Controllers have spent a lot of the past year managing constant change. Though we have referred to it as your call to greatness moment, a time in which you’ve done great work finding enough money to keeping the business afloat, it’s stressful nonetheless.

But there is a difference between having the skills to adapt and having the tools and processes that make adaptation easy. One example of this is your accounts payable process. Long considered a drain on the organization, driven by manual processes, lack of visibility, and lethargy, the pandemic and associated lockdowns once again brought the issues with AP to light.

Remote work led to disconnects, fraud, and uncertainty. Processes that were once “easy” in an office environment became laborious and inaccurate. Businesses found their processes inflexible and time consuming, and many had to do all this with a smaller staff. COVID upended AP and as we move into a new normal, many are looking for new options.

How COVID Exposed the Flaws of AP

Many controllers know the pains of the traditional AP process. From gathering invoices and capturing their information → getting approval → actually paying the invoices → and entering invoice, notes, and payment information into the accounting system. 

But as the work from home orders came into play, people realized that the transition was anything but seamless. Collecting invoices became a challenge—especially in a landscape that required someone to go to the office to locate one mailed to the company.

But this was only the first in many challenges. After the invoices were paid, then came the process of approving and paying them. For this, companies turned to emails and others even hired Lyft drivers to transport stacks of invoices around to the relevant parties.

Yes, modern problems required modern solutions, but many asked, “is this truly a solution?”

Unfortunately, the process for this wasn’t sustainable, agile, or positioned for growth.

Why Agility Matters Now More Than Ever

Some companies had to deal with the onslaught of challenges. Others who were able to automate their processes were able to move past them.

For example, those using Controllers Council sponsor and provider of AP/AR automation Bill.com, invoice processing in the new normal felt a lot like the old normal.

Rather than sending someone on a wild goose chase to collect invoices, everything moved easily. Work was completed safely, accurately, and quickly. These companies were able to handle the pressures of the new normal and remain flexible even in the wake of change and uncertainty.

With Bill.com, invoices are received electronically, invoice information is gathered and sent for approval, payments made once those approvals are obtained, and all the information is organized and reconciled in the system – all without PPE, taxis, or even seeing other employees in person.

Get to Know Controllers Council Sponsor Bill.com

Going forward, midmarket companies will continue to be asked to do the same work, only faster. For controllers looking to get more done with less time, effort, or hassle, Bill.com is one way to make this happen.

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.