The past year may have been the most challenging ever for both individuals and businesses. For months, we had been ready to turn the page on 2020 and enter the new year with a fresh start and a clear perspective. Unfortunately, as we begin 2021, we are still facing countless unknowns, making it difficult for us to set aggressive and even realistic goals. However, we have learned our fair share of lessons from the past year that will help set our priorities for the year ahead. It will be beneficial for organizations to make a few smart resolutions if their looking gain an advantage in today’s competitive market.
We’ve put together the top 3 resolutions we believe companies should be making this year as it relates to B2B payments.
1. Invest in innovation and automation enabling your AP staff to work remotely
If we learned anything in 2020, it was that many of us were NOT prepared for the disruption the world faced and employees were left scrambling to complete day-to-day tasks from a remote work environment. For example, Accounts Payable Teams were still cutting and mailing paper checks manually and were forced to go into the office to get bills paid on time.
With that being said, making smart investments in innovation to change the way organizations function will prove a definite pay off and help you stay ahead in the competition. This can be achieved by integrating virtual cards, accounts payable automation, digitizing the invoice process and providing complete visibility of the transactions. As always, businesses should evaluate their options when it comes to payments automation, as there are various solution providers. It’s important to find the right partner that aligns with your goals.
2. Move toward a Cloud Based Digitized Workflow
When it comes to payments, one of the biggest, most consistent problems is late payments, and that issue has only gotten worse over the past year. One solution is to move your payments workflow to a cloud based platform. Cloud technology runs on a network of remote servers. High security, automatic systems, faster and flexible cash flow are some of the benefits of cloud computing systems. With the cloud computing system, you can be free from problems like late payments.
3. Take your Payments Automation to the next level with Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
RPA is a program or software tool, often referred to as BOTS, that work with business systems and applications to simplify processes and automate highly repetitive tasks normally performed by employees. BOTS can streamline routine tasks such as data entry, performing these actions faster and far more accurately at a fraction of the cost previously required. This allows employees to perform higher-value work rather than focus on tedious, mundane tasks.
RPA works by accessing information from your existing IT systems. The BOT pulls in relevant data from specific locations to perform the functions without human intervention, such as invoice number, date, amount, or payment type with the ability to add ‘auto-validation’. RPA tools can integrate with your applications, either through connections to databases and enterprise web services in the backend or through front end connections.
If you are looking to set yourself and your business up for long term success, despite any roadblocks that may come in your way, these few resolutions will certainly put you on the right track. AP departments are expanding beyond tactical execution centers, transforming cost centers into profit centers. Be prepared for the next unknown event and automate your payables now.