The past year has been challenging for many as they continuously adapt to the unprecedented disruptions caused by COVID-19. Among these challenges for many organizations has been managing their business's shifting financial needs while positioning themselves for better viability now and in the future.
If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught businesses a key lesson, it's that organization-wide continuity testing hasn't been as thorough as many people have assumed. While many companies plan for disruption due to natural disasters or other unplanned events, many were unprepared for the impact that long-term physical distancing measures would have on their daily operations.
Companies learned at the beginning of 2020 that they need to prepare for all financial scenarios. This includes having multiple ways to pay suppliers with less reliance on physical printing and mailing of payments. The reality is, both organizations and their suppliers now prefer to function in a contactless world, meaning there needs to be investments in better automation of payment processes.
While most businesses have maintained a somewhat equal balance of sustaining both on-premise and cloud-based systems and services, the past year has put a stronger emphasis on creating a more supportive infrastructure for remote working arrangements. Companies are now looking to invest in software solutions that digitize their accounts payables and receivables and streamline their business operations while operating with remote workforces.
Even before the pandemic caused global disruption to businesses, many organizations were already experiencing challenges due to payment process inefficiencies. Whether managing complex transaction reconciliation between multiple suppliers, relying on various payment portals and accounting systems, or merely repeating too many redundant tasks, accounts payable processes continue to be viewed by many as a cost center rather than a profit center.
Optimizing working capital has also become a greater challenge for organizations as they battle through the ongoing financial disruption of COVID-19. With multiple suppliers requiring various payment terms, it can be difficult for businesses to prioritize their suppliers while also balancing cash flow for other essential operating expenditures. Adding to this challenge is the fact that most companies still lack the visibility and control they need across all of their payment systems to maximize their working capital and avoid a compromising financial situation.
Security is also an issue for many organizations as more businesses rely on remote working environments. As teams continue to isolate from one another physically, there is an inherent lack of visibility when coordinating payments through multiple channels. As cybersecurity risks continue to rise, organizations need to be able to transact with their clients and suppliers while ensuring they meet all regulatory and compliance requirements.
Many of the challenges that modern businesses face are directly or indirectly associated with a lack of digitization. Legacy systems and procedures continue to drive many of the accounting challenges between organizations and their suppliers. This may lead to tremendous backlogs of transactional issues, including missed payments, mailing delays, inaccurate payee information and lengthy reconciliations. Without a digitized, streamlined and unified approach to accounts payable processes, suppliers often wonder when they're getting paid and organizations don’t have easy answers.
These ongoing challenges require greater visibility and control over business spend. It’s why J.P. Morgan and Coupa Pay are partnering to simplify and automate clients’ procurement processes through virtual card-based payments.
The Coupa platform is a cloud-based, end-to-end payment solution for business procurement, invoicing, expense, and payment processes.
Clients can now utilize preapproved virtual credit cards when making payments between their suppliers while streamlining reconciliation between both parties. The advantage is that all levels of the procure-to-pay process are managed in one unified platform, giving both buyers and their suppliers the visibility they need to track payments and reconcile their systems collectively.
Coupa virtual cards facilitate a deep integration between purchase orders and their invoices. This provides enhanced security levels when handling payments across the organization and may significantly reduce workloads for both clients and their suppliers. Unique transaction IDs left by virtual card payments make it easier to reconcile specific transactions on the back end, while Coupa Pay allows both parties to manage all of their payment strategies in a single, easy-to-use platform.
The benefit of Coupa Pay is that it is powered by a community of business leaders learning from one another. Organizations can compare their business metrics across others in similar industries while benchmarking their success to help them spend smarter over time. This ecosystem of buyers and suppliers helps organizations address key issues during the procure-to-pay process, building stronger partnerships down the road.
As organizations prepare for the years ahead, there are a number of challenges still to overcome, even in a post-covid-19 world. However, businesses don't need to overcomplicate their payment strategy in 2021 while optimizing their working capital and streamlining their operations. Coupa Pay gives buyers and suppliers the tools they need to help them digitize their procure-to-pay process while providing businesses with a one-stop-shop for enhanced transactional security, streamlined reconciliation, and business automation.
For more information on utilizing virtual cards within Coupa Pay and how your business can prepare payment strategy for 2021 and beyond, click below.