B2B companies are known to be slow to adopt technology compared to their B2C counterparts. But the massive paradigm shift in the way payments are made and received due to the pandemic has forced payment automation to the fore for all businesses.
As Maria Prados from WorldPay observed, “Historically, B2B has been quite late, especially when it comes to payments.” But because the industry was less digitized and much more reliant on manual processes as of 2020, many B2B marketers had no choice but to make changes – and do them quickly. Digital transformation initiatives had timelines of three to five years, but are now completed in six months or less.
Payment technology provides the tools to be successful
To survive and succeed, B2B organizations need to transform their accounts payable process and cost structure. Now is the time to strategically rethink the way we operate and commit to sustainable gains. To do this effectively, businesses must find ways to deliver more with less, apply smart financial controls, maintain team productivity, and manage operational risk. Smart payment technology helps achieve this in the short term while planning for long term success.
Process Who should be left behind in 2021
1. Manual operating processes
Trust people rather than technology feels safer, but it can ultimately prevent a business from operating as efficiently as possible. Manual processes are neither scalable nor accurate, leaving more room for costly mistakes.
On the other hand, with payment automation, several business processes related to the management of accounts payable can run at the same time.
2. Rely on paper checks
When outdated technology is used, the further a business lags in operational efficiency. Payment methods like paper checks are not only inefficient, they also hamper the supplier and partner experience. For example, processing time can delay clearing a B2B payment for up to two weeks, which in turn makes it difficult for a finance department to predict when the funds will be transferred and the associated data.
Modern technological solutions take the guesswork out of B2B payment processing times, facilitate supplier relationships, and cleanse the data you share with your management team.
3. Lack of financial and compliance controls
Using outdated manual processes leaves dangerous gaps in accounts payable management and financial controls. Along with these threats, manual B2B payment processes overwhelm finance teams, leading to disengagement, errors, and other issues.
Modern technological solutions can mitigate all of this. These solutions act as protections against losses due to fraud and strengthen internal processes by leveraging financial controls at the enterprise level.
4. Don’t look at a business from start to finish
As a business grows and evolves, it becomes more complex as you add subsidiaries, divisions, business units, and brands. Without scalable processes in place to ensure consistency and standardization across multiple entities, it will be impossible to standardize accounting procedures across the enterprise.
B2B technology solutions provide the vital methods needed to protect accounts payable operations by providing end-to-end capabilities for multi-entity businesses on a single platform. This creates a strong framework to help financial services manage growth and scalability in a compliant manner.
How do B2B merchants take the first step?
Start by looking at digital transformation and empower the finance team with real-time data. Once an automated accounts payable solution is identified and added to the business procedures, the rest will begin to fall into place.
This press release was produced by the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.