Growth and Optimization
On-demand Webcast - AP Automation: Trends and Tips for Canadian Businesses
Uncertainty is the dominant force in the market right now as inflation, recession, regional conflicts, and labour shortage concerns all attack at once. While it’s hard to predict what the next disruption may be, one question businesses can ask themselves is: What can my accounts payable (AP) team do to impact the bottom line and help keep rising costs in check?
In SAP Concur’s recent webcast titled AP Automation: Trends and Tips for Canadian Businesses, Sara Hurst, Senior Director of Client Sales at SAP Concur Canada dug into the latest insights around how businesses can effectively leverage AP automation to weather storms ahead. She was joined by experts Natalie Jones, Senior Invoice Business Consultant at SAP Concur and Sam Hitchen-Rae, Partnership Director at The Institute of Financial Operations & Leadership.
Top challenges AP Professionals are faced with today.
The conversation kicked off by exploring key challenges AP professionals are facing. According to Sam, AP professionals are constantly being asked to process more invoices with fewer resources. This is especially concerning for businesses with manual AP processes as the effects can be vast across the business and employees and leave more room for errors and duplicate payments.
Natalie also shared that AP professionals are struggling to find work-life balance and a sense of accomplishment because their to-do list feels like it’s never-ending. She explained that having proper AP automation tools in place can aid in helping employees feel happier by creating less pressure due to reduced risk of human error and giving them time to focus on more meaningful tasks.
Technology can help to level up current automation processes.
So, how can businesses address these concerns? Sam pointed out that finance leaders are looking towards technology that might include AI or robotic process automation because, with the right process and technology, the time it takes to complete an invoice can be lower which can free up time so teams can deal with more complex issues.
According to Natalie, professionals are going with the total B2B process: the full gambit of automation in place to help grow employees, build vendor relationships, and analyze data. When you implement the right end-to-end solutions, businesses can make AP automation a revenue-generated stream. Businesses just need to get the right processes in place from beginning to end.
For organizations looking to level up their current automation process, Natalie advises that businesses must identify gaps with the existing solutions and put a contingency plan in place. For example, businesses can streamline their invoice, travel, and expense management programs to expand an existing automation program or consider bringing procurement into the mix to give them more visibility across spend management for better decision making.
Predictions for the future of invoice processing.
To close out the conversation, Natalie and Sam shared their predictions for the future of invoice processing. AP automation will no longer be a back-office function but a revenue-generating stream as these processes grow increasingly more critical for businesses and more analytical in process.
Businesses are heading toward more difficult economic times. There is no time like the present to revisit the accounts payable process and see where automation can ease the uncertainty of the day. Click here to register and watch the full webcast recording.
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