The BILL 2024 State of Financial Automation Report

Businesses view AI as a beneficial tool for both strategic planning and everyday operations
BusinessWireMarch 4, 20247 min

BILL, a leading financial operations platform for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), today unveiled The BILL 2024 State of Financial Automation Report which provides an in-depth look at emerging trends in SMB financial management and operations. Conducted by SMB Group, the survey results demonstrate that SMBs believe innovative technology such as AI and automation are beneficial capabilities for their financial operations. SMBs are looking to AI and automation to help them increase efficiency and empower them to redeploy staff to more strategic tasks that can foster innovation and growth.

Key findings of the survey include:

  • SMBs see business benefits of AI: SMBs want to use AI for their business, both for strategic and tactical financial operations.
  • Automation is important to financial operations: The majority of SMBs agree that automation is essential to enhancing business efficiency, decision-making, and employee attraction and retention.
  • Integrated financial management solutions provide value: Almost two-thirds of SMBs said that integrated financial management solutions would provide high value to the financial operations of their business.

“Advances in AI present a new opportunity for SMBs. AI can help them make better decisions and bring powerful efficiency and productivity outcomes to improve their business,” said Ken Moss, Chief Technology Officer at BILL. “For SMBs, choosing the right technology and AI partner for their business is essential to their long term success. It’s not just about being innovative. SMBs need accessible, trusted and useful technology that can actually transform their business.”

SMBs See an Opportunity to Leverage AI to Improve Their Business

Automation is already transforming financial operations, offering SMBs better accuracy and efficiency when it comes to managing their cash flow. With new innovation and advancements in AI, it presents even more opportunities to enhance their business. Many SMBs want to embrace AI, with 85% of SMBs responding that they are enthusiastic about using AI for their business. They view AI as a beneficial tool for strategic planning and everyday operations of their business. SMBs identified decision-making and analytics benefits as the top advantages that AI can contribute to financial operations. They also cited practical benefits such as giving employees time to focus on more important tasks, detecting irregularities, summarizing data, and streamlining routine activities as key advantages.

SMBs View Financial Automation as Essential to Business Success

Automating financial operations enables SMBs to free up valuable time they need for their business. It helps them focus more on the strategic aspects of the business and improves both accuracy and efficiency. For example, BILL’s integrated financial operations platform leverages automation for functions like invoice extraction and bill creation, duplicate invoice detection, and expense management automation. 90% of SMBs agree that automation is key to improving business efficiency. 84% also feel that automated financial operations can help provide the insights needed to improve decision-making. A majority believe that automation aids in employee attraction and retention.

SMBs See Benefits of Deploying Integrated Financial Management Solutions

SMBs want the benefits of AI without adding to their tech stack. In addition, most SMBs want to leverage AI capabilities integrated in the financial applications they currently use or intend to deploy. This can help SMBs reap the benefits of AI without the need for extensive new infrastructure.

SMBs believe integrated solutions can help them gain the operational efficiency and more of a strategic edge to compete more effectively in the marketplace. They rank gaining real-time insights into cash flow, the cost-effectiveness of integrating various financial processes, and the convenience of consolidating financial information into a single platform as three of the top benefits of this approach.

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