Financial Management vs. Summer Vacation: Use Downtime to Prepare for Next Year with AP Automation
It’s summertime: sunshine, vacations, and time away. It also means a slow time for many businesses. In spite of the upswing for beaches and ballparks, sales are frequently down across industries. With customers and clients on vacation, purchases and projects are put off until everyone is back to work.
But this doesn’t have to translate to a negative impact on business. Using the right strategies, it’s possible to adjust to and manage this “time off” and prepare for the rest of year. In fact, with Accounts Payable automation solutions, businesses can actually benefit from this opportunity.
Take advantage of down time
Slower business doesn’t correlate to lack of work. In fact, it can be just the opposite! Businesses can take full advantage of a slower period in a number of ways:
- Analyzing AP processes
- Developing and optimizing AP processes
- Holding employee training sessions
- Reviewing policies and procedures
Using this time to ensure that every system is running efficiently will save time and resources when the pace of business picks up again.
Looking specifically to financial expenditures, this is also a good time for an in-depth review of AP automated solutions. To safeguard against unplanned for cash-flow issues, it’s worth reviewing fixed costs, including:
Taking the time to make administrative reviews of these processes ensures complete awareness of exactly where a budget is – and when to make adjustments to help mitigate difficulties.
Externally, this provides time to review relationships with individual service providers and vendors.
Are they able to provide alternate arrangements (shipments, payments, etc.) during this time? Do they offer the flexibility to accommodate your business “seasons”? Taking time to evaluate these relationships and update their business profiles is time well spent.
Using archived data from AP automation will not only provide current insight, it will help improve strategy and performance for future business. This is critical to adapting to slow business periods in the future. Creating, updating, and reviewing a 12-month rolling forecast will provide a wealth of information to help make this happen.
More specifically, mapping out future business patterns based on past and current trends ensures that finances are well managed throughout the year. It provides the ability to speed up or throttle down based upon business needs without causing financial stress points. Actively engaging AP assets provides information critical to making this happen.
Armed with this information, businesses can strategically defer larger expenditures. With a clear picture of past performances tempering future plans, a number of expenses can be planned and scheduled according to business needs. Disseminating this information appropriately will ensure that cost-effective financial planning for the year.
This is also the time to assess suppliers/providers: to look at their financial health and subsequent potential for impact on business. C-suite and AP are capable of providing financial health analysis on a range of metrics, including:
- Cash flow
By tracking this information along with business relationships, anticipating and preparing a range of difficulties becomes much easier.
No business likes the slow season. But by utilizing this time to take stock, train, and evaluate, it’s possible to maximize future efforts. Utilizing the power of AP automation provides the opportunity to utilize the data needed to ensure effective financial management and successful business practices year-round – even in the heat of the summer. For more on AP automation solutions, contact Medius, a trusted AKA partner.
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