There are as many ways to consider solving a problem as there are leaves in a tree at the height of spring. Finding a solution that will work can be like trying to spot the greenest leaf in a sea of them.
The problem to consider today is simple: why have so many American businesses fallen behind the times when it comes to B2B payments?
B2C payments haven’t used checks in decades. There are finance professionals working today who have never used a personal check to purchase a product from a business or store. And yet, B2B payments continue to be predominantly processed via paper checks and have failed to move on to no touch payments and automated payment processes.
As today’s working environment continues to evolve and trend towards increased home working — it’s imperative that you consider advancing your accounts payable (AP) department to a payment method that can be done remotely and safely.
The True Tediousness of Paper Checks
Wondering why businesses continue to use paper checks?
Want to know what the cost of doing so is?
Our COO, Julie Negrete-Anderson, discussed this topic in a recent interview. The main reason checks have stuck around as long as they have is that they’re familiar, easy, and well-understood.
To pay by check, the only things you need are a name and an address.
The comfortability of checks is costing the average American business hundreds of billions of dollars per year, according to PYMNTS.com.
Paper checks have a cost in more than just dollar amounts, they also eat into your AP team’s valuable time. Don't be one of the companies that still uses checks, and make sure your payments are more efficient, safe, and cost-effective.
Are You Ready to Declare War on Paper?
While American businesses have dragged their feet on switching away from paper checks for B2B payments, businesses in other countries have done the opposite.
For example, the United Kingdom has been experiencing a modernization trend that has led them to adopting no touch payments at a high rate. It is estimated to set the trend in this area and to reach the value of $1.2 billion by 2025.
Efficiency is the name of the game for businesses at large and for the professionals that keep the wheels spinning. “Work smarter, not harder,” is a phrase you’ll hear bandied about in any office setting.
This is as true for payment processing as it is for any other area.
Paper checks and manual processes are among the most draining aspects of any AP department. Removing these wasteful activities and replacing them with no touch payments will not only make your AP team’s life easier — it’ll enable remote approval and allow you to be prepared if a Black Swan event occurs again in the future and forces the workforce back to sheltering in their homes.
The Most Important Step into the Future
The world has changed.
Flexible work options are here to stay.
2020’s Black Swan Event, COVID-19, has had many effects on our way of life and businesses have not been spared. If you ask Harvard, it’s likely to have ripples and continue to cause periodic shutdowns between now and 2022.
Regardless of whether that comes to pass, it will still have a lingering impact on how we work going forward. Microsoft is reporting a dramatic increase in virtual meetings, the new daily record is at 2.7 billion. A 200% increase compared to the previous high of 900 million in March 2020.
Professionals with access to flexible workspaces and the option to work remotely used to be the minority. But as both the workforce and businesses get a taste of working from home — it’s increasingly likely to stick around and become widespread.
According to Forbes, the average American business spends upwards of $12,000 per employee per year for office space. This number could be reduced, if not outright eliminated, by having employees continue working from home.
On top of that, the majority of people who have shifted to remote work have professed a desire to continue doing so, at least part of the time.
Technology and companies are advancing quickly to combat the challenges of working from home. They’re doing everything up to and including:
- Making It Easier to Collaborate Through Virtual Platforms
- Holding Virtual Working Lunches to Fight Loneliness
- Investing in Automated Processes With Remote Approval
Facing the new reality of a workforce that wants to work remotely, costs that could be reduced by allowing it, and the necessity of being prepared for potential future shutdowns — it’s no wonder the search rate for no touch and remote payments has spiked.
No one knows what the future holds, ensure you’re prepared and ahead of your competitors by being one of the first to convert to no touch payments.
We’ve helped our clients build plans for business continuity and switch to no touch payments that they can handle remotely. Now is the ideal time to put a plan in place to do just that.
Keep your current processes — including your ERP or Accounting System — and digitize payments and invoices at no capital expense. The process is easier and quicker than ever before. Protect your business from future shutdowns with fully automated approval processes and customized workflows!
Looking for more information? Check out these related articles:
- 5 Conference Alternatives for Remote Finance & AP Professionals
- How Invoice Automation Enables Remote Approval
- 5 Best AP Articles to Read While Working Remote
- 3 Big Changes in B2B Payments After COVID-19
- 5 Reasons Your Company Should Issue A/P Payments with Virtual Credit Cards