ap automation trendsHere are 6 AP Automation trends that make it difficult for one automation solution to serve all Microsoft Dynamics users.

Trend 1 – Accounting System Functionality

More and more accounting systems and ERP systems continue to add automation functionality. This AP Automation trend suggests that in the future, they may be a one stop shop, but at the moment, the capture process seems to have eluded the majority of these systems.

Trend 2 – Document Management Helps

If you read my articles, you know that I write about document management and automation as being two different things.  They have similarities, but each has its own unique set of goals. This trend gets close, but until document management systems focus on process improvement and time savings, they will be far away from  AP Automation.

Trend 3 – Watch Out for the Government

This is the AP Automation trend that I am most interested in. I believe that the US is 2 to 4 federal laws away from mass, mid-market, Accounts Payable Automation adoption. There are already examples in the larger market with Sarbanes-Oxley rules, but this trend will highly encourage mid-market companies to automate. Be warned, however, it won’t be as overt as the government passing a law to make all AP automated, but laws will pass that will make automation necessary in order to stay compliant.

Trend 4 – Dipping Your Toe In

In many cases, aspects of the Accounts Payable system continue to be automated. Like receiving emailed invoices, back-end scanning, or using SharePoint for storing invoices. Some people have even gone so far as to create electronic approvals using Outlook. These stand as great examples of how it is possible to use technology to improve a paper process. The AP Automation trend here is that as you automate or electronify (I like making up words) an aspect of the process, you will want more automation, which will lead to a fully AP process that are fully automated.

Trend 5 – Education is Still King

This is a current trend that is not only gaining interest, but seems to be the current state of the AP Automation union. Thankfully, because I run AP Automation News and write books, peoples’ thirst for information about automation is growing. Two years ago, as an example, I did 11 in person speaking events, 24 webinars and 1 article a month. As of 2014, I am booked for 29 live events and webinars up to June and I post 40 articles of different types each month. The traffic to my site has gone up 6000% and people still want more.

Trend 6 – Times Are a Changin’

I write a lot about change. I am not afraid to use the old saying, “the only constant is change.” I believe that’s true. The automated AP trend here is that everyone is becoming more open to change. Because of a recovering economy and the hangover cause by the tech boom, leaders in companies don’t just jump into the latest fad or throw buckets of money at projects anymore, so change is slower.

One Size?

Sure it would be good to have one neck to choke from a technical perspective, but with so many moving parts, one size fits all in AP Automation is too far away to predict.

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AvidXchange is an industry-leading, SaaS based AP and Payment Automation solution provider located in Charlotte, NC. AvidXchange has been helping companies eliminate 100% of paper invoices and paper checks from their AP process since 2000 creating more efficient and scalable processes for their customers.  AvidXchange is integrated with Dynamics AX, GP, SL, and NAV.

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