As we conduct our personal and professional lives with an increasing reliance on automation technology, it’s natural to take a look back at manual work in history and ask ourselves: How did we get here?
From the initial conception of artificial intelligence that originated with the Ancient Greeks, to the infantile days of automation during a time we refer to as the Industrial Revolution (1790-1840), the world started to recognize its potential benefits a long time ago.
Fast forward to 1956, when the term “artificial intelligence” was widely considered to have been founded as a discipline, or a field of research. It was then that meeting organizer John McCarthy, a mathematics professor at Dartmouth, explained that he commissioned a conference of forward-thinking scientists:
“To proceed on the basis of the conjecture that every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it.”
The Current Paperless AP Process
And here we are today — thanks to the merits of these seminal thinkers — successfully operating within a modern fintech landscape that leverages what has evolved into today’s most innovative automation technology. At PairSoft, we support finance teams with paperless accounts payable automation that helps businesses enhance their operating workflows and limits manual tasks.
By using the most advanced AP automation software, we reduce the need for human intervention and manual processes, thus increasing cost savings, eliminating human errors, and ensuring long-term growth potential for businesses across industries.
So, the question remains: Are you ready for what’s next?
How Financial Systems are Evolving
Given the impact of the pandemic as we traverse into the so-called “new normal,” we wanted to take a close look at what we believe are trends associated with the future of finance.
From cash agility and advancements in technology to the financial value of sustainability and the innumerable benefits of paperless automation, we’ve identified untapped opportunities for Finance and Procurement leaders to drive digitization in harmony.
While cash has always been considered king — and agile cash management has historically been a priority for financial organizations — the impact of the pandemic has imposed the need for real-time visibility into the payment process as mission-critical.
Automating the majority of the AP workflow has enabled the flexibility to decide which suppliers are paid first — and when. Modern, cloud-based finance platforms like ours help businesses redeem their investment in better visibility and agility so business owners and CFOs can be in the driver’s seat in deciding when and whom to pay.
When you simplify collaboration and streamline visibility in your vendor relationships, each entity feels a better sense of control and yields the many great benefits of digital invoice processing.
Did you know?
69% of board directors say that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are accelerating their digital business initiatives.
Source: “Top Priorities for Financial Leaders in 2021” — Gartner
Modern, Actionable, Predictive Analytics
Even when we curate big data, we don’t always have the time to analyze it in depth to yield the validation we seek. Machine learning via modern, cloud-based financial management software helps manage that data within your ERP to detect and synthesize patterns and behaviors.
Based on the consolidated findings of this real-time data capture, businesses can realize following:
- Highlight which invoices are likely to be paid late based on historical patterns to enable better decision-making and prevent routing bottlenecks.
- Machine learning and AI-based predictive and prescriptive analyses provide smart recommendations to end users, thus eliminating the need for them to analyze large cohorts of data.
- AP departments can access real-time benchmarks from top performers with community intelligence — and set new targets accordingly.
Paperless Automation and e-Invoicing
While a shift to digital invoice management has been in the works for many years, the pandemic highlighted the critical need to account for limited access to offices, paper invoices, paper checks, audit trails, and other hardcopy deliverables.
In successfully operating within a remote capacity, payable departments across industries recognized the benefits of dashboards and optimizing touchless approval processes.
Well-structured invoice data must be amassed and organized within non-traditional, digital approval workflows for today’s businesses to thrive.
For example, purchase-order (PO) based invoices can be automated with 3-way PO matching, and AI can be leveraged to automate any non-PO supplier invoices.
Sustainability is a New Financial Value
There are tons of studies showing that increasingly, procurement and finance leaders are considering not only financial values when they (for example) select their vendors, but also whether they share the same ethical, environmental, and social values that you hold as a customer.
We believe that modern P2P solutions will be impacted as they absorb the responsibility to provide guidance in optimizing the process for spend management and cost efficiency.
As Harvard shared in late 2021, “The financial sector holds enormous power in funding and bringing awareness to issues of sustainability, whether by allowing for research and development of alternative energy sources or supporting businesses that follow fair and sustainable labor practices.”
Finance and Procurement Opportunities
As I see it, the future of finance is all about tightening collaboration among finance and procurement departments and leveraging the latest payment method technologies for electronic invoicing.
This cooperative approach enables AP teams to leverage modern, cloud-based solutions that can effectively manage end-to-end procure-to-pay operations within a highly integrated AP automation solution.
We believe that the need to mitigate risk and enhance visibility into cash flow will continue to incentivize companies to re-allocate their software budgets from sales and marketing to finance and procurement to ensure resiliency in volatile times.
How We Can Help
As finance becomes a more important function within many companies, so too do we anticipate automated AP solutions becoming a lifeline for achieving long-term business growth.
Discover how you can start doing more with less and schedule a demo today.