AR Automation – Automating Accounts Receivable

How electronic invoicing and document distribution are revolutionising accounts receivable processes. How AR teams can become more efficient and improve cash flow through automation.

AR Automation - Automating Accounts Receivable

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Excerpt from the white paper:

Introduction

 
The accounts receivable team are rarely celebrated in the same way that sales teams are. Yet their role in bringing cash into the business is absolutely central. Without the swift and accurate presentment of invoices to customers, cash flow would falter, hampering growth, creating instability and choking the business.

 
But cash flow requires more than just getting the invoices out there quickly and accurately. The real value of the AR team comes through astute management of exceptions to the payment process, pre-empting payment problems and addressing concerns quickly, before they slow the flow of cash into the business. Human qualities that require time and focus to achieve.

 
With over 40% of B2B invoices1 in Western Europe paid late and days sales outstanding (DSO) at 48 days in the same region, it’s easy to see the potential for cash flow improvement.

 
Credit controllers, and AR teams need to be empowered to solve payment problems and bring the cash into the business sooner. This white paper looks at common obstacles to this simple objective and how automation of AR processes are generating competitive advantage for a growing number of businesses.

 

The Status Quo: Accounts Receivable Challenges

Manual and repetitive invoicing processes are a daily challenge faced by many AR teams. It’s not uncommon to find several members of the team dedicating hours each day to printing, sorting, folding and preparing invoices for post. It’s arguable that such care and attention, checking each invoice amount and destination, is time well spent – such is the value of each communication. However, time spent invoicing is time not chasing payments or addressing problems with invoices or other aspects of the billing process.

 
A similar challenge exists, on a smaller scale, with the need to identify and address situations that would benefit from a statement, or Dunning letter, to encourage prompt payment.

 
In an ideal world, much of the repetitive work would be handled automatically, freeing up AR teams to focus on areas that demand a personal touch and human problem-solving skills.

 
Beyond the daily slog through repetitive invoicing processes, AR teams may need to supply payment status reports to management. And in some cases, audits of payment histories are required. These challenges both require AR teams to report accurately at scale, across broad invoicing histories.

 
AR teams need to keep well-indexed records, allowing easy access to related communications, to act on exceptions to the payment process and explain anomalies to auditors or higher management.

 

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