AP Staff Working From Home
One of the greatest shifts in working dynamics is marked by the more relaxed work-from-home policies made inevitable for businesses of all sizes. Many members of AP staff within accounting departments have started working from home.
Covid-19 has called for a social-distancing plan that has locked out the traditional modes of order fulfillment, invoicing, cash flow, response to POs, and collaboration between buyers and sellers.
The homebound AP staff is in dire need of a digital way to sustain connection with suppliers, maintain an uninterrupted supply chain and cash flow.
Businesses that are now facing difficulty in ensuring this fundamental flow, for the most part, have been slow in internalizing updated and digitized modes of invoicing.
The Benefits Of Paperless Invoices
When conventional modes seem to be leaving social interactions behind, going paperless might be your best option.
Regardless of whether you are a large or small scale company, several invoicing software options for freelancers and growing industries have surfaced that cater to supply chain invoicing and payment.
Here are the benefits of going paperless:
- Paperless invoicing leverages digital networks to create a value-based system of onboarding suppliers that simultaneously cuts-back on the amount needed to expend on traditional invoicing initiatives
- One of the most tangible benefits for both buyers and suppliers is tracking invoices in real-time, combined with a system that allows making and receiving payments possible via the same software. This saves both buyers and suppliers significant capital otherwise needed to exhaust on external sources
- Software solutions provide sellers with mobile-friendly, cloud-based platforms that, upon activation, lend valuable insights into buyer-supplier relationships, on-the-go payables that need financing, and real-time transaction statistics
- E-invoicing is extremely time-efficient making it compatible with today’s need to set-up quick networking for easy cash flow and uninterrupted business
Four Challenges For AP Teams
AP staff confined to a working-from-home mode of productivity have at least four basic issues that need to be immediately addressed.
- Equipping Staff At Home - The greatest challenge in working from home is the non-availability of equipment, internet, and other resources that make up the setting responsible for an uninterrupted flow of work. In addition to worktools themselves, accounting staff are also having to reinvent thor communication methods within the teams
- Establishing A New Workflow - When shifting entire business operations to one’s home, there is a new need to establish an adjusted workflow. This is due to people being surrounded by family members, customers’ shifted needs, and more. The sooner a new and agile workflow is adopted, and the staff trained in this regard, the better it is for a business’ survival and growth
- Setting Internal Controls - This refers to emergency procedures an organization adopts to guarantee cumulative success in the long run. Creating a controlled environment, assessing all associated risks in making great internal transitions, successfully communicating and implementing control measures, and strictly monitoring workflow will ensure a higher success rate in this uncertain environment
- Tackling Fraud - As with any unprecedented period of transition, fraudulent practices and similar risks climb to an all-time high. Every crisis is an opportunity, and this is extremely true in the eyes of fraudsters. This risk is exacerbated for the sensitive and crucial accounting department that manages a company’s funds. Setting up strong internal controls is one way to tackle any risk of fraud. Also, accounting segregation, widespread and unhindered communication amongst employees, scrutinizing and auditing accounts, and training employees to reduce risks of fraud all contribute to these efforts
During this time, substituting conventional and traditional modes of conducting businesses with digitized networks that require going paperless may be your best option.
For small businesses and large enterprises, specifically in the Middle East and Africa, have still a long way to go before they can successfully internalize digital technology for their benefit, but research has shown that the sooner the transition occurs, the better.