3 Ways a Finance Partner Can Make AP Payments More Doable in 2021
While paying your suppliers accurately and on time is the cost of doing business, we all know that completing routine tasks can be a challenge.
For many of us, that was an especially big part of our experience in 2020, as COVID-19 reshaped life around the world. In a lot of cases, business as usual was put on hold, even if tasks like paying your suppliers weren't.
Now, in 2021, as people are starting to receive COVID-19 vaccines, there's some light at the end of the tunnel. But one clear lesson from 2020 is that there's value in having a partner to not only support certain tasks but actually do them for you. And paying your supplier invoices is one of those tasks.
Below are three benefits to having a partner with an invoice payment service.
1. A Partner Can Help You Simplify the Payment Process
Businesses have three ways of paying their AP invoices:
- Check payments
- ACH payments
- Credit card payments
Since the steps for each payment type are different, there's no way to streamline the process on your own.
You have to print, sign, and mail paper checks.
ACH payments have to be approved, and then you have to prepare your NACHA files and send them to your bank. Then you have to prep and mail your remittances.
You have to follow a similar process for credit card payments.
The only way to streamline the process is with a partner who can do that work on your behalf. That way, all you have to do is choose what invoices to pay and then reconcile the payment batch.
2. A Partner Can Help You Move More Suppliers from Check Payments to Credit Card Payments
Speaking of payment types, a lot of AP payments are still made with paper checks. But paying with paper checks is time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient.
By yourself, convincing any of your suppliers to accept a new form of payment might be impossible. Your team doesn't have the time, or possibly the right relationships, for that to happen.
But with the right partner, you have access to the resources and relationships needed for campaigning your suppliers. And not just once but on an ongoing basis. Over time, this could result in significant savings, and even substantial rebates, for your company.
3. A Partner Can Help Protect You from Payment Fraud
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports of cybercrime have jumped by as much as 300%. That's a startling number and a reminder that companies need to prioritize the security of their information and their processes, including their AP processes.
The right partner will do more than just pay your invoices for you. They should be able to offer guaranteed fraud protection on all payment types as well.
But don't just assume this will be the case. Before signing on any dotted lines, ask your partner how they will protect you.
Returning to Normal Doesn't Mean Returning to the Status Quo
Until COVID-19 is under control, a return to normal is still on hold. Thankfully, though, that moment is closer now than it was before.
When that happens, companies will have to look at the adjustments they've made and decide what to keep and what to roll back. For instance, more companies are open to remote work now than before the pandemic.
In the same way, more companies may see the value of having a partner who can do things like paying their supplier invoices. Some businesses were hit hard and need to reduce their costs but not their operations. Other companies want to free their employees to work on other projects. In both cases, an invoice payment service can help.