Coronavirus has rendered manual invoicing totally obsolete

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For generations, the accounts payable (AP) process has involved tedious, manual processes that took endless hours to complete, were prone to human error, and were costly. The time for transformation has long been upon us, however the COVID pandemic ushered in a new era of remote work, underscoring the need for digital processes in the AP and finance realm.

Businesses around the globe quickly realized the limitations of manual invoice processing and the need to streamline supplier payments during the onset of shelter-in-place mandates. And AP automation can play an integral role in making payments faster and more secure, as well as paperless, to support “green” initiatives.

When businesses have full control and visibility of invoices, they can choose when to pay their suppliers and can optimize days payable outstanding (DPO). DPO is particularly relevant during times such as the current COVID pandemic, when companies experience cash flow constraints. Companies can change their payment patterns by paying early in return for discounts. Adopting cloud AP automation helps companies make supplier payments faster; these early payments can provide discounts to boost cash flow and help improve relationships with key suppliers.

Cloud-based AP automation saves time, improves efficiency, and helps companies manage the overall financial picture. An additional benefit of AP automation is that it helps companies remain productive through crises such as natural disasters and the current pandemic.

While AP software enables companies to eliminate many manual tasks, cloud-based AP automation supports a remote workforce to safeguard business continuity. The AP team can work individually or together, anytime and anywhere, to keep supplier payments on track. What’s more, team members can find accurate invoicing and vendor information to help them gain financial insight through the visibility and data found in the AP workflow. The AP team can prove its mettle, delivering critical financial data to help improve cash flow and supplier payments during such challenging global circumstances.

In addition to improved visibility, cloud-based AP automation solutions also help safeguard AP and finance operations. A significant concern is the increase of phishing and internal fraud. Robust cloud AP automation solutions combat six types of fraud including fake suppliers, duplicate and multiple entities, check fraud, CFO and acquisition fraud, inside theft, and CEO fraud through abuse of authority. With tracking and updates in real time, fraud can be stopped in its tracks before a company incurs significant losses.

Having cloud AP automation in place today also prepares companies for seamless remote work remote and to be ready for business disruptions, as many companies consider whether their employees will return to the office or remain at home. Progressive companies with cloud AP automation can be prepared to support remote workers and make necessary course corrections to remain as profitable as possible, no matter what the future holds.

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Coronavirus B-to-B payments Cloud computing Digital payments Payment processing