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Life is unpredictable, so it’s important to develop business continuity plans to ensure your real estate management company can maintain mission-critical functions amid any scenario. Continuing to pay the bills is near the top of that list, but it can be challenging for companies relying on manual, paper-based accounts payable (AP) processes if an emergency disrupts the timing or location of employee accessibility. Fortunately, AP automation can help keep a business moving by ensuring its AP department can continue to approve invoices and make payments securely and efficiently at any time, from any location.

Here are six ways AP automation could bolster your real estate company’s business continuity plans.

  1. AP automation provides a central hub for all your payment-related files
    Activating your business continuity plan likely means that you can’t be in the office, sifting through file cabinets. You’ll want to be able to quickly access any payment-related file with the click of a button. AP automation provides a cloud-based, central repository, so you don’t have to rely on those file cabinets. And because it’s in the cloud, anyone can access it from anywhere.
  2. Anytime, anywhere access to view and approve invoices
    In the real estate industry, most invoices come in at the remote property level and require someone sending them to the corporate office — via email or snail mail — before processing can even begin. And the level of difficulty multiplies if you’re not in the office. With AP automation, you don’t have to be in a specific place to approve invoices and make payments. All you need is internet access, and you can view and approve from your phone or laptop.
  3. You can create customized, automated workflows
    AP automation allows you to create custom workflows with both rules and restrictions. These eliminate the hassle of constantly reaching out to different individuals for approvals every month and provide you with control and visibility over the process. And in case someone is out of the office or unable to work, your AP team can reroute approvals, so business continues as usual. As an added benefit, all historical actions and comments are recorded, so the new approver can step in without missing a beat or a detail.
  4. Sophisticated reports are just a few clicks away
    In a manual process, the AP department spends a lot of time pulling piles of paper out of file cabinets to get an overall picture of the company’s finances. Fortunately, AP automation simplifies the process by providing comprehensive search and reporting tools. This can make it quicker and easier to gain data for strategic business decisions when you’re under pressure and don’t have access to usual resources.
  5. Electronic payments provide easy paper check alternatives
    If you’re still leveraging paper checks as a payment form, you may run into trouble during times of crisis. However, with solutions that provide e-payment options, you can continue paying suppliers even in times when person-to-person delivery of physical checks isn’t feasible. 
  6. Service teams can help improve your supplier relationships
    The best automation solutions combine dedicated service teams along with software to take on the tedious tasks of keeping up with supplier payment preferences. You’ll have a trusted AP ally who will continue to maintain contact with your suppliers to see how, if at all, their acceptance conditions are evolving, making sure they are receiving your payments and processing them.

AvidXchange is the industry leader in automating invoice and payment processes for mid-market businesses. Founded in the year 2000, AvidXchange is distinguished as a global FinTech unicorn and one of the fastest growing technology companies in the U.S.

This document is designed to provide general information only and is not comprehensive nor is it tax or legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the service of a competent professional should be sought. KeyBank does not make any warranties regarding the results obtained from the use of this information. Key.com is a federally registered service mark of KeyCorp. KeyBank is Member FDIC.