B2B Payments

Reality Of Realty Procure-To-Pay

Real estate companies need to ditch the paper across far-flung operations. Brian Zrimsek of MRI Software, which targets this industry, explains why this space has struggled automating procure-to-pay and what to do about it.

Last week, MRI Software and Nexus Systems said that they would expand their more than 10-year partnership together to bring the real estate industry toward more robust and sophisticated accounts payable systems.

To that end, the firms said a new platform, MRI AP Automation, would target MRI clients operating real estate portfolios outside the United States, across MRI clients in Canada, Asia, New Zealand, South America and EMEA. The solution is geared toward accounting departments. The accounts payable software allows for digital management of what has been, traditionally, a paper-based process, with an emphasis on onsite purchasing and invoice data. The accounts payable management software is integrated with MRI’s API.

In an interview with PYMNTS, Brian Zrimsek, chief product officer of MRI Software, said that the goal of the solution is to help streamline the procurement process, with an eye on limiting the paperwork and challenges that come with operating real estate across far-flung portfolios.

The fact remains, he said, that purchasing, invoicing and payables may not be as centralized an operation as is seen in other verticals. The bigger the scale of the operation, the more disparate the needs may be across a large apartment complex, for example. And inefficient processes exist where items may be bought — such as paint or lightbulbs — and then, they are invoiced.

That’s an example where smarter policies are needed, with the aid of technology that can automate procurement and manage purchase orders and B2B relationships that extend beyond simple repairs.

As the executive noted, “if you look at the spending” among real estate firms, “it’s not just in the purchase orders but also in the capital projects,” tied to new construction, which means optimal payables management (with image capture, for example, and across smaller vendors) is crucial to cash flow management. MRI’s suite works across accounts payable and also can extend into budgeting and forecasting.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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