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Treasury

Pandemic-driven demand for accounts payable automation surges

The disruption caused by coronavirus has accelerated the move towards automated accounts payable processes as corporates seek an accurate and real-time view of their cash position.

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Accounts payable (AP) process automation is a complex challenge and one that has been stymied by entrenched habits and limited resources.

Indeed, a report published by Business Insider in August 2019 found that more than one third of the US companies surveyed were still issuing paper invoices, and almost half were relying on manual processes for approval.

Demand for electronic invoicing has been growing heavily
Sami Peltonen, Basware
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However, by February this year, according to a report published by Ardent Partners, 60% of corporates were expected to have fully automated their AP processes by 2022.

This chimes with data coming from software firm MineralTree in June, which found that 38% of companies surveyed had already begun automating their AP processes and a further 20% expected to do so within the next two years.

“A recent study we conducted with the Shared Services & Outsourcing Network found that organizations that hadn’t invested in automation spent up to 30 minutes processing each invoice manually,” observes Kofax centre of excellence lead, David Sentongo.

For businesses issuing large volumes of invoices every month this is clearly unsustainable.

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