In what feels like an instant, a global pandemic has American businesses encouraging their employees to work from home for their safety.
Community association management companies are navigating the sudden shift—assessing what measures to take for the safety of their own staff and sustainability of their operations. At the same time, they’re navigating the challenges their association boards and business partners are facing.
Now more than ever, developing business continuity plans – blueprints for how to maintain those critical business functions in the face of a major disruption—are critical.
But understandably, building a continuity plan you can rely on and equipping your organization with technology to execute it is easier said than done.
Maintaining A Mission Critical Function: Paying Your Vendor Bills
Today’s reality has quickly made business continuity a priority for all of us. Association management companies are focusing on how to maintain processes that are mission critical to keeping their lights on and maintaining property operations.
Mark accounts payable (AP) at the top of the list, as it would be difficult to keep operations going without processing payments to association vendors.
Since many community managers still rely on manual, paper-based AP processes, it can be difficult to ensure you’re able to continue paying bills in case of an emergency.
Fortunately, AP automation helps keep a business moving by ensuring your AP department can continue to approve invoices and make payments securely and efficiently at any time, from any location.
Six Ways AP Automation Can Bolster Your Business Continuity Plans
1. AP automation provides a central hub for all your payment related files.
Activating your business continuity plan likely means that you can’t be in the office, sifting through file cabinets. You’ll want to be able to quickly access any payment-related file with the click of a button.
AP automation provides a cloud-based, central repository, so you don’t have to rely on those file cabinets. And because it’s in the cloud, anyone can access it from anywhere.
2. Anytime, anywhere access to view and approve invoices.
In a manual process, reviewing and approving invoices can take days and include many different approvers. Waiting on approvals slows down the payment process, which could lead to late payments.
And the level of difficulty multiplies if you’re not in the office.
With AP automation, you don’t have to be in a specific place to approve invoices and make payments. All you need is internet access, and you can view and approve from your phone or laptop.
3. You can create customized, automated approval workflows.
AP automation allows you to create custom approval workflows for each association with unique rules and restrictions. These eliminate the hassle of constantly reaching out to different individuals for invoice approvals every month and provide you with control and visibility over the process.
If someone is out of the office or unable to work, your AP team can reroute approvals, so business continues as usual. As an added benefit, all historical actions and comments are recorded, so the new approver can step in without missing a beat or a detail.
4. Sophisticated reports are a few clicks away.
In a manual process, the AP department would spend a lot of time pulling piles of paper out of file cabinets to get an overall picture of the company’s finances.
Fortunately, AP automation simplifies the process by providing comprehensive search and reporting tools. This makes it quicker and easier to access data to make strategic business decisions when you’re under pressure.
5. Electronic payments provide an alternative to paper checks.
If you’re still using paper checks as a payment form, you may run into trouble during times of crisis. However, with solutions that provide e-payment options, you can continue paying suppliers even in times where person-to-person delivery of physical checks isn’t feasible.
6. Service teams improve your supplier relationships.
The best automation solutions combine dedicated service teams along with software to take on the tedious tasks of keeping up with supplier payment preferences.
In today’s environment, this becomes especially appealing. You’ll have a trusted AP ally who will maintain contact with your suppliers to see how, if at all, their acceptance conditions are evolving, making sure they are receiving your payments and processing them.
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AvidXchange the industry leader in automating invoice and payment processes for mid-market businesses. Founded in the year 2000, AvidXchange processed 9.5 million payments last year across its network of more than 500,000 suppliers, transforming the way 5,500 customers in North America pay their bills. AvidXchange Strongroom is a complete AP and payment automation solution trusted by more than 600 management companies serving more than 60,000 associations across the US. To learn more visit avidxchange.com/strongroom