Nobody knows what the “future of work” will look like and whether working from home (WFH) will be the new normal. This much is certain: all of us going back to an office at the same time will be a thing of the past.
Silicon Valley’s big tech companies acknowledge as much when Twitter announced that their employees can choose to work from home “forever,” or when Amazon, Facebook and Google advised their staff to not return to their desks for the rest of the year.
Leaving the big tech platforms aside, getting things done while not at your usual workplace is also highly relevant for small and medium-size companies. That is particularly true for many critical back-office functions like Accounts Payable.
Who makes sure expense reports and vendor invoices are processed, routed to the right person for approval and payments initiated when the main office is closed? Having invoices pile up can create hiccups with vendors, lengthen the pay cycle and lead to late fees.
That is why forward-thinking AP teams have already begun to do their work remotely, either because they were on the road often or are currently sheltering in place. Just 18 months ago, a survey by AP Now, found that the majority of AP teams couldn’t work remotely because their job required them to open invoices, scan or key them in and make sure they are processed. Today, though, 84 percent of AP teams are working from home or will start to establish a WFH process. In that sense, COVID-19 lockdowns have served as a wake-up call and a catalyst for the adoption of cloud-based AP Automation.
Moving to a digital process lets companies of any size maintain control over their Accounts Payable workflow by making sure that employees, suppliers, and customers can collaborate easily. No matter where members of the finance department may be, a cloud-based solution like Yooz keeps them all in touch and keeps your AP function going.
That is because it requires fewer manual tasks, guarantees fast approvals and real-time visibility. And since it lives in the cloud and can be accessed through a browser or on a mobile device, it can easily be deployed and comes with built-in ironclad security.
Companies that have not prepared for AP Automation with remote access risk losing time and money. Shuffling a backlog of paper invoices can:
- increase processing time to three weeks or longer,
- generate manual handling costs between $9 and $20 per document,
- incur late fees for up to a third of invoices,
- carry the risk of erroneous or fraudulent invoices slipping through.
As AP teams that keep working as usual today demonstrate, there’s a better way. The ideal solution to keep your AP operations running smoothly even if the lights at HQ are out must check three boxes: simple set-up, paperless workflow and remote access.
It should be a plug & play solution that still gives you the options to customize it and roll it out across the entire organization, seamlessly integrating it into an existing ERP system. Thanks to a high level of automation, it requires next to no human intervention to extract data from an invoice, apply the correct GL codes and route it to the right person for approval. AP specialists only have to step in to review and solve exceptions -- even if they are cooped up at home with nothing more than a smartphone.
Now think of all the spare time you can spend on video calls!