AP predictions for 2016

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The accounts payable (AP) landscape is changing. Although the majority of organisations still process invoices manually, more and more organisations are recognising the value of automating AP. According to the Aberdeen Group, streamlined ‘best in class’ AP operations process an invoice in 25 per cent of the time and at 20 per cent of the cost of so called “laggard” organisations.* Such figures are hugely compelling!

In 2016, AP technologies will be in demand more than ever as the economic climate forces companies to do EVEN more with less. The AP department will be required to increase productivity with fewer resources whilst at the same time responding to their company’s need to remain competitive. Organisations will also be putting increasing pressure on their AP departments to become more strategic by delivering greater visibility and insight.

With such mounting pressures on AP teams, the following are predictions for 2016:

  1. Invoice processing technologies that reduce time-consuming manual data entry will increase in demand, allowing AP staff to focus on more value-adding, strategic activities.
  2. Electronic invoice authorisation solutions will become key for improving productivity, cutting late payment penalties and providing complete visibility of the approval process.
  3. With growing pressure to increase productivity, there will be a greater need for AP solutions that work on mobile devices to allow invoice approvals and purchase order requisitioning whilst ‘on the move’.
  4. Despite on-premise AP systems still proving most popular, there will be a continued rise in the purchase of cloud-based AP technologies. Cloud solutions are cost-effective, flexible and scalable and can be an appealing option when resources are tight.
  5. From 2016, AP staff will need to demonstrate an understanding of AP technologies and will be required to think strategically if they are to remain competitive in the job market.  Over the next few years’ AP automation will become commonplace. The question is whether your organisation will embrace this change now or be forced along the automation path by mounting internal and external pressures? Change is inevitable – don’t be left behind!
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