In 2020, more accounts payable departments will free themselves of low-value manual tasks and deliver on their promise as a source of financial efficiency, insights, intelligence, and innovation.
- Accounts payable as a strategic powerhouse: It wasn’t too long ago that accounts payable was perceived as a tactical back-office function in the eyes of most senior finance executives. But that’s changing. Fifty-five percent of finance professionals perceive their accounts payable department as being very valuable or exceptionally valuable to the enterprise, Ardent Partners reports. Living up to these expectations in 2020 will require accounts payable departments to continue transforming themselves into a strategic partner to the enterprise. The good news is that automated tools for optimizing supplier payments makes this easier.
- Accounts payable as an information hub: Accounts payable departments will do a better job of tapping into their goldmine of data in 2020. Digital technologies such as intelligent data capture, procure-to-pay automation, seamless integration with PeopleSoft applications, and business intelligence and analytics can help uncover valuable insights into operational efficiency, working capital, corporate spend, and compliance and fraud risks. For instance, treasury can use daily information from accounts payable to gauge the financial health of the business.
- Accounts payable as a ‘Next Level’ function: The business and consumer worlds are being reshaped by smart systems that combine business process automation, cognitive automation and business intelligence. The increased adoption of smart systems will be a game-changer in accounts payable. Smart systems provide accounts payable leaders with the intelligence and foresight they need to optimize invoice and payment management, revolutionize the way that data is accessed and presented, facilitate internal and external collaboration, and enhance budgeting, forecasting and planning. It’s for these reasons that more senior managers will get behind initiatives to totally transformation accounts payable with smart systems in 2020.
- Accounts payable as an innovator: Functions across the corporate enterprise can benefit from emerging technologies. Accounts payable is no exception. Advanced technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, blockchain, agile reporting dashboards, and mobile applications will have a significant impact on accounts payable departments in 2020. These technologies will help eliminate manual tasks, accelerate and inform decision-making, and mitigate fraud and compliance risks.
Here’s the rub: payables departments won’t benefit from these trends unless they can overcome the inefficient paper processes, exceptions, long cycle times and lack of visibility that have long plagued the profession. Automation is a prerequisite for the emerging accounts payable environment.
For further information, check out the Learn more about AP Automation here!