As much as humans would like to be able to predict and control the world around them, there are some crises that, unfortunately, we cannot. All we can do is make sure we are prepared. Wildfires rage, hurricanes make landfall, earthquakes rock the literal foundation of your company, and global pandemics cause life altering routines and financial uncertainty. Staying calm and continuing to keep your employees and business safe is all you can do in the short term.
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In the long term, you need to prepare for the next crisis by identifying where automation could help ensure continuity. Accounts Payable is one of those areas. You will be able to provide stability for financial growth for your company if those processes are automated and your data is stored in the cloud versus on paper. The AP automation you invest in today will eliminate dependencies and allow your company to be more resilient in the future.
What are some of the key benefits of AP automation in the face of disasters and global crises?
- Your staff can work from anywhere in the world, or work from home for extended periods of time, and still have access to critical documents. The cloud makes physical location unimportant, allowing entire offices to evacuate to safety, in case of emergency.
- The cloud keeps all your sensitive documents safe, accessible only to those with the right credentials. Documents can be kept for the number of years required as determined by your team without taking up any extra physical space. And these archived documents are easily retrievable from the cloud.
- Automation makes your business less dependent on your employees being there physically to process paperwork, and it can help eliminate costly human errors. One example, manual processing can lead to missed payments, lost invoices, overpayments, and even fraud.
- A lack of visibility into your financials can keep businesses from accurately planning for the future and also prevent companies from easily tracking their outgoing payments. In their 2019 Payables Insight Report, Levvel Research found that 40 percent of companies said AP automation led to improved oversight of their outstanding invoices.
- Automation makes your business more resilient when it’s time to move forward after a crisis. Your automated systems can keep running even when your workforce needs more time to recover.
- Your resiliency also depends upon the financial health of your business, and AP automation saves you money by reducing the amount of lost or late invoices and streamlines workflow so you can identify strengths and weaknesses. When your business is on solid financial ground, you are more likely to be able to withstand the next bump in the road.
Take steps now to prepare for the inevitable challenges your business will face in the future. As best-selling author and global innovation expert Brian Solis recently wrote, “Businesses that prioritize more than business continuity and take this time to invest in business resilience will excel now and stand stronger in the face of future disruptions.”