Top AP payment trends as we move through an “interesting” year
Your business and your customer’s businesses have been impacted in a variety of ways by the pandemic. Now is the time to act on these 4 emerging AP payment trends. It is possible to exit from this downturn in better shape than before.
1. Leveraging Data
If you’re like most companies, you probably have access to tons of data that you aren’t taking advantage of. Finding ways to leverage this data allows you to see not only current trends in the marketplace but to identify future trends providing you the ability to strengthen your entire organization. This pertains to both inwards facing (process) and outward-facing (customers/service levels) activities.
AP payment automation is becoming a “need to have” capability. You are going to have to get leaner. In late 2019, 39% of professionals said their invoices grew by 10% year-over-year, making paper invoices and bill payment even more cumbersome and time-consuming. Post COVID-19, there may not be as much invoicing growth, but we anticipate there to be a greater need for flexibility in payments both to manage your cash flow and your supplier’s business operations.
Automating AP payment processes will lead to faster invoice approval, increased productivity, lower costs, and yes, more ways to pay suppliers — and protect your cash flow. Here are a few statistics:
• Depending on the size of your company, automation can save you more than $8 per payment
• AP Payment Automation has an immediate impact on ROI
• Automated payments can save your team many hours of productivity
• Automating payments can create revenue share and more favorable payment terms
3. Cloud Technology
Moving the accounts payable department to cloud technology is quickly becoming the norm for organizations of all sizes. Cloud technology is more cost-effective since it reduces overhead and capital needs. A recent study showed that companies switching to cloud-based accounting software saw their revenue grow by 15%.
A side benefit is that cloud-based AP payments provide department managers with real-time insights into the company’s finances and operations. And managers can access the software remotely, so payments always get reviewed and paid on time from wherever you are.
4. Fraud Prevention
Fraud prevention continues to be a top concern for most companies. One report found that 86% of organizations have experienced at least one incidence of fraud in the last two years.
But the report also found that companies are recognizing the importance of fraud prevention and are starting to put systems in place to prevent it. This includes preventative measures and upgraded security policies.
One of the best ways you can reduce fraud is by getting rid of paper checks. Research shows that businesses that use wire transfers and ACH in place of paper checks experience ten times less fraud — as well as reducing the number of duplicate checks being sent.
End-to-end automation of all AP payment processes is the key to leveraging data, preventing fraud, and improving visibility into your cash flow.