The Best AP Automation Software for Multifamily Real Estate Companies

October 19, 2022

7 min read

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AP Automation Software

While AP teams everywhere must process invoices and payments, AP teams in multifamily real estate companies frequently have to perform more of a juggling act because they are managing a lot of volume. There are often 1000s of invoices a month, which they need to get entered into their system, approved, and paid.

They also need to pay a wide range of suppliers – from one-person LLCs that may be cutting grass to large national companies, that are providing goods to their properties across the country.

Plus, they often work with multiple third-party software packages and general ledgers to track their purchases and budgets.

That’s why multifamily companies should count on Nexus, the AP automation software built explicitly for real estate. It can help real estate companies meet these needs, and many others, that are often unique to the vertical.

Reduced Data Entry

Manually keying in hundreds of invoices a month will wipe out just about any AP team.

With Nexus, you can receive invoices into your AP automation software platform easily – and even shift much of the burden to suppliers.

1. Online portal – Authorized suppliers log in to the NexusConnect self-service portal and upload their invoice onto the screen and submit directly it to you nexus AP automation account. Or, they can upload a CSV file containing invoice data through the portal, too. When submitting invoices through these methods, suppliers take care of some of the initial invoice coding on their end.

2. Emailed invoices – Suppliers send invoice data in CSV file format to a dedicated Nexus email address, without needing to log in to NexusConnect. These invoices are transmitted directly through to your Nexus account.

3. E-invoice – Suppliers transmit invoice data via application programming interface (API). Invoices arrive right in your Nexus account with invoice number, property code, invoice total, and other details already entered. This is a great option for those larger suppliers from whom you receive lots of invoices.

You can always self-scan invoices into Nexus, too.

Automatic Invoice Routing to the Right Approver Every Time

Once invoices are entered into your Nexus AP automation software and coded, they get automatically routed to the right approver every time. The system knows where to send them based on the workflow rules you have pre-configured.

You can route your invoices based on criteria such as:

  • GL Category
  • MTD Budget Comparison
  • YTD Budget Comparison
  • Yearly Budget Comparison
  • Department
  • Specific Vendor
  • Contract Code
  • Job Code
  • Property

And, Nexus lets you configure workflows with just about any combination of routing rules. So, you can create an approval workflow that sends all over-budget invoices for specific job codes to an approver in Construction Finance, versus to the typical approver for over-budget invoices.

Electronic Purchasing Controls

Lots of properties equate to lots of expenses for multifamily real estate companies. But that doesn’t have to mean a steady stream of surprise invoices at the end of the month. You can add controls to your company’s purchasing with Nexus’s embedded supplier catalog and electronic purchase order functionality.

Incorporate Supplier Catalogs into the Software for Controlled Purchasing

Let’s say you get preferred bulk pricing on appliances ordered through HD Supply. And order all your office supplies from Staples. Just give Nexus the word, and we’ll embed the HD Supply and Staples catalogs – or the catalogs of virtually any other vendor – right into your Nexus AP automation software. The catalogs will pull in all your pre-negotiated pricing and can display only the brands and SKUs you want.

Then, when your authorized employees need to buy printer paper or dishwashers (or anything else), they simply log into Nexus. They browse these online catalogs, add items to their shopping cart, and click to create and send a purchase request for these items (or, an electronic purchase order/e-PO).

Quick Electronic Purchase Order Routing and Review

E-POs are routed automatically to the correct reviewer(s), who can check if the request is within budget with the click of a button. If the item is overbudget or not approved for any other reason, the reviewer can veto the purchase and avoid incurring the expense in the first place. It they approve it, the e-PO is sent automatically to the supplier for fulfillment.

With these two pieces of functionality, your purchasing can be simple, centralized, trackable, and compliant.

High Percentage of Electronic Payments Starting Day One

Cutting paper checks to suppliers can eat up a ton of time for multifamily AP teams since it involves chasing down approvers, printing off checks, and stuffing envelopes. But, with Nexus AP automation software, you can ditch checks and issue payments electronically instead. Everything happens online with clicks, and in the same platform as your invoicing and procurement.

You don’t have to worry about if your suppliers will be willing to switch off checks, either. During our 20+ years in real estate, Nexus has built the largest supplier network of vendors who do work for multifamily and other real estate businesses. These suppliers are familiar with and trust Nexus, and many have already said “yes” to e-payments. You can therefore count on a high percentage of your suppliers being “in network”, and ready/able to receive electronic payments from you. So, on Day One with NexusPayments, you won’t be issuing as many checks as before.

If any of your suppliers aren’t yet part of our network, we’ll reach out to them and encourage them to start accepting new payment types like virtual card (a secure, one-time use card number sent to suppliers via email) or NexusDirect (a straight-through-processing option). These payment methods arrive far faster than checks, and are fully trackable online, so many suppliers don’t need much convincing.

Supplier Self-Service Tools to Track Invoices and Payments

Because your suppliers are so critical to keeping your properties running optimally, it’s important to stay in good standing with them. That’s a whole lot easier to do that when you keep them looped in on their invoices and payments. With the NexusConnect portal, suppliers can keep tabs on these 24/7.

After uploading and submitting invoices through the portal, suppliers can track their status – submitted, returned, paid, etc. – with a click. No need to pick up the phone or go back-and-forth over email.

Once they’ve opted in to receiving payments through Nexus, they can also track payment status and access payment details in the tool, too. In seconds, they can pull up all their virtual card details like card number, expiration date, and CVV – to plug right into their point of sale. And they can see when payments are unprocessed, processed, processing, etc.

This helps your vendors focus more on servicing your properties, and less on their accounts receivable.

Integration with the Top Property Management Systems and Other Real Estate Softwares

While manually uploading files to general ledgers may work for some AP teams, it’s often too cumbersome for AP teams in the real estate industry. There’s too much data that needs to be passed – between budgets, actuals, and purchases – to make informed decisions.

That’s why Nexus integrates with all the top property management systems/GLs in real estate (and lots of other software platforms in the space, too). If your company acquires another company that uses Yardi, while all your other properties use MRI, there’s no issue. Nexus can support multiple integrations all at once – and pass data back and forth to the GLs seamlessly.

The most important data flows from your GL to Nexus and from Nexus to your GL – all automatically. So, you’ll always have context and history for all your AP decisions.

*Job Types, Job Cost, Cost Codes, Phase Codes, Contracts, Change Orders, Job Budgets, Contract Budgets (when applicable)

Nexus AP Automation Software Is Built for Multifamily Companies

The accounts payable process is often varied and complex for multifamily real estate companies. We at Nexus know this, and build our AP automation software to handle all these ins and outs. After over two decades solving for these challenges, we happily count many of the largest multifamily companies as Nexus customers.