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The COVID-19 Common Denominator

Accounting Efficiency

work from home - the new normal?

Maintaining productivity while working from home

While there are plenty of industries and career paths that just aren’t able to adapt to the notion of working from home–healthcare professionals, manufacturers, and civil servants, to name a few, much of the workforce has a little more pliability. Laptops and tech we can take with us, collaboration solutions like Zoom, Asana, and Slack, and high-speed internet access have given us greater power and the ability to work from just about anywhere. 

But while we have all of access to a lot of technology and tools, we don’t have organizational parity. Some departments can work from home because of these tools while some essential departments still don’t have that ability. 

Your (essential) back office

It’s easier for marketing, product, and other teams to work remotely. The required access is relatively low and easily solved by tools we mentioned earlier. But what about the folks who need a bit more access because of their functions? 

Your payroll team is pretty essential. Their job is rendered difficult if they don’t have access to payroll systems and employee payroll may be delayed or incorrect..  So too are folks in your Human Resources department and those that handle all employee expenses (if they don’t use an expense management solution), and your Accounts Receivables and Accounts Payables folks who may not have access to automation tools but have a critical role in managing an organization’s cash. These are the people that keep the lights on, the staff served, and the ship afloat. 

It stands to reason then, that sending them home without the ability to perform their jobs could be detrimental to your organization. This current lack of flexibility creates a lack of parity amongst employees, so what is your organization to do?

When you consider the flexibility that fintech partners are providing to the market today you can find a solution that enables your back office just like the rest of the organization. Take AP automation, for example (since it’s our forte). You can provide your entire AP team with the functionality they need to perform their jobs from just about anywhere. Access to all of their invoices, the ability to request and obtain approval and authorization, electronic processing of payments, and the entire time having the same level of security as they would from the office. 

Plus there is the added benefit of not having to physically handle the checks; touching the checks, chasing down signatures, stuffing and stamping envelopes. You deliver timely payments to your vendors without relinquishing any control. All of the access, all of the control, all of the security to do your job and manage your supply chain and cash flow.

It’s this level of remote functionality that empowers your staff to continue performing without having to put them at any unnecessary risk or jeopardize your business in any way. 

Working from home (sans coronavirus)

Even if we weren’t facing this novel coronavirus the swelling rise of working from home doesn’t seem to be a trend but rather a new standard practice. Accenture–a leading global professional services company providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations–just released a one-page document outlining how AP & AR departments can work remotely while remaining productive and maintaining “business as usual”. 

Data suggests that employees are happier and job retention is up when an organization offers the ability to work from home. 

  • 40% of people feel the greatest benefit of remote work is the flexible schedule
  • Companies allowing remote work have 25% lower employee turnover than those that don’t
  • 56% of organizations around the world offer some type of work from home/flexible schedule

If more and more businesses embrace flexible schedules and working from home, your back office will have to adapt as well. And having a solution available that allows for remote work while increasing efficiency, boosting security, while allowing for the growth of value-based opportunities and a strong ROI would certainly be seen as a win/win in anyone’s book. 

At the end of the day however, the concept of working from home has to be a two-way street that everyone benefits from. At an organizational level there would be less overhead because your business isn’t physically supporting the same number of employees in a single location. At a departmental level–and circling back to AP–you can support your AP department with a solution that increases efficiency, visibility, and security providing the opportunity for more value-added… as well as a strong ROI for your business’s bottom line. Sounds like a win/win/win to us. 

Stay tuned for our next post which will focus on how a solution like MineralTree can enable a better cash position for your organization. 


Nick Priest


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