The coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns imposed to control it proved just how limiting and inflexible the traditional office setup can be. As the world faces a new normal, one in which workers aren’t tied down to their office desks, you must invest in technologies that let your staff be productive wherever they may be. One of these is accounts payable (AP) automation.
What is AP automation?
An AP automation solution like PaperSave is a technology that streamlines your accounts payable process. It accomplishes this by eliminating simple and repetitive manual tasks, such as data entry, resulting in faster turnaround times and increased record accuracy.
AP automation also gives you complete visibility over your data. It displays relevant transactions and financial information, such as purchases and payables, in real time and through an easy-to-use interface. With this much transparency, you are empowered to make informed decisions that will positively impact your business.
How does AP automation support a mobile workforce?
Integrating AP automation into your operations will reduce your dependence on paper and paper-centric processes. This is crucial to remote working. With a paperless AP process, your team can:
#1. Accept and process invoices anywhere
Paper invoices are usually delivered from your vendor via mail or courier. Delivery can take hours and requires that someone at the office physically pick up the mailed document. But if an event like stay-at-home orders were to prevent anyone from your team from getting your mail, you could face serious delays in your AP process.
With AP automation, you don’t have to be at the office to see your AP process through. The technology uses electronic invoices (e-invoices) instead of paper invoices. These digital files can be attached to emails and delivered straight to the intended recipients within seconds, at practically no cost.
Another issue with paper invoices has to do with recordkeeping. Data from conventional invoices are usually manually encoded into your system. This process isn’t just time-consuming, but it’s also prone to human error.
AP automation does away with manual data entry by allowing you to capture data straight from the invoice. PaperSave, for example, lets you extract data from invoices attached to your vendors’ emails.
If you have the PaperSave app installed on your mobile device, you can also take a photo of your invoice and capture its data using the camera on your smartphone or tablet. PaperSave’s optical character recognition technology converts the data into electronic files that are then automatically sorted and stored in your system.
#2. Approve invoices on the go
In a traditional paper-centric AP workflow, the unexpected absence of the approver can lead to delays in payment processing. A fax machine can remedy this problem, but only if the approver has a fax machine at home, in their car, or wherever they may be.
With AP automation, approvers can receive and approve invoices using their smartphone, which they’re likely to have with them at all times. All they need is the mobile app installed on their smartphone or tablet and an internet connection.
#3. Retrieve important documents easily
If your invoices, receipts, and other financial documents are stored in paper filing cabinets in your office, there is no way for you to retrieve them if you’re confined to working from home. AP automation solves this issue by storing your files in off-site cloud servers, which you can access through the internet as long as you have the right login credentials.
#4. Ensure the security of your financial data
Many people hesitate to go through their payables outside the office for fear of having sensitive business data stolen. After all, you’ve likely invested in more cybersecurity measures for your office network than you have for your home network.
AP automation allays this fear by implementing several cybersecurity measures to protect your data, even if you were to access it at home. One of these is the cloud, which, as mentioned previously, can only be accessed using specific credentials. Moreover, all data stored in the cloud is encrypted to make them unreadable and useless to malicious third parties.
Do note, however, that while these measures are effective, they are not perfect. To add layers of protection for your data, use reliable security tools and observe cybersecurity best practices at all times.
PaperSave provides modern document management solutions that empower businesses to grow by boosting their speed and efficiency. Discover how our solutions can help your organization adapt to modern challenges by scheduling a free personalized demo today!