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Disruptive Times Require Resilient AP

Resilience, or the ability to survive the unexpected, has by far been one of the most useful qualities in nearly every aspect of life in 2020. 

Business processes are no exception, and many midmarket companies quickly found traditionally manual critical functions like AP anything but resilient in the face of a global pandemic.

Most midmarket companies found a way to survive the uncertainty of the early months of the COVID-19 crisis, but not without a significant amount of pain and effort. Navigating the unexpected became a full-time job on top of the full-time jobs that AP professionals already had.

The Struggles to Maintain AP

As the pandemic set in, everyone switched to remote work, figuring out new ways to do old tasks. But what assurances were there that things were being done correctly? Opportunities for errors and delays exist at every step of the traditional AP cycle:

  1. Collecting invoices to capture billing information: Whose job was it to go to the office and check the mail, and were they doing it often enough?
  2. Approving bills: Whose job was it to circulate bills to the people who need to approve them, and how were they getting bills to approvers and back to the finance team?
  3. Paying the bills: Who was getting signatures on checks and mailing them out?
  4. Entering bill, approval, and payment details in the company’s accounting system: Who confirmed it was accurate?
  5. Reconciling payments with bank statements: Who was doing this and what process did they use?

The potential for missteps when you combine manual AP and a remote workforce have been further compounded by our decreased ability to rely on the mail. 

COVID-19 has caused countless post office delays, and the postal system continues to face uncertainty today, making it nearly impossible to know that you’re receiving your invoices or your vendors are getting their checks on time. A resilient, automated AP system like Bill.com, in contrast, functions even if there is no mail by helping organizations digitize invoice capture and bill payments.

AP departments managed to muddle through, but great improvements in resiliency are necessary if midmarket companies want their AP function to thrive in the future.

Navigating the Next Normal

Even as you’ve managed to cobble together an AP system to survive the last few months, chances are your creative solutions are not sustainable. Things will continue to be uncertain for the foreseeable future. As that happens, your AP system needs to be able to function smoothly, without all the pains experienced to date.

AP from Bill.com is a resilient system that can help you survive the unexpected. It’s time to abandon reliance on paper invoices, in-person approvals, and mailing paper checks. Your AP system needs to be streamlined and automated so that it will work seamlessly in any scenario, whether people return to the office or we find ourselves in another extended work-from-home stretch.

Bill.com offers the resiliency to adapt to whatever the next normal may bring. Your time shouldn’t be focused on finding creative solutions to make AP happen. With Bill.com you can seamlessly process and pay invoices, regardless of what the future throws at you next.

 

October 28, 2020
Mark Gervase
Director, Product Marketing, Bill.com
Mark works with accountants and finance professionals to achieve efficiency and intelligence through automation. He is a former CPA with experience in public accounting and corporate finance and has a background in helping companies use financial technology. Mark holds an MBA and BA in Economics from the University of California Berkeley.