After a practically apocalyptic and never-ending 2020, 2021 laid the groundwork for what might one day become “normal” again. It was also a groundbreaking year for accounts payable teams as workers adapted to the post-2020 world. Whereas 2020 kind of dropped the industry into a “sink or swim” situation, 2021 offered the chance to adapt and improve AP processes to match an ever-evolving idea of what a work environment can be.


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The Biggest AP Trends and Shifts of 2021

Though this year didn’t welcome any major game-changing technologies or applications, it did give accounts payable professionals an extended look at how processes can be streamlined and improved. Here are a few highlights from the year.

Reliance on Cloud Technology

While this isn’t a NEW development necessarily, 2021 certainly made the need for cloud-based systems substantially more apparent as remote workstations turned from a forced product of the pandemic to more of a long-term option for employees across the nation. Cloud-based AP systems allow for easy and instant accessibility for AP professionals from anywhere.

Rise of Mobile Capture and Document Access

Along those same lines, 2021 was a big year for mobile capture technology in the AP realm. Having the ability to capture, access, and process key documents via mobile technology proved to be essential for AP professionals in flexible work environments.

The Continued Growth of Online Billing and E-invoicing

Not to be confused with scanned paper invoices or PDFs sent through e-mail, e-invoicing communicates with your system’s invoicing software to create instant, accurate, and easily editable invoices. 2021 saw major improvements on this front and 2022 looks to be even stronger!

A Culture Focused on Collaboration

Taking AP processes out of antiquated silos in which they once resided and creating a more transparent and collaborative culture between departments has always been the goal. In 2021, it became essential. With flexible work environments in play, AP professionals had to enact clear expectations with regards to AP systems and trust that every key player had what they needed to complete the task at hand.

AP Automation Becomes the Standard

The pandemic certainly forced the hands of many businesses to finally make the investment in automating their accounts payable processes. Those that had pushed it off or never got around to seeing the value in such a service were enlightened. What started in 2020 was only solidified in 2021: AP automation is no longer a luxury, it’s the norm.


We’ve been helping businesses automate their accounts payable processes for more than a quarter-century with custom software solutions. We succeed when our clients succeed. We offer 24/7 support, universal integration, centralized processing, and other advantages not offered by our cookie-cutter competitions.

To learn how DataServ’s products and services might benefit your accounts payable team, contact us today.

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