AP Automation: 2009 to 2019
Looking back over the last decade Accounts Payable Automation, Dynamic Discounting, and E-invoicing have made great strides. Some people may reflect on the last ten years and think that not much really happened, while others will tell you that a lot changed during that period.
2009: E-Invoicing’s Roots
Ten years ago, most companies were only just beginning to use E-Invoicing. Yet, they did not have a method for automatically importing these invoices to their back-end systems. This meant that there was still a great deal of paper going back and forth. Therefore, the automation process was completely wasted for these firms.
Payment processing really wasn’t any better either. There was the approval process, the batching process, the sitting and waiting process, and then the payment process via paper check or, for more progressive companies, ACH payment. And, the question remains as to why so many companies kept using paper checks. The basic answer is that it was what they were used to, and it was hard to change and let go.
2019: A Series of AP Workflow Automation
Eventually a lot of those paper passing companies did let go of their coveted paper. Fast forward to 2019 were we that AP has progressed beyond what 2009 could ever expect. These days, companies are making use of these innovative AP processes.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a big part of our future and the use of AI has been growing more and more over the past ten years, especially in some of the most important parts of business, including AP Automation. And, according to some predictive research, over the next couple of years, the largest impact of AI on the business world will involve both Accounts Payable Automation and IT.
2. E-invoicing Networks
Ten years ago, electronic invoicing networks just started to get up-to-speed. At that time, there were too many paper invoices going back and forth. Now, E-invoicing is more widely used by companies of all sizes, but there are still some paper invoices still being processed. The next ten years will make E-invoicing networks the gold standard helping to elevate or cut back on waste such as paper and E-invoicing process time.
3. Mobile applications
Adding mobile applications to AP Automation is another major step over the last ten years. Mobile has changed the automation process by streamlining the entire AP process outside of just your work computer. In addition, mobile apps can open brand new levels of flexibility and ease-of-use for AP professionals. Giving user the capability of viewing and processing invoices from just about anywhere in the world at any time of day.
4. B2B payments
The wide world of B2B payments has also changed a great deal over the past ten years. Using paper checks has decreased and is dropping faster every day. With the decrease usage of checks in the B2B payment arena, electronic payments may now be progressing toward being the norm and not the exception.
With paperless payments, Dynamic Discounting has become a life saver for businesses. The capacity to run paperless affords faster payments between businesses and ensures capacity to capture discounting for early payments. Therefore, dynamic discounting is a no brainer for top 2019 AP departments.
Yes, the many changes in E-invoicing, Accounts Payable Automation, Dynamic Discounting over the past decade have been quite vigorous and truly impressive. However, they are only the beginning. AP automation is looking to make some big leaps in the near future.