Accounts Payable professionals in the property sector face a number of unique challenges. The volume of invoices dealt with by property management companies, estate and letting agencies is exceptionally high. Furthermore invoices can be for large sums of money, and the nature of work in the property sector means that most staff spend at least part of the day out of the office while also being required to provide multiple layers of spend approvals.
Compliance with financial regulations
Due to the high transaction values that property companies process, the sector is subject to a great deal of financial regulation. Depending on where you fit in the sector, you will have a number of compliance obligations from various regulators. Whether you must comply with GDPR, 4MLD, PCI DSS or any others you may fall under, maintaining a reliable and complete audit trail is essential. This means that, in addition to invoice processing and PO matching, AP teams in this sector must be especially meticulous and keep accurate records.
Manual processes hold back growth
Additionally, those in property need to keep landlords happy, make sure tenants pay on time and manage a large number of contractors for maintenance and repairs. This means a high volume of paperwork and transactions to manage, and requires painstaking record keeping to effectively answer account enquiries.
Meanwhile you will naturally want your business to grow. In an environment relying on manual processes, managing accounts payable in the property sector can become a tedious and error-prone job. Growth will only add to the number of invoices to process, spends to approve and suppliers to manage.
Accounts Payable Automation
While manual processes will hold companies back and inhibit growth, there is a way to deal with these challenges effectively. AP automation solutions can fully automate transaction processing for invoices, contracts, purchase orders and expenses. The best solutions are flexible and scalable to suit the business. They can be offered as cloud-based services that can be accessed remotely, allowing managers to approve spends on the go.
This means automatic management of all invoices, whether they are submitted as an e-invoice, an emailed pdf or are in a scanned format. Purchase orders can be swiftly matched to invoices with little to no human intervention. Compliance can also be made easy, since these solutions often offer tools reporting rich data for a complete audit trail, which can also be used to analyse spends and keep track of the business’ performance against its key goals.
By streamlining their processes with automation, AP professionals in the property sector can spend more time managing relationships with suppliers, keeping costs to a minimum and enabling the business to grow.