How to Implement a Remote Accounts Payable Workflow, Step-by-Step

Help Your Staff Manage Documents While Working from Home

If there’s anything we’ve learned over the last year it’s that Accounting departments need an automated workflow solution that allows them to work from anywhere – efficiently, accurately, and without interruption. You may be feeling overwhelmed by your current accounting process. Maybe your team is struggling to maintain the same level of accuracy and efficiency you once enjoyed. Accounts Payable processes, like invoice approvals, typically involve a physical signature before the invoice can be paid. When everyone is working remotely, getting those signatures can be challenging. If your processes are manual, you may be printing invoices, signing them, then scanning them back in and emailing them to the next person in the workflow for payment.

An AP document workflow software can make it 60% easier to find extracted data and immediately automate at least 45% of your current workload. Talk about immediate ROI!

AP departments manage everything from check requests and invoices to accounts receivables — and even though digital transformation is increasing among organizations that have typically operated in a paper-heavy environment, the majority of Accounting departments still process invoices manually and rely heavily on hard copy records. The benefits of digital transformation are abundant, but for now we’ll focus on how an automated workflow solution can increase your accounting departments efficiency by over 30%, minimize errors, and save you money.

1. Create a remote document management workflow for your accounting team by first analyzing your current Accounts Payable workflow.

  • How do invoices typically arrive to you? (Mail, email, systemized?)
  • How is the data captured from the invoice?
  • Does the invoice get sent for approval or verified?
  • How do invoices get approved and how many approvals are required?
  • How does the invoice connect with your payment system / how is the invoice resolved?
  • Is document scanning involved?

 2. Review which team members are involved in each step of the approval process, how they currently share and manage documents, and if there are workers outside of the AP department.

  • How are documents currently shared among departments?
  • How many staff members are involved in the invoice approval and verification process?
  • Are invoices compared to purchase order or verified by people outside of the AP department?

The goal with these first two steps is to get a sense of current processes and determine how much time it’s taking, where there are bottlenecks, and where there is room for improvement and automation. 

3. Implement an Automated AP Software

Once you’ve identified the areas that can be streamlined, you’re ready to implement an automated AP workflow software. A cloud-based platform will allow you to scan documents directly into the system and begin creating a customized workflow that includes tasks for each worker, document routing for approvals, verification, and a complete audit trail. The best part is – your team can implement this software remotely and empower workers with the tools they need to successfully manage Accounts Payable responsibilities.

With an AP workflow software, remote workers will be able to communicate and collaborate easily with those in the office.

  • Integrate with ERP systems to standardize AP practices across locations
  • Quickly onboard and manage new vendor relationships
  • Automate and track PO and payment processes based on pre-defined criteria
  •  Enable employees to complete reviews and other document tasks at any time of day and in any place.  
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