7 innovative features to help you manage AP from anywhere
Imagine you’re going off on a new adventure. You’ll most likely focus on its exciting aspects and push aside the everyday routine activities it entails. Ahead of a trip, for example, you’ll probably make a list of the best places to see, eat, and dance, but won’t take the time to consider where and how you’ll be doing your laundry.
The same goes for running a small business—most of us get so wrapped up in the excitement that comes with following our dreams, that we put aside the less appealing aspects, such as accounts payable (AP).
AP is an essential part of any business, but using a digital tool can save you a lot of time and hassle, making the difference between long hours at the back office and quality time with friends and family.
In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the main features of digital and online accounts payable tools that let you manage your bills from anywhere: your living room, your daily commute on the train, or even in line at the supermarket.
Digital features to manage AP from anywhere
Feature #1: Compatibility
The key to getting your work done, regardless of where you physically are, is compatibility. This simply means that most digital accounts payable tools, like Melio, can fully function from all of your devices. Whether you’re using a laptop, a mobile phone, or a tablet, as long as you’re connected to the internet, you’re good to go.
Feature #2: Scheduling
With an online bill pay tool, you can manage all your payments in advance in a single sitting, scheduling them to go out at just the right time. This way, you never have to worry about missing a payment again. You can always review all your upcoming payments and make any necessary adjustments later.
Feature #3: Choice
Everything in life is about choice. While you may love chocolate-mint ice cream and choose it every time, your friends could opt for plain vanilla or even tutti frutti. The great thing about it is that each person can enjoy their own choice of flavors without affecting anyone else.
We believe the same principle should apply to business payments. While it makes sense for your business to pay with an ACH bank transfer or a credit card, your vendor may be more old-fashioned and prefer to get all their payments through paper checks. The good news is that with a digital accounts payable solution, each party gets to choose what’s best for their business without affecting the other.
In other words, you can pay whichever way you choose, and if your vendor still wants a check, we’ll just mail them one. This saves you the trouble, the time, and the hidden costs of doing it manually (which really add up, according to Bank of America).
Feature #4: Tracking
One of the most challenging parts of maintaining cash flow health is keeping track of every payment you make. When you use a digital accounts payable tool, you can view all your transactions and upcoming bills in one place, regardless of where you are.
When you know exactly which payments are completed or scheduled and what’s to come, you’re never caught off guard by surprise payments draining your cash reserves or overdue bills hurting your relationship with vendors.
Feature #5: Payment approval workflows
If you’ve ever sat down to manually approve and sign a pile of checks made out by members of your team, there’s one thing you know for sure: you never want to do that again.
With an online AP tool, you can review all pending payments right from your inbox. You can also set thresholds for amounts requiring your approval so you don’t have to go over every small expense and can delegate to your team.
Feature #6: Instant notifications
Remember the days when you used to text vendors just to let them know you sent a check (that only arrives several days or weeks later)? Well, those days are finally over. With a digital payment tool, your vendor is automatically notified as soon as you schedule a payment and can easily track it on their own.
They get the peace of mind that comes from knowing the money is on its way, and you save time on checking up and updating them.
Feature #7: International payments
Whether you’re importing goods, employing sales agents in relevant markets, transporting merchandise across borders, or hiring freelancers to pick up some slack, there’s a good chance some of your vendors aren’t based in the U.S. Until recently, that meant paying them could be difficult, expensive, or both.
Some digital business-to-business (B2B) payment tools, including Melio, offer international transactions at less than half the cost of international wires or bank transfers. This saves you money and time as you no longer have to switch between platforms and can just pay all your bills, both international and domestic, using the same seamless process.
The ease and convenience of digital AP are just a few clicks away
The first thing that comes to mind when implementing a new tool is what a nuisance it’ll be. You’re probably wondering right now how long onboarding for you and your team will take if you switch to a digital accounts payable solution.
We have good news: Software as a service (SaaS) products, like Melio, require only a simple sign-up process that shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete. You also don’t need any special training or equipment. If you know how to use a smartphone or an internet browser, you already know everything you need to.
To conclude, you can start using Melio faster than you can say “a digital accounts payable solution.” So, shall we get started?