The accounts payable (AP) process has seen exciting improvements in the last three decades.
2000 - 2010
From 2000 to 2010, the AP process was mostly manual and paper-based. Finance teams struggled with piles of invoices and manual data entry, leading to errors and delays. Invoice processing and approvals were time-consuming, preventing businesses from achieving optimal efficiency. As the decade came to a close, some companies started adopting basic electronic invoicing systems, but overall, the AP process remained largely traditional.
2010 - 2020
Between 2010 and 2020, a significant shift occurred as technology advanced. AP automation emerged, bringing transformative changes. Companies began embracing cloud-based solutions and automated approval workflows. This period provided increased accuracy, quicker processing times, and enhanced visibility into financial data. Automation also fostered better supplier relationships due to timely payments and improved financial control.
However, many of these AP solutions still relied heavily on human capital for their service, creating what’s more like a tech-enabled outsourced AP department!
2020 and beyond!
In 2020, AP automation reached new heights with AI-driven technologies. This is around when CondoWorks was founded. Intelligent systems, such as CondoWorks, could extract data from invoices, match purchase orders, and flag discrepancies automatically. Property managers gained valuable insights through real-time analytics, enabling data-driven decision-making. The integration of AP automation with accounting systems became more seamless, streamlining end-to-end processes.
Looking ahead, the possibilities for the next seven years are promising. AP automation is set to become an indispensable part of every finance department. With the application of machine learning, systems will continuously learn and improve accuracy, reducing human intervention even further. The focus will be on enhancing mobile accessibility, ensuring finance teams can manage AP processes anytime, anywhere. As cyber threats persist, robust data security measures will become paramount.
In conclusion, the evolution of AP from manual to automated processes has been remarkable. From the slow and error-prone practices of the early 2000s to the efficient and intelligent systems of today, technology has revolutionized how businesses manage their finances. As we move forward, AP automation will continue to evolve, empowering organizations with greater efficiency, cost savings, and strategic insights. Embracing these advancements will undoubtedly shape the future success of property management businesses in an ever-evolving financial landscape.
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