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Data Brief: 93 Pct Of Firms Digitizing AP/AR Functions

The roles and responsibilities of “C-suite” executives are changing on what seems like a daily basis amid the great digital shifts that companies large and small must navigate as they modernize their back-office operations.

Those digitization efforts extend, especially, to the accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP) functions, which are critical to managing cash flow and, in turn, maintaining the long-term health of the company itself.

In PYMNTS’ latest study, The Strategic Role Of The CFO: How AP And AR Digitization Are Transforming Customer Relationships, done in collaboration with Versapay, the data shows that 93 percent of companies based in the United States have been overhauling their accounting operations. Break that down a bit, and 57 percent of those executives in the midst of investing in new technology and processes state that the goal is not just to automate some functions, but to also transform those operations in a bid to bring new capabilities to their firms — including seamless payment capabilities.

The reasons for digitization are varied. Almost 96 percent of companies surveyed said that they’d taken on these initiatives in an effort to benefit customers or vendors. And 37 percent said they’d done so to be able to process transactions more quickly; nearly 15 percent said their goal was to make transactions cheaper.

As they’ve digitized operations, these same executives said they have relied on paper check payments less often (as noted by 40 percent). As many as 55 percent of respondents stated that they used ePayables with virtual cards more frequently.

The overhaul and the tech investments are being done in the service of larger goals, said the CFOs. Chief among them: to boost customers’ overall lifetime value.

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