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Automating Your AP: Game-Changing Solutions Offer More Than Just Technology for Association Managers

July 17, 2020
Customer service executive working at office, used by AvidXchange for article about how ap automation for community association management should combine services with technology

Between managing HOA finances, maintaining properties and communicating with their association boards, management companies have a lot to juggle.

Fortunately, there are cloud-based solutions that can automate the accounts payable (AP) and payment process. These solutions can create efficiencies that give you back much needed time and provide 24/7 visibility into your invoices and payments, enabling you to better meet the needs of your board members and property vendors.

While it’s true that technology eliminates much of the paperwork associated with AP processes, it can’t replace all of the manual tasks entailed.

It’s important to look for a solution that not only has proven technology but is also supported by a dedicated services team with experience in your industry.

Here are three areas where a dedicated services team can take your AP automation to the next level:

  1. Paper Invoice Receipt and Data Entry
  2. Payment Execution and Follow-Up
  3. Onboarding and Ongoing Support

Paper Invoice Receipt and Data Entry

It may not be possible for all your vendors to provide an electronic invoice, and enforcing change management may be too burdensome. Look for an AP solution that supplements their electronic invoice technology with a dedicated lockbox services team. This team should handle the tedious tasks for paper invoices that are still delivered by mail which include opening mail and scanning invoices.  And don’t forget, your service provider must also be data keying all paper and electronic invoice data, while identifying exceptions – tasks that many technology providers will not do themselves.

Payment Execution and Follow Up

Not every supplier will accept electronic payments and even then, getting a payment out the door is only half the battle. A solution supported by a dedicated payment services team can significantly reduce work by handling tasks like managing vendor payment preferences, executing electronic payments over the phone or online and following up to ensure payments clear in a timely manner.

Onboarding and Ongoing Support

One of the most important aspects of any AP solution is customer onboarding and ongoing support. The best solutions have onboarding and support teams that have deep-seated knowledge of the association management industry, the problems that need to be solved and the nuances of working with both the management company and their association boards.

These teams should do more than just execute against a project plan. They should be able to apply their years of experience implementing AP Automation in the HOA industry to understand and consult on accounts payable best practices as well as identify opportunities in your existing processes that can be streamlined through technology while still maintaining the same or greater level of control that you experience today.

An exceptional onboarding team also knows that the training and education doesn’t end with the management company. Look for solutions that have educational materials tailored specifically for your board members.

These educational materials should accomplish two tasks:

  1. Easily explain how AP Automation will benefit the Association and the Board Members that use it.
  2. Educate the Board Member how to effectively use the solution in a simple and easy to understand format. 

By truly understanding the unique needs of an association management company and working to meet them, the best customer onboarding and support teams can help facilitate a quicker implementation, simplify change management and enhance relationships with your board members.

Your Next Steps

You’ll find more information on some of the things to consider when evaluating AP automation solutions in these two blogs:

Community Association Management Technology [6 Can’t-Miss Solutions to Improve Efficiency]

Managing Association Bills to Maintain Business Continuity

You can also learn about AvidXchange’s AP automation solution developed specifically for community association management companies and experience it firsthand by scheduling a demo today.

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