It’s that time of year again, and planning for 2023 is top of the agenda for businesses everywhere. But this time, the rules of the game have changed.
Fighting to survive economic storms ahead, CFOs are tightening budgets and prioritising investments that reduce waste and drive the business toward becoming more intelligent and efficient.
2023 will see existing trends continue and some new developments driven by the economic environment. Here are the 3 most influential trends we see playing out.
Three key Accounts Payable trends in 2023
Trend one: Staff shortages will continue, increasing pressure on manual Accounts Payable processes
The Accounts Payable skills gap is widening. According to research, UK teams are understaffed by an average of 22%. And in the USA, 83% of CFOs say they cannot complete critical Accounts Payable processes on time, like paying supplier invoices and completing supplier statement reconciliations.
Businesses that leave AP teams overburdened into 2023 risk destabilising their supply chain and, potentially, getting into financial and regulatory hot water.
What’s more, there is an unfortunate doom loop effect in play. The best applicants – those who want to focus on tasks that create value rather than monotonous work – are making a beeline for companies already at a reasonable level of tech maturity. As such, the companies relying the most on human effort will have the hardest time recruiting the talent they need to meet their basic AP obligations.
Trend two: CFOs will demand closer collaboration between Finance, Procurement and Accounts Payable teams
In 2023, every penny will count. Financial waste will be out, and optimal financial control will be prioritised.
Businesses will seek to improve cash flow and working capital by making better, data-driven decisions, including when to pay suppliers. Companies will also seek to reduce financial waste by enhancing supplier due diligence procedures and benefitting from more early payment discounts. But, to make this possible, Accounts Payable, Procurement and Finance must ditch the silos and work as a unified team.
The fastest way to achieve this is to replace disjointed legacy systems and spreadsheets with a modern tech stack that unifies finance and procurement into one platform. As well as providing the coveted “single source of truth”, unified platforms support frictionless team collaboration with enhanced workflow functionality.
This isn’t an overnight fix, but 2023 will see many companies re-think their processes and systems to bring these teams closer together.
Trend three: The rise of bolt-on Accounts Payable solutions
The transition to cloud-based ERP systems is in full flow. Almost every company has a project to transition core systems to the cloud. That said, cloud-based systems have many of the same feature limitations as their on-premise predecessors. One key benefit, however, is the ability to bolt-on highly specialist SaaS applications in less time.
The future of AP is cloud-based ERP systems connected to a constellation of best-in-class SaaS applications like Xelix. Now, teams can easily create an Accounts Payable tech stack that optimises the AP function and integrates frictionlessly with wider business processes across Finance and Procurement.
With easy data access and transparent processes, teams can collaborate closely to make better decisions and drive strategic objectives.
But AP teams that fail to maximise this opportunity will remain anchored to slow and inefficient workarounds. Ultimately, this will inhibit the business’s ability to withstand economic adversity.
2023 presents both a challenge and an opportunity for AP teams. Whilst macroeconomic pressures will impact hiring and budgets, the upside to re-designing core processes and systems is huge. Progress takes time when it comes to enterprise finance, but 2023 will see many companies lay the foundation for process and tech changes that will set them up for the decade ahead.
Driving AP intelligence with Xelix
Positioning the function as a value-adding, the strategic business unit is difficult for AP teams. But it’s essential that AP teams are not left behind in the digital transformation race happening across the CFO office. With the right technology in place, AP departments can quickly and efficiently see tangible, short-term improvements to processes and outcomes
With Xelix’s AI-powered software that sits alongside your existing finance systems, you can automate AP processes, spot payment risks, and deliver meaningful insights to drive better business outcomes. Typically, Xelix clients achieve positive ROI within just one day. And over a few weeks, identify five and six-figure savings.
Discover more about the power, speed, and simplicity of Xelix here. Or, access our free 14-day trial to uncover your hidden millions – risk-free.