The Power of Accounts Payable Automation
Findings from the Kofax 2022 Intelligent Automation Benchmark Study produced by E.I Studio, the custom division of Economist Impact
Where to Begin
So where, exactly, are business leaders hoping to put intelligent automation to work?
Automating accounts payable is critical to digital transformation ambitions: 85% of organizations are focused on automating their accounts payable processes.
What’s Driving This Shift?
Specific drivers for automating accounts payable processes include:
Bumps in the Road
Executives know there are hurdles they must overcome in automating their high-value workflows. Respondents said they were anticipating challenges ahead, especially when it comes to harnessing existing systems and data to fuel their automations. Most daunting among these concerns was the belief that a pivot away from business as usual would be too difficult to manage at scale. The most common challenges companies face when implementing accounts payable automation include:
The DNA of High-value Workflows
As they embark on this journey, executives are taking stock of their high-priority workflows, including accounts payable automation, and identifying the tasks, data sources and routine procedures they believe are ready to be automated. Executives say there’s a common theme across these workflows—a certain “DNA” that all their strategic processes have in common.
Transforming Data into Insights
Modern companies are awash with data waiting to be collected, analyzed and applied. Data pulled from the web, internal systems and documents is key to the processes driving the business. Executives recognize that their accounts payable automation ambitions are powered by:
In the Know, In Real Time
Executing digital transformation at scale has forced companies to confront the challenges of managing a hybrid workplace where human and digital workers collaborate. With even the most cutting-edge tools, “set it and forget it” simply doesn’t cut it. Top of mind for executives in the survey was ensuring ongoing orchestration of their myriad automated processes to keep systems running smoothly, especially amid rapidly shifting rules that govern their industries. For instance, executives say their accounts payable automation processes require ongoing updates to:
When it comes to keeping the flow of data flowing smoothly to support their accounts payable automation processes, executives across the board said they were prioritizing strong links between systems, data and applications they believe need to work side by side. Some of the most commonly cited applications that executives say must be connected include:
Reaping the Rewards
Executives expect their forays into digital transformation to pay dividends down the line. Increased efficiency was the most frequently predicted outcome, alongside helping employees do more with less, achieving competitive advantage and lowering costs. By digitally transforming their accounts payable workflows, executives expect to:
Room To Grow
The shift toward digital transformation clearly has a long way to go, as executives said their accounts payable workflows were still partially or entirely manual. None of the respondents has fully automated their accounts payable workflows.