The Future of Accounts Payable

Focusing on the future of your business is always important, especially during times of change or uncertainty. When you’re faced with circumstances you can’t control, you should focus on things that you can. Evaluating your current processes and determining if they’ll be sustainable long-term is one of the best things you can focus on at any time, but especially right now. One process that is often overlooked due to misconceived notions that it’s working “well enough,” is Accounts Payable. After all, it can be a department where it’s difficult to see problems until they’re too big to handle. If your invoices are usually paid on time and you haven’t had any major problems, then seeing the value of investing in a solution to automate your current process may require a deeper look. 

Understanding what the future of accounts payable looks like as a whole can help influence your decision to focus on accounts payable within your organization right now. We’ll walk through some insights and trends that are guiding the future of accounting, and share how we can help implement this investment.

Mosaic’s partner, DocStar partly sponsored a report from Levvel Research reviewing insights from 2019 and predicting what the future of accounts payable might look like. 

What they found

Solutions are becoming more accessible.

The market looks much different now than it has in the past. With more and more software options available, businesses of all sizes and industries now have access to the same resources that were previously only available to enterprise accounts. The solutions on the market today are more widely available, more cost-effective, and more flexible. Businesses can choose what they want their deployment model to look like and can customize it to be on-premise or in the cloud. 

Back-office operations are being better supported.

Customer-facing processes typically are the focus for most technology initiatives, which can benefit an organization’s overall success but doesn’t solve key issues. Companies are recognizing that investing in technology for back-office operations can benefit financial and operational health just as much as targeting customer-facing initiatives. These processes in the past were typically put on the back burner to focus on front-facing efforts, under the guise that back-office processes didn’t have as much of an impact. For many of those processes, specifically Accounts Payable, their success carries much of the organization’s success. Businesses are realizing this, and are investing accordingly to focus on their company’s overall wellbeing vs. simply looking good on the surface.  

Scalability is key.

Simple, single-point solutions are no longer effective for businesses in today’s environment. Businesses are seeking out solutions that can scale and transform entire departments rather than a single pain point. Automation within Accounts Payable can be utilized to enable scalable growth. This creates a competitive advantage and can help companies leverage their AP Automation investment across different areas of their business, including Human Resources and sales, further helping organizations gain a competitive advantage and succeed long term.

How to tell if AP Automation is right for your organization

While there’s no checklist of the exact qualifications a good AP Automation candidate has, there are patterns among organizations that indicate whether or not they can benefit from an AP overhaul. More often than not, organizations that need a solution the most don’t realize it. Their current state of managing their processes is “good enough” so they’re resistant to change, but they don’t realize how many small issues are adding up to create a much larger problem. 

Some key indicators include processing 500 or more invoices per month with more than 2 full-time AP clerks, or if you’re outsourcing your AP or are processing invoices in more than one location. If your organization is finding itself saddled with late payment penalties and are missing out on early payment discounts, have manual data entry errors, misplaced invoices and other documents, and a lack of visibility of your cash flow, that’s also a crucial indicator of your organization’s need.

Even if you don’t hit all of the checkmarks, your organization may still be a good candidate for AP Automation. Making the decision to transform your current process isn’t one that should be made lightly, but it is also one that comes with little risk and high reward. By working with a partner who has seen projects of all types be successfully deployed, you can feel even more confident in your decision.

How Mosaic can help

We’ve deployed a wide range of AP Automation projects, and understand the individual needs of organizations and departments. We can work with you to assess your needs and determine the process that will work best for you. Give us a call at 1-800-387-7859 to discuss your current process and how our solutions can simplify it.