BILL Survey Finds 85% of SMBs Are Enthusiastic About Using AI in Financial Operations

March 4, 2024

Businesses view AI as a beneficial tool for both strategic planning and everyday operations

SAN JOSE, Calif. – March 4, 2024 – BILL (NYSE: 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. 

How SMBs see AI helping their business

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. 

More comprehensive and integrated solutions such as the BILL Financial Operations Platform are helping to give SMBs greater visibility into more of their cash flow. 

BILL Delivers the Right Technology to Address SMB Financial Operations Needs

BILL helps hundreds of thousands of SMBs, and their accountant partners, to remove the complexities of financial operations, making paying bills, getting paid, and managing expenses simpler. 

As an early adopter of AI and automation, BILL continues to harness innovation and leverage expertise in developing AI capabilities to make solutions easier to use, more automated, and increasingly predictive for SMBs to thrive. Tens of millions of transactions flow through BILL’s  network each year. This creates a valuable data asset, which when applied to BILL's AI engine, enables BILL to develop better customer experiences such as auto matching businesses and suppliers, auto populating invoices, preventing payment fraud, and providing payment or funding choices for customers and network members. 

SMBs and Accountants Speak to the Value of AI and Automation from BILL

  • “AI capabilities from BILL have saved our finance team two days out of every work week. BILL’s AI pulls all the information for you and it makes it so much easier. You just review. It's easier to cross reference than to actually key everything in.” - Sarah Sanders, Senior Controller, Repurpose
  • “BILL AI auto-reads, extracts data, and enters it all automatically. It’s a huge time saver and maintains data accuracy.” - Manoj Bhutani, Chief Customer Officer, Furey

About the Study

The BILL 2024 State of Financial Automation Report, conducted by SMB Group, was fielded in December 2023. 750 SMB financial decision-makers in the U.S. with 10-500 employees were surveyed. The survey sample was not drawn from a list of BILL customers. Where appropriate, we compared these findings with data from our 2023 State of Financial Automation study, conducted the previous year. 

About SMB Group

SMB Group is a research, analysis, and consulting firm focused on technology adoption and trends among small and medium (1-999 employee size) and mid-market (1,000-2,500 employee size) businesses. Founded in 2009, SMB Group helps clients understand and segment the SMB market, identify and act on trends and opportunities, develop more compelling messaging, and more effectively serve SMB customers.

About BILL

BILL (NYSE: BILL) is a leading financial operations platform for small and midsize businesses (SMBs). As a champion of SMBs, we are automating the future of finance so businesses can thrive. Our integrated platform helps businesses to more efficiently control their payables, receivables and spend and expense management. Hundreds of thousands of businesses rely on BILL’s proprietary member network of millions to pay or get paid faster. Headquartered in San Jose, California, BILL is a trusted partner of leading U.S. financial institutions, accounting firms, and accounting software providers. For more information, visit


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Source: BILL