2021 was a difficult year for pretty much everyone, and the Accounts Payable function was no exception.

Few could have foreseen how quickly the world came to a halt during the epidemic, followed by an equally unexpected and strong recovery as authorities pumped stimulus into economies. As a result, optimism for the year 2022 is high.

As the global economy recovers, the focus has switched to achieving modernization goals as quickly as possible. Following growth, technology projects are the second most important concern for CEOs.

Most companies have prioritized the digitization of client-facing and revenue-generating activities by now. Internal functions that encourage cost-cutting and strategic planning automation drive the ensuing growth phase. As a result, financial executives strive to make wise decisions when streamlining operations in the face of rapid change. For many, the Accounts Payable function is where they should start.

The top 4 priorities for AP teams in 2022:

1. Automation with AI & Digital Workflows

Accounts payable automation is no longer just a wise strategic decision, but has become a necessity. This can be attributable to a number of variables, including:

  • Elimination of paper
  • Increase in remote working
  • Needed operational visibility

Automation makes it easier to keep finance teams aligned as they no longer operate under one roof. Digital workflows, when paired with AI, can save the time it takes to process bills by 68% and focus the team’s efforts on other important business areas.

According to IOFM, 71% of organizations expect to automate their Accounts Payable process even more in 2022.

2. Integrate & Adopt Faster

There has been tremendous development and acceleration in the industries in post-pandemic recovery that used to thrive in a remote setting, such as:

  • Ecommerce
  • Mobile
  • Gaming

These high-velocity enterprises may now take advantage of new opportunities that will allow them to grow their operations globally and scale into new markets and sectors thanks to their remote capabilities.

Given the worldwide challenges, many businesses are turning to Accounts Payable Automation solutions and global payment providers to assist them to improve AP workflow and efficiency, manage foreign conversion obligations, and take advantage of the best exchange rates.

Integration with your financial management and ERP systems, “touchless” invoice processing, document recognition, scanning, e-invoicing, and approval routing and notification through desktop, tablet, or mobile devices are all part of these solutions.

Global growth is predicted to rise to 5.6% in 2022, led by major economies such as the United States and China.

3. Consolidation

To boost productivity and maximize their return on investment (ROI), today’s financial leaders aim to integrate numerous tasks into a single digital platform. Look for ways to improve visibility and control in areas that are heavily manual, such as:

  • Supplier management payments
  • Invoice payments & PO processes
  • Multi-entity management

A government financial services agency shortened the time it took to approve secured lending agreements by 60% by bringing together legal, appraisal, risk, environmental, and related divisions.

4. More robust cybersecurity

Fraudsters had a field day with the recent obstacles of working from home and the shortcuts and workarounds that were necessary as a result.
They took advantage of simple security measures put in place for the purpose of business continuity, such as:

  • Business email compromise
  • Malware attacks
  • Phishing

Fraud events will continue to be a problem as firms recover from post-COVID disarray. Strong cybersecurity will be required now more than ever.

Checking for code vulnerabilities, endpoint security, data and asset management, regular monitoring, and cautious identity management and credentials are all part of this process.

Fraud will continue to climb in 2022, and the best-protected businesses will use excellent cybersecurity and risk assessment partners to combat it.

Before companies can resume or even begin their digital automation journeys, they may need more time to recuperate from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some prominent multinational companies began their digital automation transformation programs in 2021. Other businesses had to put their plans on hold due to the pandemic’s consequences and the introduction of vaccine standards. As a result, certain businesses, such as tourism and hospitality, have had a significant impact on the latter category.

We may conclude that “automation” will continue to be a trend in finance, and that the worldwide pandemic’s effects have expedited changes in Accounts Payable teams’ working methods. Some of the patterns described above may be familiar to you, but others may be new to you.

How can ELIPO help transform your AP process in 2022?

ELIPO is the best vendor invoice processing solution to help automate all your vendor invoices. This will reduce cost, save time and increase efficiency of the AP process. Email us at [email protected] to find out more.

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