Pandemic B2B digital migration is good for the planet too

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Earth Day 2021 takes place on April 22 and is a reminder of the importance of sustainable development efforts. This year, as we enter the second year of operating under pandemic constraints, initiatives such as electronic invoicing and digital payments are embraced by the financial industry, which is one of the most paper-intensive business functions.

These initiatives are better for people and the planet, while supporting the need for post-pandemic resilience and business continuity.

According to Ardent Partners’ State of ePayables 2020 report, the biggest barriers to reducing processing costs and improving AP performance are paper invoices and payments that require manual processing. This includes invoices received by mail, fax, PDF, and attachments, all of which account for 49% of invoices received by the average business today.

The firm goes on to illustrate the environmental impact of paper invoices, claiming that for 1 million invoices, 118 trees must be felled, so for every billion invoices, that’s 118,000 trees! Additionally, for every million invoices, Ardent claims that 36 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint is generated.

The benefits of electronic invoicing and electronic payments go beyond greening PAs; they also unleash new efficiencies. This ‘new normal’ paradigm shift of paperless / contactless AP operations is also aligned with the needs of the socially remote remote workplace.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the remote workforce has grown exponentially and many organizations are choosing to continue working remotely. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the shift to the home-based workforce revealed “weaknesses related to the use of checks and manual approvals, as well as flaws related to the use of tools without tools. important features that deal with the payment process ”, according to recent research from Level.

Using access point automation solutions can reduce the number of steps required to process invoices. With cloud-based automation, data is shared instantly in real time where it can be accessed anytime, anywhere for review and approval by relevant parties. Key data is organized in one place, saving managers the effort and time of searching for documents. Businesses save on shipping costs and reduce access point bottlenecks.

While automation of access points is key to overall process efficiency and cost savings, it should be noted that to underscore the commitment to greener APs, companies should prevent vendors from send paper invoices up front. As a buyer / recipient of invoices, it is essential to have the technology in place to receive invoices electronically (pdf, xml, EDI, etc.) so as not to hamper this overall green value proposition.

As AP services use automation to streamline invoice processing, they continue to face major inefficiencies in payments – the ‘last mile’ of the AP process – as many businesses continue to rely on payments. by expensive and arduous paper checks.

Electronic Payment supports the automation of payment approvals and electronic bill payment using ACH, payment cards, printed checks, and wire transfers. This automation generates more than $ 5 per payment by moving from paper-based payment processes to electronic payments for further cost savings and efficiencies, while mitigating payment risk.

Going green helps create business value today and build a greener future. And the implementation of strategic technologies such as electronic invoicing and electronic payments are playing an important role in this transformation, extending the benefits of PA automation.

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