Recently, Kyle Muskoff of BuyerQuest and Eric Riddle of Corporate Spending Innovations engaged in a lively discussion on the Finsider Podcast regarding the impacts of the recent pandemic on supplier payments, the broader accounts payable process, and the need for automation. The wide ranging conversation explored the struggles of accounts payable personnel forced to operate virtually, the acceleration of corporate initiatives to transition to virtual payments, and the role technology plays.
The Current Workflow Requires Manual, In-Person Intervention
The flaws in the current payments process became apparent as businesses transitioned to remote operations. For the accounts payable, the traditional payments process of routing an invoice for approval, having approvals and checks signed for distribution to a supplier forced the team to make regular visits to the office that could have been avoided.
According to Eric, in the US, 65% of suppliers receive payment by check. The receivables person must go to the office, pick up the checks, process them, and deposit them. Like their AP counterparts, they were forced to make trips to the office to keep the business operating.
Businesses have been slowly transitioning to automated accounts payable, but the recent issues of a geographically dispersed team and the necessity of working from home have prioritized the need for digital transformation.
Trends in AP Automation
Looking to 2021 and beyond, the drive to automate accounts payable reveals multiple benefits in trending areas such as the following:
- Efficiency Gains -- with manual processes automated, resources can be reapplied to be more effective in other, higher-value areas of the business.
- Monetization of Accounts Payable -- businesses can automate and direct payments in a format that allows monetization.
- Reduction of Fraud -- with automation comes the elimination of paper-based checks.
Companies are Struggling to Make the Transition
Organizations that have not implemented a digital payments process are beginning to understand the value of integrated payments. As businesses understand the quantifiable benefits associated with automating the process, they will look to technologies and processes to drive their digitization strategy.
AP organizations that rely on manual processes, such as Excel spreadsheets and paper checks, are often overwhelmed at the idea of implementing a completely digital process. There can be concerns with the complexities of a full-scale AP automation project’s cost, resource requirements, and time-to-value. Breaking the project into smaller areas and addressing them in smaller components can achieve “quick wins” that validate the project.
“Payments is the last mile of the P2P Process” - Eric Riddle
BuyerQuest Pay and the Payments Process
BuyerQuest Pay extends the existing BuyerQuest P2P platform. By connecting AP invoice automation and payments, the technology creates a frictionless payment experience for direct and indirect orders through a single system.
BuyerQuest automates the invoice to payment process, allowing multiple invoice creation methods, PO, and receipt matching, approvals workflows and invoice payment through BuyerQuest Pay. All remittance tracking and auditing information reside in BuyerQuest.
“Let the technology do the heavy lifting” - Kyle Muskoff
Learn more about BuyerQuest Pay
Now is the Time To Digitize Payments
The discussion between Eric and Kyle revealed opportunities and benefits for businesses searching for solutions to their manual, resource-intensive payments process as well as practical methods to begin the journey to automating supplier payments.