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Two-Thirds of Firms Plan to Automate Routine AP Tasks in Next 12 Months

Aiming to automate routine accounts payable (AP) procedures, two-thirds of firms are either currently innovating their systems or plan to do so within the next 12 months. 

In fact, 11% of firms say they are currently innovating their AP systems, 31% say they will start innovating in the next six months, and 27% say they will do so in the next 12 months, according to “ERP Solutions in B2B Payments,” a PYMNTS and American Express collaboration. 

Get the report: ERP Solutions in B2B Payments 

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are a critical part of innovations around B2B payments, as they automate routine procedures such as payments and invoicing, allow professionals to focus on more strategic work and improve the company’s efficiency, accuracy and customer service. 

Automating AP, AR Processes 

“By accessing and transmitting rich data, including data from purchase orders and invoices, ERPs power the automation of payments,” American Express Vice President of B2B Products and Partnership Pavan Krishna told PYMNTS when interviewed for the report. “Companies that integrated additional accounts receivable software into their ERP system can further automate processes like payments collections, for example.” 

Firms that have implemented ERP systems report that they’ve experienced a wide range of benefits, with 40% saying the system has reduced their information technology (IT) costs, 38% saying it has reduced their inventory levels and 35% saying it has reduced their cycle time — thereby improving their business efficiency. 

What’s more, 82% of the firms that added ERP systems said the systems delivered their return on investment (ROI) within the firms’ projected timeline. 

Improving CX 

Well-integrated ERPs and payments systems also improve the experience of the firms’ B2B customers, EVO Payments Senior Director of Business-to-Business Software Fauwaz Hussain told PYMNTS when interviewed for the report. 

Read more: EVO Payments on Overcoming ERP Integration Obstacles 

For example, such integrated systems help vendors deliver efficient customer service by giving staff real-time information about when B2B customers pay their balances so that they can then deliver the products or services to customers immediately after payment. 

“Automating and integrating the collection process benefits both the merchant and their customers,” Hussain said. “Customers want vendors who are easy to work with, and that includes the simplicity of a user-friendly bill-paying experience.” 

Better Business Processes 

With benefits like these for both the companies that implement ERP systems and their customers, the odds are that two-thirds of companies that are planning to innovate their current systems will find that it adds up to a worthwhile investment. 

Take it from those who have already made the upgrade — a recent study found that the share of companies that reporting that their business processes were improved by implementing an ERP was 95%. 


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