4 AP Processing Lessons Learned Throughout The Pandemic

It’s no secret that 2020 forced most businesses into a mad scramble as they struggled to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.

Unless you already had a flexible automation solution in place, it could be fair to say that your existing accounts payable (AP) processes underwent a transition, along with other functions.

But despite the ups and downs, we’ve absorbed some lessons and found opportunities to elevate.

We’re not entirely out of the woods yet, but looking towards a post-pandemic future, here are four takeaways from the previous year.

Cloud is pivotal, while on-premise AP processing is a business continuity liability

As more and more local governments issued stay-at-home mandates to curb the spread of COVID-19, working from home became a requirement. With NetSuite integration, which is solely cloud-based, many teams could adjust quickly to remote work.

But AP teams that had previously relied on manual bill processing, including moving bills from desk to desk and waiting on physical signatures, were in a bind. Without an approval automating solution, a company’s vendor payment can fall behind, causing huge operational issues on top of work adjustment.

And during a major shift in business operations, you can’t afford to have manual payment processes throw a wrench in your company’s engine.

Process flexibility is crucial in a time of uncertainty

Pivoting was no longer a choice during the pandemic. It was a requirement to survive.

As we mentioned above, manual AP processes such as physical signatures for bill approvals cause massive delays when your teams are out of the office.

But the flexibility of a solution that can be easily and remotely updated based on new regulation or adaptation to financial controls and processes, can keep your business engine running without interruption. Plus, it’ll avoid putting your team in a physically vulnerable position by sending them back into a space with increased health risk.

We haven’t passed through the pandemic completely, and we don’t know if there could be another WFH-required lockdown. But business stalls and company liability can be avoided with a flexible solution.

AP automation solutions that integrate with NetSuite are critical

Apart from flexibility, one of the biggest advantages to a NetSuite-integrated AP automated solution during a time of uncertainty is seamless connectivity to all the information your team needs.

For instance, DocuPeak—Webiplex’s data extraction and processing solution—helps teams access critical information easily and instantly without forcing team members to jump through multiple application GUI hoops. This was especially evident as our clients hired or onboarded teams during the pandemic. Because Webiplex’s solution has a tight integration, onboarded teams only need to train on a single user interface.

DocuPeak also has an added bonus: document-based activity tracking that keeps you up to date on changes. So even when your team is working from home, you can see what actions are taken on company documents.

AP automation creates a more accurate picture of your company’s current status

Because of smart, integrated AP process automation, many companies could paddle over the waves of business interruption.

But despite necessity, now is the time to elevate your AP process automation solution.

For instance, DocuPeak’s Smart Document Recognition technology can pull information from AP bills and other financial documents seamlessly because of its AI capabilities. Smooth, fast data capture and organization can give you a clearer picture of your company at large and, ultimately, the answers you need to make well-informed decisions.

Opt for a future of stability, no matter what happens

No one anticipated the global effects of the pandemic, nor the continued impact on businesses, companies, organizations, and individuals.

But no matter the situation, AP processing is one of the most essential functions for your business. If it’s stalled because of your current system or software, then it’s time for an upgrade to a smarter solution.

At Webiplex, we plan to use the previous year as a case study to navigate a path forward and support our businesses as we take on the future together. 

A flexible AP processing solution for NetSuite takes the stress out of adapting to new situations. DocuPeak, Webiplex’s accounts payable solution, provides AP process management right out of the box. It also has a range of advanced features such as Smart Document Recognition.

Streamline your business processes by connecting with us today.

It’s really easy now for employees to create their expense reports. From the app or their computer, they just select the expense lines they want to include on the report and submit it. It then starts routing automatically through the approval process we’ve set up.

— Joe Crupper, CPA, Director of General and Trust Accounting at Free Methodist Foundation

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