AP best practices in a work from home (WFH) world

  • 22 Nov 2021
  • AP Automation
AP best practices in a work from home (WFH) world Image

A new normal changed the way people work and live after many worked from home for over a year. World events proved the need always to support remote workers during business interruptions to remain productive. Additionally, now top talent often prefers flexible career opportunities with the option to work remotely. But how can organizations maintain AP best practices when team members work from home?

Cloud automation provides a superior level of flexibility and security to support remote work. In addition, real-time updates mean transparency of financial data, which helps prevent fraud and errors. Discover how implementing accounts payable software supports AP practices as an increasing number of people work from home.

Why should companies support work-from-home employees?

After the new normal, a recent survey revealed 70 percent of US employers intend to choose hybrid work, with a combination of time spent working in-office and at home. In addition, many companies quickly discovered the advantages of remote work during business interruptions, encouraging management to offer greater flexibility now and in the future. Benefits include reduced overhead for in-person facilities and fewer illnesses and absences among workers. Plus, with cloud automation, companies are prepared to continue operations during business interruptions to reduce potential losses seamlessly.

Also, remote work attracts and retains top talent as most workers now prefer remote work or a hybrid and flexibility. Current statistics indicate 97 percent of American workers want some form of remote work opportunity. Additionally, some are willing to take a pay cut to work remotely, adding more savings for companies that adapt by adopting cloud automation that supports remote workers from any location. With the ability to integrate and customize accounts payable software to create a standardized workflow for any organization, team members can work securely anywhere.

What are AP best practices after the new normal?

Common issues faced by the AP department include time-consuming manual data entry with inefficient processes, lost or missing invoices, manual routing for approval, and paper invoices that slow down payments and fail to support remote work. Without the efficiency of automation, there are lost opportunities for saving for early payments as the team struggles to keep up with manual workflows in a business world fueled by technology.

Working in the cloud offers many benefits for companies and remote workers. Organizations realize a measurable ROI with increased productivity, faster vendor onboarding, and always build a more diverse supplier base to get the best possible terms. These advantages are significant during worldwide crises and business interruptions to remain productive and profitable by having access to financial data in real-time to make crucial decisions that matter in the days ahead. 

AP best practices should focus on using out of the box processes rather than creating your custom workflows to determine:

  • how invoices arrive at the company
  • ways data is captured and coded
  • how an invoice is sent for review, verified, and approved
  • how final authorization is issued, and
  • the way the invoice is sent to the payment system

Also, include the people involved in the processes and how they communicate and share documents. Finally, consider the verification process and documents used, such as purchase orders, to verify and match invoices. Look for areas that can be streamlined through the intelligent use of cloud automation. 

Concerns to keep in mind in a modern business world 

The new normal taught everyone the importance of agility and flexibility in the modern business world. Supporting remote workers with cloud automation means gaining the ability to remain active during external interruptions. Additionally, companies attract young talent by integrating the technology and remote work opportunities preferred by these generations.

Cyber fraud continues to be a significant concern, and robust automated systems address these concerns, such as:

  • Fake suppliers
  • Duplicate and multiple entries that result in duplicate payments
  • Acquisition and CFO fraud
  • Check fraud
  • Inside theft
  • A CEO who abuses authority

Plus, advantages such as automatic updates ensure the system is always functioning optimally to align with current AP best practices.

In a constantly evolving international marketplace, cloud automation supports AP best practices and team members who work from home. From staying productive during business interruptions to supporting remote workers, companies without automation will be left behind.

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