. However, having a manual AP process can make it tougher to extract such data and use it to gain further insights. AP automation tools can extract valuable information from the various processes of accounts payable and transform them into actionable insights.

More enterprises are beginning to see the importance and impact of automated AP processes. With the right tools, an organization can enhance their staff’s efficiency and productivity. Moreover, it can streamline their operations and provide flexibility in their workflows.