What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about the top AP technology trends to watch for in 2018 and beyond?
I’d venture a guess and say it was not bitcoin and blockchain. Despite initial misgivings about whether cryptocurrencies would succeed, they have. So, it makes our list of top tech trends for Accounts Payable.
For those of you who have not kept up on the rise of bitcoin, here’s a quick primer courtesy of Wikipedia:
“Bitcoin (Ƀ) is a cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system. It is the first decentralized digital currency, as the system works without a central bank or single administrator. The network is peer-to-peer, and transactions take place between users directly, without an intermediary. These transactions are verified by network nodes using cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or group of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto and released as open-source software in 2009.”
Bitcoin and Blockchain
Adopting the cryptocurrency and blockchain duo in 2018 gives financial departments a central hub for every user to access, audit, and approve secure transactions. There are well over 100,000 merchants and vendors who accept bitcoin payments. And that number is growing every day. This calls for your finance department to consider getting on board or risk being left behind.
Similarly, finance departments have been moving their systems to the cloud in droves. But even newer technologies are taking hold. The next up and coming trend is edge computing. Instead of holding the processing power on a cloud, edge computing processes data and services on the edge of a network, closer to the end source or user. Accelerated processing speed provides quicker insights into massive amounts of data. There are also security advantages. Arguably, edge computing will replace the cloud, so finance departments should be watching this trend.
Well, not the metallic kind. I'm talking about Robotic Process Automation (RPA). In the coming years, RPA will have the ability to manage forecasting, reconciliation, and data reporting – at a fraction of the time it would take humans to handle those same tasks. While humans spend hours creating formulas and spreadsheets, robots are crunching numbers and producing usable data at the speed of light. According to KPMG, RPA can cut financial costs by up to 75%.
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