Written by Matthew Tomasek, Accounting Technology Director
Technology advancements since the 1970s have allowed information to be tracked, stored, analyzed and shared digitally. As early as the 1960s people believed the computer would push American business to use less paper (“Paperless Offices”). In reality though, the actual consumption of paper significantly increased year after year. However, the tide may be finally turning. As our ever-evolving technology driven world has continued to cultivate, the phrase “paperless” is heating up in business processes throughout the country.
One could argue that the mainstream use of smart phones and tablets was a catalyst for really spurring this appeal for new technologies. We all (businesses and consumers) want information and results quicker, cheaper and with less of an environmental impact. With this demand, new technologies and services are arriving on the scene every year and many businesses are catching on. These technologies and services usually all have common benefits: increase in performance and productivity, better access to information, cost savings and helping the “Go Green” movement, just to name a few.
Over the past five years, Mid-America has started to catch on too. We have taken many strides to improve processes and use less paper, and also to be environmentally friendly. In January of 2012 the accounting department was able to implement an internal paperless financial reporting process across our entire portfolio. There were many benefits, but one environmental impact was we no longer had to printout pages of data that was only to be destroyed later. Now financial reporting is prepared and reviewed on screen using various software such as Adobe Acrobat. In 2013 and 2014 we applied many of the same paperless concepts we designed in our financial reporting to our Recovery Reconciliations and Forecasting & Budgeting processes.
Now in 2016 we have continued our pursuit into paperless and automation processes by partnering with Nexus Systems for our Accounts Payable processing. With Nexus, vendors have the ability to submit invoices electronically directly to our payables site. Of course, there will be vendors who are not ready to adopt the paperless submission of the invoice, so they will still be able to submit a physical invoice to the services center. However, there no longer is a need for physical invoices in our office. All invoices are stored and processed digitally on the secure site. Should we ever need a copy of an invoice, it can be quickly extracted as an electronic document.
As excited as we are for our Paperless AP Process in 2016, we continue to set our eyes to the future: investigating ways to further automate and use less paper.
Matthew Tomasek | Accounting Technology Director
Mid-America Asset Management, Inc.
One Parkview Plaza, 9th Floor | Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Direct: 630.954.7522 | Fax: 630.954.7306
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.midamericagrp.com