Governments have put restrictions in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Many activities that people previously took for granted have been upended by these restrictions.
- Shelter-in-place mandates
- Limits on public gatherings
- Distancing in grocery stores
- Contactless delivery
- Face mask requirements
If you are an accounts-payable professional, the biggest impact of COVID-19 restrictions has been on your dining habits. Fifty-one percent of accounts payable professionals surveyed during a virtual town hall meeting organized by the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM) said that eating in a sit-down restaurant is the activity that they miss most during COVID-19 restrictions.
Twenty-four percent of those surveyed during the IOFM virtual town hall meeting identified getting their hair cut by a professional as the activity that they miss the most during COVID-19 restrictions.
Apparently, a bad hair day cannot compensate for a cool background on Zoom!
Going to a concert or other live performance, browsing in a shopping mall and seeing a movie in a theater rounded out the list of the activities that accounts payable professionals are longing for.
While IPS cannot replace the rush of being near the stage at a Rolling Stones concert, and we cannot trim your bangs, we can help you ensure that your suppliers get paid when your staff works remotely.
5 ways cloud-based AP ensures you do not miss invoice due-dates
With a cloud-based accounts payable solution, one thing that accounts payable professionals will not miss during COVID-19 restrictions imposed by state and local governments is invoice due-dates.
Cloud-based accounts payable solutions deliver the flexibility that departments need to pay suppliers on-time, even when employees cannot get into the office because of restrictions or safety concerns.
Here are five of the COVID-19 options facilitated by cloud-based accounts payable solutions:
1. "Curbside pick-up"
At least 217 million people in at least 23 U.S. states, 84 counties, 17 cities and one territory have been urged to stay at home to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the New York Times reports. If your staff cannot get to the office, forward your supplier invoices to a third-party that can provide cloud-based, end-to-end invoice processing, including scanning, intelligent data capture and digital workflow routing. A file with data on approved invoices is uploaded to your ERP. Fast turnaround times and guaranteed data capture accuracy ensure that suppliers are paid the right amount, on time.
2. "Social distancing"
- During the COVID-19 crisis, businesses may not have all the manpower they need for labor-intensive tasks such as data capture and validation, invoice approvals, exceptions resolution and posting. Make the most of your limited staff by emailing or scanning your invoices to a secure cloud, and a third-party will handle the rest.
- If your staff is unable to get to the office, direct your suppliers to send their invoices as PDF e-mail attachments and a third-party can process them, based on your business rules. A cloud-based accounts payable solution eliminates the need to print or manually key PDF invoices, and the digital workflows provided by a cloud-based solution are more transparent, reliable and controllable than e-mail-based approval processes.
- Work-from-home mandates have disrupted the paper-based approval workflows that many organizations rely upon. Keep your approvals moving by centralizing your invoices to a secure cloud solution that can facilitate digital and mobile approval with your purchasers, wherever they are located, based on your business rules.
5. "Contactless payments"
- Pay your suppliers on time – even if you cannot get into the office to cut checks – and earn cash-back rebates on spend made with a card. Simply upload an approved invoice file to a secure cloud and a third-party can pay suppliers via virtual card.
Slowing the spread of COVID-19 means that people will have to miss out on some things, including meals in sit-down restaurants, professional haircuts, rock concerts and window shopping in malls.
But cloud-based accounts payable solutions ensure that invoice due-dates will not be one of them.