This fall, the MetaBlog brought you key insights from Ardent Partner’s about current levels of automation across AP departments. So how are enterprises using AP automation, and what does the future hold? Here’s a brief look:
When Ardent Partners asked AP leaders how they are using automation, they found that the most fully adopted automation is seen in Invoice Approvals and Travel & Expense Management. Payment Scheduling and Payment Execution also rated highly. But there was room for growth in Invoice Processing and Receipt. Lower on the list was Early Payment Discount Capture, Data Management and Reporting, Supplier Onboarding, Cash Management, and Exception Management.
So, what does this mean for the future?
Strengthening Vendor Relationships
Cultivating healthy vendor relationships is made simpler with the integration of AP automation. This technology empowers organizations to expedite payments with increased accuracy, promptly identify exceptions, and ultimately improves ties with vendors. Additionally, AP automation facilitates the timely recognition of early payment discounts, a benefit often overlooked or manually managed by many enterprises.
Cloud-Based AP Solutions and Remote Work
Though not addressed directly in the Ardent Partners reports, the shift to cloud-based AP solutions has been a game changer, especially as remote work becomes a standard part of the employment ecosystem. These platforms offer real-time data access, enhanced security, and scalability. Businesses can now process invoices and manage payments from anywhere, fostering a more flexible and responsive AP role.
AI for Predictive Financial Analysis
Cash management and spend management systems that rely on manual procedures are disrupting growth in the enterprise. Predictive analytics will become more prominent in AP workflows, offering insights into spending patterns, vendor performance, and cash flow forecasts. This will aid in strategic decision making and financial planning.
Looking ahead, the concept of hyper automation, which involves the use of advanced technologies like AI, ML, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and others in combination, is going to see more adoption. This will enable end-to-end automation of AP processes, further reducing human intervention and increasing efficiency.
A promising future lies ahead, and for many organizations prioritizing the automation of accounts payable will be crucial to enhancing vendor relationships, improving efficiency, and greater financial control. Download our Buyers Guide to get started on transforming your AP department.