With most of their employees working remotely, association management companies have been forced to revisit the processes they rely on to sustain operations. Among the most critical functions for ensuring business continuity is paying association vendor bills.
It’s an uphill battle for those who rely on manual, paper-based AP invoicing and payment processes. They are struggling to access and process files from remote locations, and are often dependent on mail services that have been interrupted and are now unreliable.
Fortunately, moving to AP automation can help by ensuring AP teams and boards can continue to approve invoices and make vendor payments securely and efficiently at any time, from any location.
Here’s a closer look at how AP automation can help HOA managers maintain mission critical business operations during these challenging times, and beyond:
Centralized data and customized, automated workflows can lead to speedier approvals
Access isn’t the only problem facing AP teams who rely on paper processes. Reviewing and approving invoices, which can take days and include different approvers, like board members, is now especially difficult when approvers and the documents they need are separated. Significant time is spent chasing and waiting on approvals, which slows down the payment process and can lead to late payments and frustrated vendors.
With AP automation, you don’t have to be in a specific place to approve invoices and make payments. All payment related files are stored in a cloud-based, central hub that anyone can access from anywhere, and invoices are standardized, coded and posted for easy visibility which eliminates manual data entry and enables remote or mobile invoice review and approvals.
The hassle of tracking down individuals for approvals is further alleviated by AP managers’ ability to create custom approval workflows with unique rules for each association. If an approver is unreachable or unable to work, the AP team can reroute approvals so business continues as usual. And, all historical actions and comments are recorded, so the new approver can step in without missing a beat or a detail.
Transparency and real-time access to data means more informed decision-making.
In a manual process, the AP team spends a lot of time pulling piles of paper out of file cabinets to get an overall picture of an association’s financial health. They are often inundated with requests from property managers and board members, who are dependent on that data in order to monitor cash flow and course correct to protect their operations and homeowners.
AP automation simplifies the process by providing control and real-time visibility over invoice and payment processes. It also provides comprehensive search and reporting tools, making it quicker and easier to get data and leverage it to make strategic business decisions. Sophisticated reports are just a click away.
E-payment options and dedicated service improve supplier relationships.
If you’re still leveraging paper checks, you may run into trouble during times of crisis. However, with AP solutions that provide e-payment options, you can continue paying suppliers even when person-to-person delivery of physical checks isn’t feasible.
The best automation solutions go the extra mile by combining dedicated service teams along with software to take on the tedious tasks of keeping up with supplier payment preferences and ensuring supplier relationships are airtight.
In today’s environment, it’s especially helpful to have a trusted AP ally who will continue to maintain contact with your suppliers and to see how, if at all, their acceptance conditions are evolving, making sure they are receiving your payments and processing them.
Interested in hearing how AP automation can help your management company ensure business continuity plans and improve your workday, no matter your location? We’d love to chat, so schedule a demo or learn more about our solutions today!