Cloud AP automation supports business continuity in challenging times

  • 15 Apr 2020
  • AP Automation
Cloud AP automation supports business continuity in challenging times Image

Since its inception about twenty years ago, cloud computing has proven its cost benefits, competitive advantages, flexibility, and efficiencies over the old way of running a paper-chase enterprise. Nearly three-quarters of businesses are already using cloud automation in one form or another. The rest are preparing to adopt it. In the cloud, no local computer storage is required. Everyone has access to the data in real-time from their computers or mobile devices, regardless of time and location.   
This becomes particularly important in the face of natural weather events - or, more recently, in light of global disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic. After Hurricane Maria, businesses relying on cloud technology in Puerto Rico used the cloud to continue to move forward despite the disaster conditions around them; likewise, companies following social distancing measures due to the Coronavirus outbreak have been able to take advantage of the cloud to work productively in remote locations. Find out how tools such as cloud-based accounts payable are helping companies weather storms and other crises.  

Weather storms through all four seasons 

Each season brings its hazardous weather conditions, depending on where in the world the business is located. From earthquakes and blizzards to hurricanes and floods, these natural disasters can bring down buildings, destroy data, and displace a corporate staff of hundreds of employees. These losses can put a company out of business or lead to dire financial circumstances, such as bankruptcy. Consider how some Puerto Rican companies benefited from using the cloud during Hurricane Maria. Despite the devastation that decimated the island’s infrastructure and, more importantly, brought about a dire loss of life, there was a glimmer of positivity as both large and small Puerto Rican businesses began to pick up the pieces. Data securely kept in the cloud is available and accessible anytime, so teams could collaborate even if their physical headquarter locations were gone.  

A critical business solution in any disaster  

A more recent example of the potentially crippling effect that natural disasters can have on business is with the recent Coronavirus pandemic. Organizations all over the world have ordered their employees to work from home, in an effort to slow the spread of the illness. Working in the cloud keeps businesses profitable, despite any conditions that threaten to bring down operations. When it comes to the data at the core of a business, innovative applications and software, such as a cloud-based accounts payable system, make it possible to access large amounts of data over a secure online network. 

Always get a competitive edge with flexible collaboration 

The business world moves faster and becomes more competitive every day. A Verizon survey revealed 77 percent of businesses believe cloud technology gives them a competitive edge. Plus, adopting modern technologies helps attract millennial talent to help companies become even more competitive. In addition to attracting new talent, companies operating on cloud-based systems have the advantage over their on-premise competitors when it comes to facing off variables that may arise due to unpredictable factors such as weather, staff changes, policy updates, and more. 

In the financial process, every role - from valued AP team members to the C-suite - plays an important function in keeping the system running smoothly. However, there will always be times when people get sick, travel, or leave the office for an extended period. In more severe circumstances, events like natural disasters and pandemics can often leave the team completely displaced. Fortunately, flexible collaboration is easy with cloud AP automation because data is instantly accessible to anyone with a computer, laptop, mobile device or smartphone. Working together is possible from hundreds of miles away on any device with an Internet connection. For example, with accounts payable automation software, necessary approvals are issued immediately, so AP never has to chase after anyone to make timely payments or take advantage of early payment discounts.  

Cost-effective operations to survive any storm 

Financial storms are inevitable for the most successful organizations, based on many business and market factors as well as updated tax regulations that could have an impact on the bottom line. The key is to be well-prepared and find ways to save money to survive any type of storm - weather-related or not. Cloud-based AP automation helps companies save money by reducing the use of paper and manual tasks associated with old school data processing methods as well as improving accuracy, and providing transparency and predictability into the business core financial data. 

Even if storm or crisis conditions do not directly impact your organization, AP automation can help you immediately identify suppliers in the affected areas as well as pull reports on invoices from critical suppliers and how outstanding liabilities effect current cash flow status. Having access to this data helps companies weather the impact of disasters at home or from afar. 

Swift disaster recovery makes a difference 

Downtime can have dastardly effects on businesses. Any period when an organization is unproductive leads to losses. Control is a significant factor that contributes to a company’s success. Having operations down can mean lost revenue and lead to a negative brand reputation - even if there’s a valid reason, such as a hurricane, pandemic or other uncontrollable event. 

Cloud computing accounts payable makes swift disaster recovery possible, so companies can stay afloat when everything tangible has washed away. Preparing your AP team for cloud automation provides an opportunity for everyone to collaborate and succeed under any circumstances. Even on sunny days, AP automation tackles mundane manual tasks to improve the working conditions and strategic position of everyone in the AP department. 

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