It is rather an accepted norm to view Accounts Payable as a traditional mandate. However, each passing year we witness fleeting trends that influence and impact the outcomes of Accounts Payable. As we stand midway across 2019, now is as good a time as any to assess and analyse the strategies and trends that have made a difference this year. With trends and tactics evolving every day, it is highly critical to stay abreast and lead from the front to make a difference.
The forecast of 2019 looks very promising with the substantial impetus provided by today’s technology. However, leveraging these offerings and transforming them into tangible results is what would make all the difference at the end of the day.
Here are the top 5 essential Account Payable trends to look out for in 2019:
1.Accounts Payable Automation
The crux of the efficiency of Accounts Payable stems from the competence of the invoice routing and data entry. A lot depends on the precision with which these tasks are undertaken. It has also been discovered, in a recent study that the two biggest challenges within Accounts Payable were the manual data entry and the manual dependencies of invoice approval.
In an attempt to increase efficiency, organizations are now transitioning towards automation. Automation would simplify the entire process and eliminate any room for human errors. Automation takes the top spot in terms of the Accounts Payable trends to watch out for in 2019.
Some of the outcomes of automation that can positively impact the business are:
- Swifter invoice approval rates
- Reduced processing costs
- Heightened visibility across the entire AP process
- Enhanced productivity
2.Using Big Data as Spearhead
How much data does your organization have lying around without being tapped into? It is highly probable that you have enormous amounts of data that you barely feel the need for. The data if appropriately used by the Account Payable teams could be a total game changer. The data can be leveraged to completely transform the process of Accounts Payable in your organization. Big Data is no longer just a buzzword. To stay on top and keep up with evolving trends, it would be quintessential to make good use of the data that you have at your disposal.
An analytical study into the dynamics of the approval of an invoice along with the time taken can help shed greater insights into the overall process. Spend analysis reports can help assess the financial well-being of the organization. This in turn can instate transparency and help improve the cash management.
3.The all-silver Cloud
Every dark cloud has a silver lining, doesn’t it? Now imagine an all silvery cloud… Looking good eh?
Well, studies show that over 58% of large companies use cloud computing. Generally, when a new technology debuts, it brings along varying degrees of cynicism and apprehension. But today, cloud has become the norm. Operating on a subscription-based service model, cloud is also highly cost effective. Records also show that companies that migrated to cloud have shown a growth in revenue by 15%.
The accessibility that comes with cloud can be a real key differentiator. Managers being able to remotely access, review and approve invoices can drastically bring down that time involved. Also, unlike AP software that may periodically require updates, at times even leaving the software temporarily obsolete. Cloud computing also ensures high level of data security.
A report tells that about 86% of organizations have had at least one incident of fraud in the past two years. The report also goes on to state that, all the companies, regardless of the incidents hold fort and strengthen their security features consistently. Organizations don’t generally roll back to an older state threatened by these attacks.
The rise of modern computing technologies has almost always been parallelly accompanied by growing threats and vulnerabilities. As 2019 promises to be a big year for Accounts Payable, it is also going to be clouded with the evolving security challenges. These threats, when circumvented can pave way to swifter and more reliable monetizing avenues.
One of the easiest ways to reduce fraud is migrating completely to digital transactions and getting rid of paper checks. It has also been studied that digital transactions are capable of reducing fraud by at least 10 times as opposed to conventional methods. Investing in a fully automated procure-to-pay solution should help voraciously combat fraud.
This could be the year that Accounts Payable finally sheds its cost centric stature to unveil a more profit centric stature.
5.Evolving Skill set in Accounts Payable
The transition from a technology to another is not as straightforward as it sounds. It doesn’t just take effect after installation of the requisite hardware and software. It involves a lot more than just setting up the system. The demand for new skill sets will necessitate employee training and skill upscaling. From a more manual skill set of data entry the demand would shift over to more cerebral skillsets like data interpretation and business analysis.
It is also likely that skills like change management, software administration, performance analytics would be prerequisite on the resume’ of an accounts payable manager.
With a legacy of proven proficiency spanning across a decade, Velan is equipped with a veritable pool of talents and skill sets that cater to the evolving needs of today’s technology driven world.
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Citation 1 : Accounts Payable : https://www.levvel.io/resources/report/pitching-roi-for-accounts-payable-automation
Citation 3: Fraud Prevention : https://strategictreasurer.com/2017-treasury-fraud-controls