CFOs Use Automation for Fraud Prevention More Than for AP/AR

In today’s fast-paced business world, companies are constantly looking to streamline operations and increase productivity.

One area in need of this streamlining that often requires significant time and effort is the management of accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP). Automation can cut delays by days and improve invoice tracking methods.

However, while CFOs clearly recognize the potential benefits of digital technologies and automation in removing friction from AP/AR operations, investment in automation has yet to gain traction.

Why CFOs Recognize the Need to Automate AP/AR Workflows,” a PYMNTS Intelligence and Corcentric collaboration, examines the current enterprise adoption of specialized automation software and how it impacts firms’ Accounts AP/AR workflow efficiency.

The survey revealed that the decision-makers are more likely to invest in digital technologies and automation for fraud and risk than in solutions for AP/AR workflows. Sixty-three percent of CFOs surveyed reported using some level of specialized automation for fraud prevention in the last six months. However, only 33% cited having some automation for AR processes, and 28% for AP processes. 

The report additionally found that 93% of CFOs said digital technologies or automation to support AP processes have led to reductions in the days of delay related to invoice tracking.

Shipping, order disputes and invoicing errors have been the greatest sources of friction for buyers in the last six months, according to the study. Integrating digital technologies and automation can enable firms to pay and be paid faster with fewer disruptions, as well as improve overall efficiency and reduce manual errors. 

These technologies can assist businesses in automating processes such as invoice generation, payment collection and reconciliation, leading to significant time and cost savings. Eighty percent of the firms that did not reduce delays in payments cited the lack of AI automation as the main reason they were not able to reduce these delays.

Among the many improvements automation and other digital technologies can provide, invoice tracking tops the list, with more than half of firms in AP operations and around one-third in AR reporting significant reductions in delays. 

Implementing automated AR/AP workflows also frees up employees’ time to focus on more strategic tasks.

By eliminating manual data entry and processing, employees can redirect their efforts towards activities that add value to the business, such as customer relationship management or financial analysis.

Further adoption of automation in AR/AP areas might be a reality in the medium term, as 70% of firms with less automated AP say they definitely need more automation, and 44% of more automated firms say the same.