A new year is upon us, and that means resolutions. This year’s number will be an everyday reminder of what our most important resolution should be: in 2020, we all need to get focused on our vision for the future.

Not that every year isn’t a 20/20 year. Yet the time was never better for automating your accounts payable department and discarding the clunky old paper invoicing system you now use entirely or even partially.

There are many reasons for this, and they have a lot to do with what’s trending in the world of accounts payable. Here are some of the trends to look for in 2020:

Data Leveraging: In 2019, we talked a lot about the ease of invoice processing through better access to data using AP automation, but the benefits of AP automation don’t stop there. In 2020, businesses large and small will wake up to the fact that their AP department is a treasure trove of data. That data will drive business decisions from cash flow management to spending analysis. All thanks to the power of AP automation.

Fraud: Fraud remains a major concern among businesses worldwide going into the new year. And AP automation continues to be the solution to this growing problem. It’s well established that the use of paper invoices and checks pose, by far, the greatest risk for fraud. Electronic, online-based access is not foolproof either, but the best alternative for fraud prevention remains a closed invoice-to-payment system developed with fraud prevention in mind.

Cloud Technology: In recent years, cloud storage has gone from a convenience to a must-have in the business world. The best AP automation providers have predicted this and built their systems to work with cloud technology. The advantages have been numerous. Cloud computing in AP is faster, more cost-efficient, and safer. Yes, safer. Where once business finance departments balked at cloud technology, it has proven its effectiveness and security. In 2020, cloud technology will no longer be seen as a vision of the future, but as a requirement.

Decline of Paper Invoicing: In 2020, the AP department will start to take on a different role, with increased importance within the company. Rather than a necessary expense, it will be seen as an important driver of profitability. This trend will result directly from the ongoing decline of paper invoicing and the rise of AP automation as a tool for saving money and even contributing directly to the bottom line.

AP automation continues to provide the means for companies – large and small – to compete better in today’s lightning speed business world. So, go ahead and resolve to join the gym or quit smoking – excellent New Year’s resolutions. But do something for the health of your AP department, too, and use your 2020 vision to look into a high-level automation solution.