How to Keep AP Working While AP Staff Work from Home

Rich Arminio

Cloud-based accounts payable solutions provide organizations with the tools they need to keep their AP operations going when staff work remotely.

How to Keep AP Working While AP Staff Work from Home

The unfolding COVID-19 pandemic has been an eye-opener for accounts payable departments. It exposed how ill-prepared most AP departments are to support staff who cannot get into the office. Working from home is an unexpected hurdle for many businesses, especially when it comes to invoices and payments.

At least 217 million people in at least 23 U.S. states, 84 counties, 17 cities, and one territory have been urged to stay at home to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the New York Times reports.

Ensuring that invoices get processed while staff work from home is a major challenge for accounts payable departments. Particularly those that process their invoices manually or rely on antiquated on-premise systems. From capturing data and routing invoices to resolving exceptions and managing operations, on-premises invoice processing was built for office employees.

Few organizations have AP departments prepared to handle core AP functions during a shift to a remote work environment.


Unpaid invoices can result in:

  • Reputational damage and less leverage at the negotiating table with suppliers
  • A spike in calls and e-mails from suppliers regarding the status of invoices and payments
  • Strained supplier relationships and the loss of supplier goodwill
  • Customer service issues caused by supply chain disruptions
  • Credit and collections headaches
  • An inability to accurately forecast cash flow


That’s why more accounts payable departments are embracing cloud-based solutions.

Forty-nine percent of accounts payable departments that have automated their invoice processing use a cloud-based solution, according to Levvel Research’s 2019 Payables Insight Report.

Cloud-based AP solutions ensure the continuity of accounting departments’ invoice approval and payment processes, no matter where staff work. Here’s how:

USPS, UPS, or FedEx mail forwarding

If your staff cannot reach the office, forward your supplier invoices to a cloud-based AP solution. An end-to-end AP solution can provide invoice processing, including scanning, intelligent data capture, and digital workflow routing.

A file with data on approved invoices is uploaded to your ERP, whether it’s from SAP, Oracle, NetSuite, PeopleSoft, Sage, or another vendor. Fast turnaround invoice approval times and guaranteed invoice data capture accuracy ensure that suppliers are paid the right amount and on time.

Intelligent data capture in the cloud

During a sudden shift to Work from Home, AP departments may not have all the manpower needed for labor-intensive tasks.  Functions such as invoice data capture and validation, invoice approvals, exceptions resolution, and posting require several staff members. Make the most of your limited AP staff by scanning your invoices to a secure cloud, and an automated AP solution will handle the rest.

PDF invoice processing

If your AP staff is unable to get to the office, direct your suppliers to send their invoices as PDF e-mail attachments and an automated AP solution can process them based on your business rules. A cloud-based accounts payable solution eliminates the need to print or manually key PDF invoices. The digital workflows provided by a cloud-based solution are more transparent, reliable, and controllable than e-mail-based approval processes.

Invoice approval in the cloud

Remote working can disrupt the paper-based approval workflows that many organizations rely upon. Keep your approvals moving by scanning your invoices to a secure cloud. An automated AP solution can facilitate digital and mobile approval with your purchasers, wherever they are located, based on your business rules.

Virtual card payments

Pay your suppliers on time, even if you can’t get into the office to cut checks. In addition, earn cash-back rebates on spend made with a card. Simply upload approved invoice files to a secure cloud, and an automated AP solution can pay suppliers via virtual card.


Working from home is the “new normal.”

Without the right AP software, Work from Home can disrupt business operations. However, accounts payable departments must find ways to keep their invoice approval and payment processes moving. Cloud-based accounts payable solutions enable businesses to overcome the challenges of remote working while better equipping them to support remote and on-the-go workers in the future.

Contact us to learn how our AP automation solution simplifies invoice processing, no matter where AP staff work!



Edenred Pay, an Edenred Company, is the global leader in invoice-to-pay automation. Our integrated platform connects businesses with suppliers, ERPs, banks, FinTechs, and payment rails to automate, optimize, and monetize the entire B2B payments lifecycle – from invoice receipt through payment reconciliation. Edenred Pay’s efficient, integrated solutions create a frictionless process and help deliver value to the enterprise by enhancing visibility and monetizing AP.

Visit or contact us to learn more.