What Property Management Finance Teams Want to Know in 2021

February 22, 2021

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Sam Shannon

Man at computer looking at graphs

It is fair to say that 2020 was a tough year for most businesses, and property management is no different. But while sales and rentals might have been on hold for part of the pandemic, the global property management market is expected to expand to USD $12.89 billion by 2025 $23.63 billion by 2026, and that means it’s time for the industry to get its own house in order. 

A recent survey of property managers found that 64% offer services in accounting and bookkeeping. And the biggest challenge in the industry has been efficiency–managing time, processes, and tasks which are mostly manual and paper-based.

What’s the problem with a paper-based office?

There are several issues caused by outdated management processes. Perhaps the most important concern is the expense associated with manual office and accounts payable (AP) methods. Reducing processing costs is a top priority for 63% of AP professionals. The main culprit for additional, unnecessary expenses is paper. In fact, 52% of organizations who moved to paperless processing said that reducing overhead was a main advantage. The cost of processing an invoice can be as much as $15, according to a 2018 survey by Payment Advisors. Paper invoices—which are handled manually by several different members of staff—can take a long time to process, significantly bumping up costs. 

Working remotely in 2021

For many property management professionals, working from home has become the new norm. It seems likely that many offices will continue with remote work practices even after the pandemic subsides. But difficulties arise when people are not in the office to approve paper invoices or authorize payments. That is also the case when you have multiple office locations or approvers who work from different sites. Following up all the approvals alone can be very time-consuming.

Security concerns

Uncertain times increase financial risk. Using paper, and even digital spreadsheets can exacerbate that risk when people use unsecured routes to transfer data. Many businesses that were forced to work online because of COVID-19 took shortcuts which were not secure. A PwC report on remote work productivity and security says, “Many employees now use remote desktops and unapproved file sharing and applications (“shadow IT”). Consequently, many companies can’t answer a basic question: “which assets can my remote users see and access?” Security breaches could be occurring right now and remain undiscovered for months.”

Late payments 

As many as 47% of businesses admit that at least one in 10 payments to suppliers are made late, damaging relationships with vendors and missing opportunities for early-payment discounts. And then there are the late payment fees and interest… When your AP processes are handled manually, overdue supplier payments can happen easily, thanks to delays in approvals and lengthy invoice-routing processes. 

So, what’s the solution?

“Beanworks has been invaluable in helping us improve visibility and control across our AP while eliminating time-consuming AP tasks.” – Peter B, Magnum York Property Management Ltd

As you begin 2021, it’s time to make your office procedures more secure and effective. Automating your AP processes will lower invoice costs, mitigate risk, and improve vendor relations. You’ll also free-up your staff to work on more valuable tasks, and gain greater control over your cashflow. The important thing is to find an automated AP product —because when everything is streamlined into a central platform, you get increased visibility and total control over your spend.

What are the advantages of automating your AP?

The good news is that the cost of processing invoices can be lowered significantly when the process is automated—dropping to . You’ll also free-up your staff to concentrate on more meaningful tasks that add value. 

With an automated system, everything is stored on a central platform. Users can access, edit, review, and exchange data securely and easily, and access can be customized according to responsibility. Automated systems also make working remotely much easier, and there’s delay caused by waiting for approvals.

Making payments

Avoiding late payments with an automated AP system such as Beanworks improves vendor relations, and means you can take advantage of early payment discounts and virtual credit card rebates. Payments will flow through approvals in the payments module, where they’ll then be released through one of the many payments methods to your vendors. 

Automating your AP ultimately helps you to become more strategic. When you can see what you are spending in real time, it is easier to forecast cash flow, schedule payments, and identify discount opportunities. 

Rent Manager customer Magnum York Property Management experienced these benefits and more when they started using Beanworks to automate their payables processes. “Beanworks has been invaluable in helping us improve visibility and control across our AP, while eliminating time-consuming tasks,” said Peter Best, President and CEO of Magnum York. “We don’t know how we could have handled our growth without them. With minimal training, our new staff can handle their AP tasks on day one.”

Ready to automate?

This article was submitted by Beanworks. Beanworks integrates with Rent Manager to empower your accounting team by reducing data entry and approvals, making AP more cost-effective and less error-prone.

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