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Keep Invoice Processing Running at Speed During the Slow Summertime

Discover how to improve the AP process and keep invoice processing on track during the slow summertime period through the smart use of AP automation solutions.

For many people, summer means the living is easy. But for the finance team, the AP process remains the same as vendors must be paid on time or early to take advantage of possible discounts. Running at speed can be a challenge with key stakeholders, employees, and team members leaving for summer vacation and escaping for long days at the beach. Discover how to keep invoice processing on track during the slow summertime period using smart automation and the ability to work remotely.

The Benefits of Working in Real-Time

The laid-back pace of summer starkly contrasts with the fast pace of technology and payments, two progressive worlds that forge forward without taking breaks. The rapid evolution in both areas over the past decade has changed manual processes, such as the traditional AP process, with cutting-edge options that include cloud AP automation solutions. 

Working in the cloud means financial data is processed and accessible in real-time from any device and location with an Internet connection. Potential disruptions such as storms, vacations, and sick leave no longer have the same impact on operations. These days companies enjoy the benefits of sending and receiving payments in real-time, along with real-time system updates, so the C-suite always knows where to find the money. The C-suite and AP team can reap the advantages of collaborating in real-time from any location as a result of implementing cloud AP automation.

Take the Pressure Off Before Summer Vacations 

The typical pressures faced by the AP team include maintaining an accurate vendor database, scheduling timely payments, finding opportunities to save money, and surviving periodic audits. AP automation keeps invoice processing running at speed, even during the busiest times of the year. And during summer slowdown, stress can also mount as key team members leave for vacation - and a few people remain behind to tackle all the usual work. Fortunately, urgent needs are easily handled with a couple of clicks to address urgent approvals or deviation management. Employees can take care of these tasks quickly, so they can get back to enjoying their time off without jeopardizing the overall business. 

With cloud AP solutions, people can take a day off and work for a few minutes from their homes or hotels without compromising the entire day. Invoice approvals are faster, and nobody has to wait for people to come back in two weeks. Operations move forward because automation tackles the routine tasks and brings people together anytime and anywhere for collaborative projects. 

Use the Slow Summertime to Catch Up and De-Stress 

Accountants and other financial professionals face mounting stress year-round and need to take time off to rejuvenate and refocus. Taking a break for a summer vacation is a necessity to remain productive and refreshed. Financial professionals can de-stress by harnessing the power of technology to stay on track - even when people are away. Maintaining mindful working conditions benefits both businesses and employees by having a solution in-place when people need vacation time. And savvy AP professionals use the slow summertime pace to catch up on other tasks Steps to take include: 

  • Set up temporary delegations for invoice approvals to ensure no invoices get missed and that the approval cycle does not slow down;
  • Implement a new automated AP process, update the vendor databases, and search for money-saving opportunities such as early payment discounts - catching up in the summer can mean spending less time on the annual audit once the holiday season arrives;
  • Schedule brief training sessions for employees to discover features to help them through this period, such as processing approvals on a mobile device; and
  • Keep in mind that summertime is a prime season for fraudsters trying to take advantage of key employees’ absence, so establish and enforce a 4-eye principle to prevent AP fraud.

Discover the Productivity of Working Remotely

A cloud AP process encourages people to work remotely, whether they are away for business or pleasure. Invoice processing moves forward on-schedule when key players can access updates in real-time to provide approvals in just seconds - from any device or location. The adoption of AP automation supports remote workers, a growing trend for progressive companies in the future who want to attract the best talent. Research reveals 80 percent of employees view telework as a job perk, two-thirds of people would like to work from home, and more than one-third would choose this arrangement over a pay raise. Plus, millennials and Gen Y’ers are attracted to flexible working arrangements and would prefer a job that offered a remote work option. 

Companies save on overhead by hiring remote employees who maintain home offices and equipment outside the office. And businesses are also discovering remote workers are often more productive than in-house employees. A total of 95 percent of employers found telework has a tremendous impact on employee retention and nearly half the companies that allow telework discovered it reduces attrition. Employees appreciate spending less time commuting and away from home, to achieve a better work-life balance - and as a result, are more productive and enthusiastic.  Companies may decide to take the remote work approach beyond the lazy days of summer and into the rest of the year to realize ongoing benefits for everyone. And AP automation makes invoice processing possible regardless of the employees’ location.

During the summer, training sessions can be scheduled to teach the team how to use AP automation solutions efficiently. For companies that have not yet adopted automation, it’s the perfect time to explore the options and make a choice. Do it before getting left behind, as companies around the globe adopt a touchless invoice processing system. Smart delegation, automation, and training are essential ways to keep invoice processing on-target during the slow summertime. Companies using an automated AP process survive the summer vacation time of year with minimal - or no - disruptions, lapses, and stress. 

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