AP Automation for commercial real estate: 3 reasons to make the switch

This blog was written by Gunita Bindra, VP of Product Management at Bottomline Technologies.

Bottomline’s Paymode-X helps real estate companies make fast, secure digital payments while improving core KPIs. By using Paymode-X to pay vendors, businesses digitize their manual AP processes to automate workflows, accelerate approvals, and securely make all payment types (virtual card, ACH, check, and B2C) using a single solution. Learn more about the Paymode-X-MRI integration here.

Paper and manual processes have been fixtures in commercial real estate forever. With real estate showing strong KPIs in this age of uncertainty, it’s time to rip those fixtures out and ride the wave of growth.

Across the commercial real estate industry, CFOs and accounts payable leaders are embracing more efficient, secure payment automation. We may not be out of the pandemic yet, but it has exposed the inefficiencies of paper checks and manual processes.

Efficiency and security aren’t the only reasons to automate payments and processes, because you can also generate revenue through accounts payable. The losses associated with manual processes are (mostly) hidden because they’re so familiar. At the same time, those processes prevent revenue gains from rebates and early payment discounts that modern digital payments offer.

With Bottomline’s Paymode-X, for example, customers can see rebates that exceed $1 million, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings when they switch to payment automation. That happens because digitization and automation allow you to scale and grow in ways that just aren’t possible with your current setup.

Let’s talk about three ways AP automation improves ROI, both in the near future and in the long term.

1. Paper is expensive

You may be processing thousands of payments per month, and if you’re making those payments via check, you’re creating unnecessary costs with each one that goes out the door. Few industries are more reliant on checks than commercial real estate, which makes automating payments an urgent priority. From the very first invoice to the final mailed check, AP teams are slogging through steps that are costly and slow. That needs to change.

2. Rebates help immensely

The estimated $4-5 cost per check adds up, considering that 65-75% of the average real estate company’s payments are made by paper check. If you’re making 100 check payments per month, that’s $400-$500 you don’t have to spend. If you switch to an integrated solution, those costs immediately become cash in your pocket in the form of rebates on ACH and card spend. Automation also transforms a paper storm into something clean, controllable, scalable, and ERP-agnostic.

The gains in terms of cost-savings are also substantial. With Bottomline’s Paymode-X, we’ve seen 57% of our customers reduce their processing costs by more than half, while 73% have decreased their processing time by a quarter. Rebates, time savings and cost savings go together like chocolate, peanut butter and more chocolate.

3. Automation future-proofs accounts payable

We’ll all be glad to do less sorting of paper and waiting on the mail when it comes to payments. That’s reason enough to update your systems and processes, but it goes beyond that.

In the future, payment automation can offer your CFO and your AP team the advantages of early payment discounts and fewer late fees. I know we mentioned it already, but how about the potential of rebates on digital payments?

Early payment discounts and rebates add value instead of cost, and chances are you haven’t even been able to think about those discounts to this point. Embracing a change here can in turn pave the way for a pattern of accelerated growth.

Of course, as well as adding value to you, it’s adding value for your vendors. They love being paid in a more timely fashion and not needing to worry about checks being intercepted or lost in the mail (as do we all), so upgrading is a true win-win.

Eyes on the prize

Let’s face it: CFOs and accounts payable teams need more time to focus their eyes on revenue. Fortunately, with Bottomline’s Paymode-X payment automation:

  • Eight out of 10 customers see 50% more cash back rebates
  • Six out of 10 customers see 50% more early payment discounts
  • Five of 10 customers make 50% fewer late payments

We have many more metrics to share here, but you get the picture. Automating gets you out of the mess you’re fighting through to make payments today, allows you to avoid stagnation and say hello to better cash flow.

Automating payments is about increasing productivity, increasing security, and reducing cost with 100% automation for your full range of B2B and B2C payments. This makes AP a profit center for the businesses.

It’s time to say goodbye to the old way of paying your many vendors and embrace payment automation. It’s no exaggeration to say you can’t afford not to make the switch.

See you at MRI Ascend 2021

To learn more about Bottomline Paymode-X and payment automation for commercial real estate companies, visit the Paymode-X real estate webpage. Be sure to visit the Paymode-X team at booth 304 at MRI Ascend 2021, as well.

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