By Lori Messana, Vice President/Managing Director, P2P Portfolio at BancTec
The pervasiveness of smartphones and other portable devices has created a growing demand for mobile applications in areas including accounts payable. New technology has paved the way for mobile payment methods and advanced invoice processing.
AP-specific mobile applications are being developed to improve business processes, with abilities that allow users to:
- Approve invoices via email notifications
- View status of critical transactions
- Communicate with vendors
- Track overall customer balances, invoice costs and profits
- Create variations of basic reports.
These are just a few of the features that allow smartphone users to manage a variety of inbound communications, with remote and continuous access to invoices and workflow alerts. E-invoices have become easy to create for even small businesses that can go mobile without fear of complications.
More Benefits of Going Mobile
With companies spending large amounts each year processing invoices, performing purchase order matches, addressing defects and responding to vendor inquiries, AP mobile solutions can help save time and money.
Increased mobility improves AP management through:
- Reduced communication bottlenecks
- Improved service capabilities
- Increased speed in invoice processing
- Reduced processing costs
- Increased visibility and easy access to data
Information is captured, tracked and reported, which greatly reduces the risk of duplicate payments, overpayments, errors and fraud.
Mobile Security Threats
The rise in popularity of mobile business applications has left security precautions in the background. It is predicted that as smartphone adoption continues to increase in business, malware and other cyber threats also will increase. Smartphone users and application developers must always remember that security is not a feature, it’s a process.
Mobile security weaknesses commonly fall under two major categories. The first is malicious functionality, which can involve activity monitoring, data retrieval, unauthorized payments, false user interfaces and system modifications. The second is vulnerabilities, which involve errors in design that lead to data leakage, poor data storage and unsafe data transmission.
Therefore, users should always thoroughly test a mobile application for security flaws before adopting it in a business. Security threats are always changing, so it is best to monitor, maintain and update all applications regularly.
The AP Revolution Continues
Despite the clear security concerns, opportunities for mobile AP automation are here. Increased innovations in application development and offerings such as anti-malware products for smartphones will continue to improve their safety.
As long as there is research, applications are tested, and users stay informed, mobile apps can be a viable option. Clearly, mobile-based payment and invoice applications are dialing up converts.