There’s still a long way to go for businesses to have fully automated AP processes but when comparing the results from our Q3 (2020) (AP Automation Trends) survey with our Q1 (2020) AP Process Survey, however, there are three key trends which shouldn’t be ignored.

  • The first trend we see is that the results from the Q1 survey showed a higher percentage of organisations with ‘No Automation’ (19% compared with 10% in the Q3 survey). We can also see that more organisations are ‘Partially Automated’ now compared with 6 months prior, with a jump from 49% to now 69%.
  • The second trend reveals a shift in the key pain points and challenges experienced by accounts payable teams. In our Q1 survey, we saw that manual processes and paper documents were key challenges, whilst invoice exceptions causing delays was the number one pain point. In our Q3 survey, however, lost invoices and documents emerged as the top pain point, along with too many paper documents and process delays.
  • Finally, the third trend around plans to switch automation solutions can be seen when comparing results between the Q1 and Q3 surveys. There has been an increase from 36% to 41% for businesses who are intending to change their AP automation solution within the next 12 months, indicating a potential desire for solutions with more leading-edge features and capabilities.

In summary, these three key trends are likely to have arisen due to the new shared challenges presented by the COVID-19 global pandemic. More businesses are now recognising that AP automation is no longer an option, but rather a necessity in what has been largely called the ‘new normal’.

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