What to Expect from Accounts Payable in 2024

December 11, 2023
What to expect from Accounts Payable in 2024
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The year 2023 marked a pivotal shift with the emergence of generative AI (GenAI) tools, addressing issues through automated processes, fraud detection, cash flow forecasting, process mining, language generation, and spend visibility. As 2024 unfolds, the AP landscape anticipates further advancements. From automation to autonomy, integration of natural language interfaces, predictive spend management, and heightened compliance and risk management, the future of AP is poised for transformation.

The Previous State of Accounts Payable 

Accounts payable departments have faced long lauded numerous challenges, including long invoice processing times, high exception rates, manual processes, and lack of time for more strategic work. According to a survey by Kloo in collaboration with The CFO community, 45% of AP professionals rate too many exceptions as their #1 challenge, while 57% rate processes as too slow and time-consuming. Additionally, 76% of CFOs are dissatisfied with cross-functional collaboration, and 49% say restructuring the business is a top priority.  

These pain points stem from the continued reliance on manual data entry, paper invoices, and disjointed workflows. On average, it takes AP departments over 10 days to process an invoice, with three-way match rates under 50%. The amount of time spent on low value tasks limits the ability to provide insights and have strategic impact. 

This saw the opportunity for new, emerging technologies to make changes to the current state of accounts payable processes. 2023 has seen a strong increase in the use of generative AI (GenAI) tools to leverage and automate a wide range of manual processing, driven by the changing digital landscape and the necessity for the finance sector to adapt to these changes. 

With the integration of GenAI technology in financial functions, we have seen a rise in different applications across accounts payable within this year alone: 

  • Automated invoice processing 
  • Fraud detection 
  • Cash flow forecasting 
  • Process mining 
  • Language generation 
  • Spend visibility and insights 

This increasing number of use cases for AI-powered tools and systems in the realm of finance provides the promising groundwork for future developments in accounts payable, powered by the exciting, dynamic digital and technological landscape. 

Accounts Payable in 2024 

2023 has been a transformative year in the ever-evolving landscape of Accounts Payable. 2024 is set to bring even more exciting developments. Here are our top three predictions for next year’s AP landscape: 

  • From Automation to Autonomy: The future of AP lies in the transition from simple automation to full autonomy. AI-driven systems will move beyond executing predefined tasks to making independent decisions, streamlining the entire AP process with minimal human intervention. AI-powered assistants will continue to drive the future of purchase management, reducing the need for manual intervention and preventing unnecessary spend for businesses. 
  • Natural Language Interfaces: The integration of natural language processing will revolutionise how we interact with AP systems. Imagine raising purchase requests or querying your budget using simple, conversational language, with the ability to even raise a request off-platform or through your email. These advancements will not only enhance user experience but also improve efficiency and accessibility for platform users. 
  • Predictive Spend Management: The application of predictive analytics in AP will allow for more strategic spend management. By analysing historical data and current spending patterns, businesses can forecast cash flows, optimise payment schedules, negotiate better terms with suppliers, and even identify potential fraud. The future of AP will rely heavily on data analytics, enabling businesses to not only manage their finances efficiently but also strategise for growth. 
  • Focus on Compliance and Risk Management: In an increasingly regulated world, AP departments will prioritise compliance and risk management. Regulatory requirements around tax codes, international transactions, and data protection will become more complex. AP automation platforms will integrate compliance checks, ensuring that all transactions adhere to the relevant regulations. Additionally, AI-powered risk management tools will identify and mitigate potential risks, safeguarding businesses from financial pitfalls. 
  • Environmental Sustainability in Financial Management: Sustainability will not be limited to product development; it will extend to financial processes. Green AP practices will gain traction, emphasising eco-friendly invoicing methods, reduced paper usage, and energy-efficient digital processing. Companies embracing sustainable AP practices will not only contribute to environmental conservation but also enhance their reputation as socially responsible entities. 

In this era of transformative change, businesses and financial teams cannot afford to lag in the realm of Accounts Payable. Embracing these trends and technologies is not just an option; it's a strategic imperative. At Kloo, we understand the nuances of these future trends and stand as pioneers in providing cutting-edge, AI-powered solutions for Accounts Payable and other financial management functions. Our expertise in leveraging advanced technology and empowering data-driven decision making ensures that businesses not only adapt to these changes, but can thrive in the midst of financial transformation. 

 The future of Accounts Payable is here, and it’s dynamic, data-driven, and digitally empowered. To learn more about how to transform your AP processes, get it touch with Kloo today. Let's embrace the future of finance together! 

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