Processing invoices can be a sore spot for many homeowners associations. It takes a lot of time and effort to organize and prepare them. If you fall find yourself in the same boat, then it is time to consider automated HOA invoice processing.
In this article:
What Is Automated HOA Invoice Processing?
To put it simply, invoice processing is the handling of incoming and outgoing invoices until they are completed by payment. Automated invoice processing, on the other hand, means just as it sounds. It takes invoice processing and converts it into mostly automatic operation. It involves electronic aspects, usually in the form of a program or third-party applications.
Why Switch Over to Automated HOA Invoice Processing?
Although technology is making it easier and easier for payments to be made online, many homeowners associations have not yet taken the steps to automate HOA invoice processing and are stuck in a time-consuming cycle. Often, HOAs have to deal with the many mistakes that can come through internal manual management of invoices and find a large portion of their time is spent taking care of these invoices. Here are the top 10 benefits of automating HOA invoice processing:
1. Efficient Invoicing System
Automating your invoice processing makes for a more efficient system. It allows for faster and simpler methods while achieving the best results. Invoicing programs also make it easier to generate accurate reports compared to manual processing. But, that does not mean you have to buy expensive software to achieve an equally efficient system. Just making use of technology alone, such as spreadsheets and dropboxes, will already help you tremendously.
2. Allows for Real-Time Monitoring
Automated HOA invoice processing lets you monitor your progress in real-time. So, if you want to know the status of a certain invoice, you can just look it up and see where it currently stands. This is substantially better than having to sift through a bunch of paperwork just so you can find out whether an invoice has been processed or not.
3. More Control and Transparency
It is easy to get lost in a mountain of paperwork. If your HOA is rather large, there is a good chance you process a lot of documents and invoices. While the workload may seem manageable at first glance, you will quickly learn the hard way that paperwork piles up. By automating your invoice processing, you have more control over it. Plus, it allows for more transparency and helps fight fraud. It is harder to fudge the numbers when you are doing everything electronically.
4. Minimizes Errors
Even when board members are meticulous when creating and sending invoices, there is still a large margin for error with manual invoicing. In addition to a great likelihood of discrepancies, there is also the possibility of mail getting lost or of a paper invoice getting buried under the paperwork of an overcrowded desk. Digital invoices are easier to find and harder to forget.
5. Pay Bills Faster
Instead of waiting for an invoice to travel from your office to the post office and then to the intended location, it is for everyone’s benefit to immediately receive invoices. This decreases the chance of late payments on the part of residents and will also help your board to pay vendors on time and avoid late fees. Lots of online companies do this, you can learn more here.
6. Reduce Costs
Between paper, ink, postage, the time spent putting together invoices, printing them, and posting them, manual invoicing can cost your association a lot of money. Automated invoicing can help reduce these material and labor costs while also helping your office to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable by reducing waste.
Moreover, if you consistently pay your vendors before the intended due date, they might give you early payment discounts. That is just one of the perks of automated HOA invoice processing.
7. Easy Document Retrieval
Automating your invoicing also means that many important documents are at your fingertips and are extremely easy to find. Instead of manually searching through a file folder of papers, it simply takes a quick click and important documents can be accessed at a moment’s notice.
Reports can also be generated with little effort and in a short amount of time which helps with increasing transparency regarding the association’s finances within the community. With automated invoicing, you will be able to more accurately forecast the next year’s budget and save everyone time in the process.
8. Saves Time for Board Members
Although the members of the board likely have a strong passion for their community, their time is also split between many other concerns. There is great benefit in outsourcing these time-consuming details so that members of the board can spend their limited time focusing on strengthening and beautifying the community. Additionally, when board members do not feel overworked, they become more productive.
9. Keep Board Members Involved
Having information regarding your HOA’s finances online and easily available will increase the involvement of board members. When they can access important information quickly on their devices, it will be easier for them to press a few buttons to view this information. This streamlines many processes allowing for easy payment approvals and quicker response from board members. Just make sure only specific people have access to sensitive financial information.
10. Build Better Working Relationships
The relationship between your HOA and its vendors is sacred. Nobody wants to work with an organization that is continuously late on payments. Unfortunately, that is a reality with manual invoice processing. Soon enough, your HOA will develop a bad reputation among local vendors. By automating your process, you can send out payments on time. This increases your standing as a good payer and leads to a better working relationship with your vendors.
Automate Invoice Processing for Your HOA’s Success
Automated HOA invoice processing comes with very few downsides. And, as you can see, it comes with plenty of benefits. Not only will you be saving time and money, everyone in the community will benefit from the convenience of receiving and paying their invoices online.
If you are having trouble getting organized and keeping up with back-office tasks, consider contacting a remote HOA management company for help. In that case, make sure to keep us in mind.
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