AI, robotics, big data, touchless processing — it sounds like some futuristic movie you saw in the 90s, but these innovative technologies have arrived and are impacting businesses today while helping them stabilise and remain flexible during disruptive times.
Everywhere we turn, digital revolutions, economic changes, and back office functions like finance and procurement are changing drastically. Processes related to Procure to Pay (P2P) have undergone — and will continue to undergo — significant changes, and new trends are cresting over the horizon, promising to bring more innovation ashore. But what does that mean for YOU in your role as a finance or procurement professional?
Organisations are looking to harness the power of 3 disruptive trends to maximise business speed, efficiency, and accuracy:
1. Artificial intelligence (AI) & machine learning (ML),
2. Business ecosystems, and
3. Data gathered through automation.
1. Artificial intelligence and machine learning
AI and ML technologies improve Accounts Payable processes through their ability to mirror offline processes including automatically notifying approvers, authorising steps, and matching POs with fewer human interactions and fewer errors. These technologies also capture and serve up your invoice data in a single view so that you can identify efficiencies and areas to help your organisation achieve 100% touchless AP processing. In many circumstances, most of the manual processes are eliminated entirely – so when getting into the office to process AP documents by hand is nearly impossible, these technologies play an even more important role.
In Procurement, automated solutions can reduce late payments to suppliers, set up recurring spend payment plans, calculate accurate purchasing volumes to obtain discounts, and easily exchange financial information and documents like POs, invoices, and contracts. This enables you to keep the flow of goods, services, and money moving.
2. Business ecosystems
A “technology ecosystem” is defined as “the network of organisations that drives the creation and delivery of information technology products and services.” A future of P2P ecosystems supports a microservices architecture that will enable customers to manage vendors and spend in a core spend management platform, allowing them to capitalise on the latest in specialist services. As finance and procurement professionals, you should adopt solutions now that empower you to:
Get 100% of your suppliers connected to your P2P ecosystem.
Get 100% of eligible employees using e-procurement.
Automate 100% of orders and invoices.
3. Data from automation
By automating end-to-end functions, from sourcing all the way through invoice processing and payment — even areas like travel & expense reporting and asset management — you will create a comprehensive data set to analyse and build on with predictive and actionable insights. This data set presents historical trends, transactional details, user behaviors and notifies you when there’s an opportunity to capture early payment discounts, consolidate suppliers, address potentially fraudulent activity, and much more.
Advanced analytics gives your organisation visibility to continuously optimise your processes and gain control of your data to inform business decisions and drive optimisations. It empowers your organisation with sophisticated data needed to prevent late payments, improve e-invoicing rates, resolve process bottlenecks, and capture more early payment discounts.
Read more in the eBook
We’ve only scratched the surface of these three trends and how they’ll affect both procurement and finance functions in the near and far future. Read more about the benefits your organisation can gain by embracing these changes in our eBook – Download it here.