We are pleased to publish our latest research report: Accounts Payable Automation Trends 2024.

Now in its fifth consecutive year, our annual flagship research study on this topic is supported by SAP Concur. This comprehensive report delves into the evolving landscape of accounts payable (AP) automation, capturing insights and trends from a global pool of AP and finance professionals and leaders. 

The Evolution of AP Automation

As the business world increasingly gravitates towards digital solutions, 52% of AP teams still spend over 10 hours a week processing invoices, and 60% manually key invoices into their accounting software. 

With these recent findings, understanding the time and cost-saving benefits of AI in accounts payable processes is more critical than ever.

Other insights in this report include:

  • The number of hours a week AP teams spend processing invoices.
  • The key challenges caused by manual processing.
  • The current state of AP automation.
  • AP automation roadmap timelines.
  • How many finance teams currently use AI technologies.

Key Findings: Accounts Payable Automation Trends in 2024

The 2024 report reveals several crucial insights that can guide finance teams in their journey toward full AP automation. Here’s a quick summary of the key findings, but you can download the report for the full insights and data.

1. Efficiency Gains Through Automation

Key Data Revealed: Where AP teams have gained efficiencies through automation.

Over the past three years, organizations that have embraced AP automation have reported significant efficiency gains. Our data reveals that automated AP processes can reduce processing times considerably, leading to substantial cost savings and improved accuracy. These efficiency improvements are a testament to the power of technology in transforming traditional finance operations.

2. The Partial Automation Dilemma

Key Data Revealed: Percentage of AP teams who are partially automated.

One of the standout findings from this year’s report is the issue of partial automation. While many organizations have implemented some level of AP automation, a significant number still rely on manual processes for certain tasks. This hybrid approach often hinders the full transformation potential of AP departments. 

Our research suggests that partial automation can create bottlenecks and inconsistencies, ultimately limiting the benefits that full automation could provide.

3. Breaking Down the AI Technology Barrier

Key Data Revealed: Adoption rates of AI technologies in AP automation.

AI is increasingly becoming a game-changer in the AP automation landscape. However, there are still barriers to its widespread adoption. Our study identifies key challenges, such as integration complexities, initial costs, and a general lack of understanding of AI capabilities. 

Despite these hurdles, organizations that have successfully integrated AI into their AP processes report enhanced decision-making, improved fraud detection, and more streamlined operations.

The Role of AI in Accounts Payable

Our latest research presents a strong opportunity for finance teams because AI is fundamentally reshaping the AP landscape. AI technologies, including machine learning, natural language processing, and predictive analytics, are revolutionizing the way AP departments operate. These technologies enable more accurate data extraction, better anomaly detection, and more efficient workflow management.

AI-driven AP automation not only enhances operational efficiency but also empowers AP professionals to focus on more strategic tasks. This shift from manual, repetitive work to more value-added activities is crucial for the future of finance functions.

Conclusion

The “Accounts Payable Automation Trends 2024” report is a must-read for AP and finance professionals seeking to stay ahead of the curve. It offers a detailed analysis of current trends, challenges, and opportunities in AP automation, with a particular focus on the transformative impact of AI. As we move further into the digital age, understanding and leveraging these insights will be critical for finance teams aiming to optimize their AP processes and achieve operational excellence.

Download the full report today to explore the latest trends and gain actionable insights that can drive your AP automation journey forward. 

Thank you to our sponsor, SAP Concur.

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