The ability to bend and not break is the key to resilience. After the past nightmare of a year, companies certainly experienced a bending. Lockdowns, economic uncertainty, work from home shifts, and more have pushed people, processes, and systems to their limits. But with things hopefully moving into normalcy—vaccines, recovery, and more—companies have the opportunity to use the pressures as a springboard.

Following our last blogs on the ways that AP Automation helps you respond to disruption and the paths to resilience in payables automation, we would today like to explore the ways you can push this flexibility into the future, using the challenges of 2020 as your guide.

Two Steps to Bouncing Forward

Flexibility relates not just to the ability to change, but to how much change you can implement when and where you need to. Knowing this, as you focus on not just bouncing back but moving ahead, it’s vital to address the current limitations and take steps to move forward.

Understanding the Limitations of Traditional AP

After the move to remote work, professionals spent a lot of time digging up creative ways to tackle AP. Unfortunately, no matter how creative the solutions to the problems, these were less likely answers than band-aids.

If the past nine months didn’t shock you into action, take a second to look at the incredible challenge that went into running traditional AP in a different environment. Invoices used to be collected at the office, emailed or walked over to the person who needed to approve them, and then internally transferred back to AP for actual payments.

Add to this the decrease in staff size and many struggled to maintain the speed, accuracy, and reliability of AP. Companies have been forced to cut costs and staff and scrutinize expenses, meaning that AP departments need to do more with fewer resources, all while vendors are clamoring to be paid.

Finding out What’s Next

Despite the amount of work being put in by payments professionals, one needs to ask if this is really a stable and long-term option. The way companies pay vendors is changing, in large part because vendors in uncertain financial times want to be paid faster. When you rely on manual payments, there’s little you can do to speed them up. 

From fully embracing digital payments to faster payments initiatives created on the banking side, leaders across the organization need to connect people, processes, and technologies like never before.

The Next Steps toward Recovery: Simplified AP with Bill.com

Bill.com reduces the manual aspects of AP that require in-person invoice review, approval, and payment. The system allows you to set the controls and workflows you need to meet the demands of the moment. You can still have the assurance of separation of duties without all the delays that have traditionally come with it.

At the Controllers Council, we’re excited to partner with Bill.com, a Controllers Council Gold Sponsor. Bill.com, the intelligent business payments platform, helps automate your PO-to-payment process and save 50% of your time on accounts payable. With Bill.com, you can turn your finance organization into an efficient, paperless environment with automated approval workflows, digital document capture and management, and built-in team collaboration. 

Get to know more about Bill.com here.

Additional AP Resources

Addressing Disruption: How AP Automation Makes for Resilient Business

Building a Scalable AP Process

Why AP Teams Should Automate Now

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Controllers Council is a national community and platform of controllers, accounting and finance professionals focused on accounting best practices, information, and resources, recognition and networking.