Agency Financial Health Panel: Growth During an Uncertain Time

With rising inflation, continued supply chain concerns, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, talks of a recession are hard to escape. While the advertising industry was initially predicted to have a year of record growth, it’s time to switch gears and evaluate how agencies can streamline operations in preparation for economic uncertainty. In this webinar, FastPay will explore insights from their 2022 Agency Financial Health Report. Joined by a panel of 4A’s member agencies, the benchmark data will provide a foundation for an in-depth discussion on a wide range of agency financial concerns, including cash flow, security and fraud, hiring challenges, and operational best practices.

FastPay at 4A’s MPF

FastPay was a proud sponsor of the 4A’s MPF conference in Chicago last week, where agency leaders and entrepreneurs came together to discuss the challenges facing the media industry. The members only event offered an intimate setting to learn best practices to evolve agency operations during this unpredictable time – with some famous mini Chicago dogs and caramel corn to enjoy between sessions.  

We had the pleasure of connecting with attendees throughout the event to discuss how FastPay ePay is a gamechanger for agency operations, easily integrating with existing accounting system workflows for improved efficiency across the board. The happy hour was a perfect way to wrap up day one and discuss our favorite takeaways from the sessions. 

Team members Mike Scherr and Grant Dugger manning the booth during happy hour.

 

 

Check out the post-event webinar “Agency Financial Health Panel: Growth During an Uncertain Time” where we discussed insights from our 2022 Agency Financial Health Report and the best ways to prepare for the year ahead. 

 

FastPay at Media Finance Focus: Blue Skies Ahead

The FastPay team was thrilled to make it out to Tampa, Florida to sponsor Media Finance Focus this past week. With dozens of innovative sessions, distinguished keynote speakers, interactive industry roundtables, and networking events, MFF provided a much-anticipated opportunity to learn from and chat with media and finance experts across the US.  

While the week’s keynote speaker presented what seemed like a never-ending list of global challenges including continued supply-chain delays, the conflict in Ukraine, and climate catastrophes (quite a tall share for a Tuesday morning breakfast), we here at FastPay are here to lend an optimistic hand. In fact, during our panel, The Value of Data in the AR Process, we spoke to CFOs and Finance directors who are pressing for more automation to streamline their cash application and receivables process and are seeing major successes. This session touched upon the entire accounts receivables process and the availability of tools, data feeds, reporting and automation available today. The session ended with a positive outlook for the rest of 2022 regarding media spend but panelists stressed the need for better workflows to manage what some predict to be a challenging 2023. A big thanks to our panelists for joining us in this very necessary discussion.  

We had such a great time at Media Finance Focus and are looking forward to reuniting next year in our hometown of Los Angeles! 

To learn more about how FastPay can improve payments for your company, contact our sales team at fastpaysales@avidxchange.com. 

FastPay at AAPC Pollies in San Juan, Puerto Rico

The FastPay team was excited to sponsor and attend this year’s AAPC Pollies, the political consulting event of the year. This year’s ceremony was particularly special as it kicked off in San Juan, Puerto Rico, providing a bit of respite before midterm elections commence. Political consultants, media buyers, public affairs specialists, suppliers, industry leaders, and journalists came together to not only learn but started the week with a community impact project in the heart of San Juan.  

Attendees also participated in their choice of three FastPay led adventures including a walking tour of Old San Juan, a Ron del Barrilito Rum Tasting, and horseback riding in the El Yunque National Rainforest. The week ended with an opportunity for participants to recognize one another at the Pollies Award Ceremony. We are so proud of our FastPay customers who took home a total of 63 Pollies!   

 

 

With 2022 projected to yield the most expensive midterm election in history, FastPay is leading the way in revolutionizing political media payments. We’ve put together must-have platform enhancements for political agencies including seamless Strata integration, automated overnight checks, and support for payments to digital media suppliers. Learn more about how FastPay Political can streamline your media payment process today.  

FastPay at Mirren Live: Building Better Agencies

The FastPay team was thrilled to make it out to Barkley in Kansas City to sponsor Mirren Live this past week. Not only did we enjoy the world-famous BBQ (still craving burnt ends anyone?), but connecting with our advertising community in-person after two years of mostly virtual events was equally wonderful. With 700 agencies coming together both virtually and in-person, nearly 65 speakers, and 35 sessions, Mirren Live was an invaluable opportunity to learn from and chat with industry leaders on the best ways to optimize agency growth. 

FastPay CMO Rick Weir speaking on Mirren Live's Streamlining and Accelerating Your Operations: Strategies and Tools panel

FastPay CMO, Rick Weir, speaking on the Streamlining and Accelerating Your Operations: Strategies and Tools panel.

 

We connected with attendees throughout both days of the conference and shared the value FastPay ePay can bring to agency accounts payables teams looking to streamline and automate their payments process. Our very own CMO, Rick Weir, shared insights on the benefits of increasing operational efficiencies through automated payments on the “Streamlining and Accelerating Your Operations: Strategies and Tools” panel. In a time of economic uncertainty, FastPay ePay is here to free up resources while fitting into existing media buying and accounting system workflows, for happier and more efficient agency accounting teams. 

 

We had such a great time at Mirren Live and are looking forward to reuniting next year! 

To learn more about how FastPay can improve payments for your company, contact our sales team at fastpaysales@avidxchange.com. 

 

FastPay at ANA AFM: Powering Your Payables

After two long years, we were a sponsor at ANA’s annual Advertising Financial Management Conference held in Orlando, Florida this past week. Nearly 300 attendees came together from across the country to listen to powerful perspectives on the ever-evolving media landscape and how organizations are maximizing their profits.  

Attendees stopped by our booth between sessions to learn about the increased efficiency that comes with using the FastPay platform. We discussed how FastPay ePay seamlessly automates and optimizes your accounts payables, for improved workflow and streamlined payments. FastPay ePay is an essential tool for those looking to modernize their AP department.  

 

 

We enjoyed connecting with and learning from key advertising financial stakeholders who are shaping the industry and are looking forward to more conferences to come!  

To learn more about how FastPay can improve payments for your company, contact our sales team at fastpaysales@avidxchange.com. 

An Evening of Workamajito’s!

FastPay is proud to have sponsored the reception at our partner Workamajig’s recent Finance Bootcamp held in Tempe, Arizona. The event consisted of a full day of focused sessions covering everything finance related in Workamajig, with plenty of time for Q&A so clients could engage with the tool in a small, close-knit setting. After a long day of learning, everyone headed to the reception for the cocktail of the hour, the Workamajito, and a chance to unwind and get to know others at the event. 

In partnership with Workamajig, we have an API integration that makes the payments process even smoother by fitting into your existing workflow and digitizing all payables directly from Workamajig – with just the click of a button. By using both Workamajig and FastPay, you’re able to improve your team’s efficiency while simultaneously increasing revenue.  

Our team had a blast meeting those who attended and we can’t wait for the next Workamajig event! 

To learn more about how FastPay fits into your Workamajig workflow, contact our sales team at fastpaysales@avidxchange.com. 

FastPay at LMA: Transforming Legal Accounts Payable

 

FastPay recently attended the Legal Marketing Association conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. We were proud to be a sponsor of the event and connect with hundreds of legal marketing professionals who came together from across the world! The conference consisted of over 70 high impact speakers, sessions, and workshops on topics ranging from leadership to client experience within the legal vertical, providing a valuable learning experience to all.

We connected with attendees between sessions to discuss how FastPay’s ePay solution is a game changer for accounts payable departments. ePay makes for flexible and streamlined media payments, eliminating the burden of checks and seamlessly automating and optimizing your team’s workflow through integrations with your current accounting system. By enabling you to manage all of your department functions on one platform, you’re able to ensure business continuity and add revenue to your bottom line on invoices paid through the ePay system. 

We had an amazing time at LMA and can’t wait to connect with more legal professionals to improve accounts payables for your firm! 

To learn more about how you can implement FastPay ePay, schedule a call with our team at sales@gofastpay.com

Media Industry Trends: 5 Widespread Shifts Shaping Accounts Payable

This article was originally posted on the AvidXchange blog.

The advertising industry was hit hard by the pandemic, down more than $20 billion in 2020, according to Statista. After a swift recovery, it’s predicted to experience exponential growth in 2022. 

As ad spending continues to climb and media buying and advertising agencies take on more work, what does it mean for staff that handles the invoicing and payments? A lot of work. And, it demands long-overdue modernization of age-old processes to make it happen. 

We’re taking a look at the current state of AP in the media industry and how key industry trends are predicted to impact the way it manages invoicing and payments to better serve and grow their businesses in 2022.

 

1. Retention challenges and thin staffs

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the media industry is projected to grow faster than the average of all industries, but growth isn’t coming easy. Since the start of the pandemic, the media world has been hit especially hard by hiring and retention challenges. 

Staffing isn’t a new challenge for media. It’s an industry that tends to employ young professionals who are notorious for job hopping. But, the Great Reshuffle has amplified concerns about how to keep prized talent and attract new people. The strain impacts nearly every role across agencies, from creative to those who handle accounts payables (AP) and payments. 

Heavy attrition and a competitive job market means that teams need to do more work with less. And, when people leave, they take with them knowledge, training, and processes that have to be re-taught to new hires, putting critical processes in jeopardy and additional strain on overflowing plates.  

Agencies are leaning heavily on technology to ensure valuable data stays with them and is easily accessible. They are also looking to create more streamlined, less time consuming processes for their often complex invoice and payment processes.

As hiring and retention challenges continue in 2022, it’s likely that agencies will ramp up their efforts to eliminate paper processes with automated solutions. Those automated AP solutions will help in securing younger talent who are more likely to choose a tech-savvy employer than one that still depends on paper and cumbersome processes. 

 

2. Continued embrace of end-to-end AP automation solutions

Many media agencies shifted to automated AP at the start of the pandemic, simply out of necessity. It was the only way they could ensure the bills got paid.  

Those who have started to automate reap numerous benefits, such as faster invoicing and better visibility, and AP pros have more time to spend on more strategic directives rather than shuffling paper.  

Some agencies have already invested in complete invoice to payment AP automation solutions. According to a B2B Advertising Report in PYMNTS, more than 68 percent of advertising firms are now using automated payments processes, seen as the last step of AP automation.  

That means nearly one-third of agencies are still using paper checks. Of those check users surveyed by Forrester, more than half have experienced late payments and manual errors, and 40 percent have even lost checks. These mistakes are costly: 30 percent have paid additional processing and material costs and 21 percent have had to cover additional labor costs.  

“The irony of paper check payments is that agencies can serve an ad to a target’s phone in nanoseconds, yet it can take months to get that ad paid,” said Rick Weir, vice president of marketing for FastPay.

According to a Forrester report, “as the volume of suppliers dramatically increases, many media companies are wasting valuable time and money on slow and error-prone payment processes.”

As hybrid work environments become the norm for many, agencies will more heavily depend on automation and complete adoption of AP functions is likely to rise.  

 

3. Reduced liability, simple payments powered by AP automation

One of the unique challenges for the media industry is sequential liability, a complex rule that says a company does not pay what they owe until they receive money that is owed to them for the same work. It’s complicated. Part of the headache is that a Net 30 vendor term can quickly become a Net 120, which can significantly strain cash flow.  

Automation can assist with the net scramble and ease complexities. Providers can offer more competitive credit terms and better reconciliation, and they provide succinct remittance data that makes it easier for agencies to manage the slew of invoices they receive from their complex network of partners and suppliers.  

Agencies who depend on an AP automation partner also have the advantage of not having to field status calls from vendors wanting to know when they’ll receive payment. Automation provides transparency and invoice visibility so those questions are easily answered, and often fielded by an agency’s automation provider. 

But, not all automation providers are equal and not all can handle the unique payment complexities in the media world. Industry players demand an AP automation provider who gets their intricacies.  

“Media companies often come to us because we integrate with their accounting systems and their media buying platforms. We understand their world because we specialize in it and all of our agency clients are paying the same set of suppliers. From historical payment data, we know how those suppliers prefer to get paid, down to the invoice nuance, and how our clients can monetize those payments.”

Theresa Contario, Vice President of Sales, FastPay

 

4. Enhanced cybersecurity measures

Because of the digital nature of their business, media companies are among the most likely targets of phishing campaigns—cybercrime that has soared since the start of the pandemic.  

AvidXchange media clients have reported a three to eight times increase in phishing attempts on media payments since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Firms victimized by cybercrime like phishing attacks and check fraud often turn to automation, looking to do what they realize they should have already done. Automating AP processes protects sensitive information, provides transparency and controls, and offers safer ePayments to help agencies reduce the risk of fraud.  

It also ensures compliance requirements are met and puts the diligence work on automation providers, rather than an agency having to handle it.  

In 2022, firms will likely lean heavily on their automated AP solutions to help ward off threats and ensure safety and compliance. Those who still depend on manual, paper-based processes will likely consider more robust cybersecurity another compelling reason to automate. 

 

5. Looming compliance challenges

There’s chatter around cutting-edge technologies like AI, robotics and machine learning. It’s happening among media AP teams at bigger agencies, and also at smaller firms that are bursting at the seams and looking for relief. It’s for good reason. Gartner estimates that next-level technologies can reduce operational costs by 30 percent, saving organizations across industries both money and time. 

In 2021, AP teams evolved from chatting about and Googling hyperautomation to calling their automation providers for insights and know-how. 

“We can now automate up to 92 percent of payments with AI and machine learning. It’s a game-changer, especially for smaller firms that were trying to manage payments through their corporate credit card with no reconciliation. AI saves incredible time, improves supplier relationships, and reduces the risk of error. The list of benefits goes on and on.”

Rick Weir, Vice President of Marketing, FastPay

It’s likely the adoption of the new technologies will continue to advance as AP teams get more up to speed about the value they can bring to their work and their organizations. They’ll continue to rely on their AP automation providers to lead the way.

 

AvidXchange Announces New FastPay Political+ Platform Automating the Buying and Selling Process for Political Media Agencies

AvidXchange Holdings, Inc. (“AvidXchange”) (Nasdaq: AVDX), a leading provider of accounts payable and payment automation solutions for the middle market, today announced FastPay Political+, a major enhancement of the company’s industry leading platform FastPay Political, designed to help political agencies and media suppliers nationwide automate the media buying and selling process.

FastPay Political+ offers three new critical features within its payment automation platform including:

  • Direct integration with industry-leading media buying system.

  • Automation with check mailing functionality within the continental U.S. that provides digital check copies, embedded tracking numbers, and different shipping method options.

  • Upgraded virtual commercial card management tool that allows customers the ability to create, manage, and reconcile digital virtual commercial credit card payments with enhanced transaction reports.

“According to AdImpact, the political industry is projected to spend over $9 billion in advertising during a historic 2022 mid-term election, and we knew we needed to deliver an enhanced platform to best support our customers during this time of anticipated exponential growth,” said Secil Baysal, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Media at AvidXchange. “We’re confident FastPay Political+ will help agencies operate at maximum efficiency during this time by automating and reducing existing pain points within the manual payments process.”

“Our longstanding partnership with FastPay has gotten even stronger with FastPay Political+, which enables our team to worry less about when and if media payments have been delivered and focus more on our agency’s winning formula for our clients,” says Patrick Kennedy, CFO of AL Media.

To learn more about FastPay Political+, visit: https://gofastpay.com/fastpay-political/.

About AvidXchange

AvidXchange is a leading provider of accounts payable (“AP”) automation software and payment solutions for middle-market businesses and their suppliers. AvidXchange’s software-as-a-service-based, end-to-end software and payment platform digitizes and automates the AP workflows for more than 7,000 businesses and it has made payments to more than 700,000 supplier customers of its buyers over the past five years.

Forward-Looking Statements

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Factors which could cause actual results or effects to differ materially from those reflected in forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the risk factors and other cautionary statements described in registration statements and periodic reports we file with the SEC, including our prospectus as amended and filed with the SEC pursuant to Rule 424(b)(4) on October 14, 2021 which may be obtained on the investor relations section of our website (https://ir.avidxchange.com/) and on the SEC website at www.sec.gov. Any forward-looking statements made by us in this press release are based only on information currently available to us and speak only as of the date they are made, and we assume no obligation to update any of these statements in light of new information, future events or otherwise unless required under the federal securities laws.

Contact

Olivia Sorrells
osorrells@avidxchange.com
980-643-7889