In 2023, Accounts Payable (AP) moves beyond processing invoices to taking on a more strategic role – with automation a key enabler.
To understand more about this fundamental shift, we’re highlighting insights from the Ardent Partners 2023 AP Trends and Predictions Industry Report. So you can stay on top in 2023.
- Economic uncertainty is forcing businesses to take a fresh look at their cash flow management
- AP will take an increasing role in leading strategic finance
- Automation will help AP departments step up to this new role, guiding businesses through tight times
The economy is changing how organizations do business
Inflation. Supply chain disruption. Geopolitical unrest. Recession. In lean economic times, cash flow becomes a central focus – mitigating higher costs, decreased borrowing capacity and increased competition.
Suppliers, who faced disruptions during the pandemic, can now be selective about their customers. Relationship history and payment terms will be key to those choices.
Fortunately, managing cash flow and connecting with suppliers are where AP excels.
Automation powers Accounts Payable to lead strategic transformation in 2023
Accounts Payable is uniquely positioned to step up and take a strategic lead. The same automation that’s modernizing AP processes is poised to pay off organization-wide.
Improved supplier relationships
Who would a supplier rather do business with: a customer that reliably pays invoices on time or one that doesn’t? The answer is obvious.
In fact, 55% of organizations say that supplier management skills are crucial to success.
A strong AP department ensures that supplier invoices are paid on time, often using automation to manage invoice approvals and payments. This reliability strengthens supplier relationships and ensures the organization gets the goods it needs in a competitive environment.
Financial visibility is crucial for success, and it’s AP that holds the data. In the past, spend and cash flow data has been underutilized, but modern organizations know that gaining this visibility through reporting is key.
Accounts Payable is now seen as the ‘intelligence hub’ of the organization, able to provide a clear and accurate picture of spend across the company.
Better cash flow management
Cash flow, while always a priority, is particularly important in a tight economic market. Automation removes the constraints imposed by reporting schedules to help companies take advantage of real-time visibility.
With this increased visibility, AP can optimize B2B payments, positively affecting an organization’s cash flow and liquidity.
Success in inflationary economic times requires increased collaboration between departments, including finance, procurement and treasury. AP is primed to take the lead.
Boosted bottom line
By reducing manual tasks, automation unlocks the potential for employees to engage in value-add activities. Together with the improved visibility and cash flow insights AP can offer, organizations can expect improved profitability.
Predictions for Accounts Payable in 2023
The lowering cost of automation technology means that 2023 is the year that mid-market businesses will join enterprises in empowering their AP teams.
Some other predictions:
- AI improves supplier onboarding
- Economic challenges ease by Q3
- Supply chain improvements take hold
You’ll want to read the full report of trends and predictions for 2023. And it’s a great time to explore Accounts Payable automation for your business.