The DNA of an Accounts Payable Department

Over the past few weeks, in conjunction with Catherine Dupuy-Holdich, Esker P2P Senior Product Manager, Alistair Nicholas, Esker Northern Europe Managing Director and Jamie Radford, Founder of Accounts Payable Association, we’ve been taking a look at the DNA of an Accounts Payable (AP) Department. Delving into the specifics of the people, processes and technology, we discuss the genetic make-up of AP, how it’s has changed over the past years, and how it will continue to do so in the future.
Catch-up on the podcasts using the links below, or read on the learn more:

Accounts Payable: The Past
From a decade ago when invoicing was completely paper-based, AP has come a long way in the last 10 years, mostly thanks to significant and prolonged improvements in technology.
With the manual processes of old, AP staff time was taken up chasing physical signatures and tracking invoice copies.
Automation platforms paved the way for new efficiencies, and AP teams were driven to adapt and embrace these new technologies.
A continued increase in e-invoicing and the pandemic-driven move to remote working have paved the way for digital AP taking a huge leap forward.
Listen to AP: The Past by clicking here

Accounts Payable: The Present
The COVID-19 pandemic has been the most significant disruption to ever hit office-based working and AP teams have largely been able to embrace new ways of working remotely.
With lockdowns giving no choice but to work at home, finance leaders have had to place an increased level of trust in their AP staff, allow for flexibility, and embrace the use of online approvals and requisitions. For companies who haven’t already embraced AP automation, there has been an increased need to do so, in order to avoid hold-ups in the P2P cycle and damage to suppler relationships. What’s more, remote working has created an increased demand for secure, compliant systems to manage sensitive documents and transactions.
Listen to AP: The Present by clicking here

Accounts Payable: The Future
As was discussed when looking at the present state of AP, Supplier Management will continue to be a big focal point going forwards. The mass disruption to the global economy has made it more important than ever to nurture and maintain a healthy supply chain.
Increased visibility, KPIs and reporting capabilities driven by automation solutions have given way to AP becoming a more analytical department. By utilising Big Data, AP teams can now become even more strategic and ‘value-adding’ to their organisation overall.
Technology of course will continue to evolve and play an ever-increasing role in the day-to-day activities of AP teams. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) will further reduce repetition and manual tasks, furthering business agility and allowing AP teams to do more with less.
Listen to AP: The Future by clicking here

Alistair Nicholas

Alistair is the Managing Director of Esker Northern Europe

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