What’s to Come for Accounts Payable in 2017?

accounts payable automation

From Agile Dashboards to Mobile Invoicing

Every new year here at Esker, we begin by looking at the latest trends in how people manage their business processes, especially in accounts payable. As one of the most important tasks in business that’s still in need of perfection for growing demands, things are starting to evolve toward better solutions.

Last year, we wrote a piece detailing three major trends that became common in accounts payable automation software. In the piece, we honed in on improving processes through automation. We also looked at going paperless, something we’ve tried to uphold with our Quit Paper™ concept.

Then we looked at another important aspect already helping businesses tremendously with accounts payable: The cloud. Throughout 2016, we’ve definitely seen more cloud adoption with all business processes, making access to financial details all the more efficient.

So what’s to come for accounts payable in 2017? Some new things are already in use to make invoice procedures so much easier for a business needing improved time management.

Automation is Still at the Helm

One thing about accounts payable software you see increasing is automation and how it’s making it easier to create an invoice without manual processing. Recently, Visa announced it’s going to get into the accounts payable automation business, which could bring more mainstream popularity to this type of technology.

At stake is being able to finally get rid of paper in the workplace after years of reliance. Your business is maybe one still relying on paper invoicing to determine all accounts paid. It doesn’t include you hiring data entry operators to enter all the financial information into the books.

Automation is going to become a constant in financial management. Ultimately, you’ll save tremendous money, as well as carve out more time for other important things.

Smart Invoicing Methods

As recently noted in seminars about accounts payable trends, “smart” invoicing environments are the newest emerging features. While we’re already hearing about smart devices in the home and office, adding this type of technology to financial information can add far more time-saving measures to your schedule.

Accounts payable automation plays a major part in this since it helps you keep track of details in accounts payable you might otherwise miss. The key thing in smart invoicing is being able to weed out mistakes to avoid confusing discrepancies on things paid.

When you consider the downtime it takes to scope out errors, using smart technology to alert you to an error can lead to fewer headaches later.

Agile Reporting Dashboards

Another trend out there is using dashboards with agile reporting methods. Part of this involves automation, though it basically means more agility on being able to share financial information to business associates.

In addition, it means providing more real-time information when critical aspects of accounts payable need solving immediately. As a result, you’ll gain far more operational and financial value with the technology you use.

Providing More Mobile Solutions

When times come you need to travel to make business deals, it’s not easy to keep up with all accounts payable through a phone call or email. Your financing department might be able to contact you easily, yet they may discover a complex problem that’s hard to describe without you seeing the invoices.

Mobile solutions are one of the biggest trends for 2017 in this arena, despite mobile technology already playing a part. Now it’s all about making it more accessible and easier to read, as well as easier sharing.

Companies can now access invoices in an instant on a mobile device and be able to make changes at will. This saves you having to make a special trip back to your office to solve any issues.

As you begin the New Year be on the look out for these trends. Take some time to analyze your accounts payable automation solution and make sure you’re on the right track for a successful 2017. Get a head start by downloading this report by Aberdeen Group, Automation: The Solution to Efficient Financial Management.

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Renee Platto

As Esker’s Digital Marketing Manager, Renee is in charge of social media, paid advertising, blog and the website. When she’s not analyzing her reports you can find her cooking up a new recipe, cheering on her favorite sport teams, or playing with her kitty.

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