Electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) and payments (e-payments) are shifting from the “nice-to-have” to “need-it-now” list for many companies.
Because manual, paper-based accounts payable (AP) processes that rely on in-office workflows, printers, and mailing services are no longer dependable, businesses are looking for more reliable and accessible ways to handle their mission critical processes, like paying bills and receiving payments.
Fortunately, there’s a treasure trove of benefits for businesses that move to automated, electronic AP.
Eliminating the need to receive paper invoices and checks in the mail, while managing all accounts payable and payments at any time, from any location, enables remote workforces to not only help sustain their businesses, but to also save them time and money.
Electronic Invoicing and Payments Enable Your Remote Workforce to Continue Critical Operations
These unprecedented times have forced millions of professionals to work from home, including those who need access to their workplace—and the files, printers, and mail it holds—in order to do their jobs and keep operations on track. And a recent article from CNBC suggests that this “trial period” may lead to lasting change in how and where we work.
This applies to AP and finance teams, too.
Fortunately, electronic invoicing and payments free accounting staff from the constraints of their offices. This enables them to do their work without physically processing paperwork and stuffing and stamping envelopes. Essential data and processes, like approval workflows, are stored in the cloud and no longer dependent on in-person interaction. All you need are your employees and WiFi access to continue paying and receiving bills, uninterrupted.
Paperless AP Minimizes Your Dependency on Shipping and Mailing Services
If you’re concerned about how and when you’ll receive your paper checks via mail, know that you have alternative payment solutions that allow you to process payments and collect your funds electronically from any location. Going electronic with your AP processes allows you to do it all online and access it via cloud-based software services.
It also allows for direct deposit, delivering funds directly to your bank account after payment approval. Not only do you avoid a trip to the post office, the bank can be avoided, too.
E-Invoicing and E-Payments Save Time and Money
Technology, like automation, can cut significant costs by eliminating postage and paper, plus all the time spent issuing, reviewing, scanning, handling and processing paper invoices. According to Ardent Partners, it cuts the time it takes to process an invoice from 10 days to three.
That time transfers into remarkable savings. A Sterling Commerce study found that companies can save 90 percent on the AP side and 44 percent in accounts receivables by switching to fully automated processing. Think of what that can do for your bottom line.
Better Payment Processes Strengthen Vendor Relationships
During these uncertain times, having good relationships with customers, partners and vendors is more critical than ever.
What better way to keep vendors happy than to pay them on time? When invoices are not processed on time, they often lead to late payments and poor relationships with vendors. And from a supplier’s point of view, late payments impact the budget and expected return from sales.
Electronic invoice and payment processing is smoother, timelier, and far more accurate.
The Cloud Provides Improved Visibility to the C-Suite
It’s critical for leaders to have real-time views of cash flow to make critical operational and capital decisions. That becomes even tougher when AP teams are working from home without easy access to that important data.
Going 100% electronic with a cloud-based software solution for your entire invoice-to-pay process provides real-time visibility into important financial data. No longer are CFOs dependent on AP staff to chase the info they need. Instead, they can view the cloud-stored data at any time and know exactly where their business is at that moment.
Leveraging those insights enables them to make more informed decisions about changes that need to be made, like setting new direction, re-allocating resources, and correcting course where and when needed. It also enables them to create a more accurate financial forecast.
If the benefits of automating your AP and eliminating the need to receive paper invoices and checks in the mail by switching to electronic invoicing and payments sounds appealing, we’d love to chat.