Our business landscape is changing
We are busier than ever with finance teams wanting to work from home more efficiently. We are showcasing our approvals portal and amazing invoice OCR, InvoiceExpress. Ok enough plugging, but what’s made me smile is the questions that keep coming up. Will it handle scanned invoices? Will it handle hand-written invoices?
Hang-on there. Who are these people sending paper invoices and where exactly are they sending them? From the signals coming out of our government, we won’t be working in an office now for six or more months. Will there ever be a normality to working in an office? So, these people sending out their invoices by post need to be told, in no uncertain terms, that they won’t be accepted. That you will only pay invoices that are emailed to you. You have a process with no exceptions.
Most enterprise class companies have their rules of engagement. They will send details of how you need to engage with them. How you can only invoice against a purchase order, where you need to send your invoices and what the payment terms are.
Smaller businesses need to adapt and work to these structures. I was talking to one of our customers this week, a care home. They are a decent size with several homes. A very caring, efficient and professional business. They are more powerful than they realise though. Again, I was asked about hand-written invoices. Now the types of people sending those invoices could be an entertainer – some kind soul doing magic work for the residents or perhaps a butcher. We are fortunate to live in a time where anyone can subscribe to a £10 a month invoice service and create a professional looking invoice at home. Things have changed, forever. You have your systems; you have a process and there are no exceptions. You want to work for us or supply us? These are the terms.
We need to be agile. We should be able to lift up the lids of our laptops and work from anywhere. We don’t want paper invoices from anyone. They are a thing of the past. We want a visual on all spend, commitments and payments. If we have to revert to any form of paper, we are failing, and we need to go back over our processes and rework them. Covid-19 has changed the world and its sweeping destruction will have an effect on us for years to come. We can’t control any of that. But we can control how we move forward with our business operations, using the best military handle, we adapt and overcome. And that’s what is happening right now in the finance teams.