Accounts Receivable Automation should be on the agenda for any business who hasn’t already embraced it. We’re not talking about replacing humans with machines here, we’re talking about working smarter and embracing technology to empower AR teams to be more productive.
For any business already sending invoices electronically, automating invoice production and distribution is a simple extension of this process. Few businesses would adopt e-invoicing without integrating this with Accounts Receivable systems to automatically generate and distribute invoices.
Automating Accounts Receivable processes means more than just electronic invoicing. With typical levels of e-invoicing adoption sitting at 60% (at Netsend this is over 80%), this still leaves a good 40% of invoices to be sent by post. Automating print and postage either requires significant investment in equipment, or simply outsourcing this to an expert partner and benefiting from economies of scale. Print and postage time is one of the more manual requirements AR teams are often saddled with, removing the need for this frees up the team to focus on more valuable activities.
AR Automation – beyond invoicing
AR Automation goes beyond invoices. Consider the time spent sending messages to chase late payers – whether overdue, or habitually late. Automation rules can be set to trigger reminders based on invoice amount (avoid delays on large invoices which can hurt cashflow), payment history or whether the recipient has opened the original invoice. Automation does away with the risk of accidentally reminding the wrong person, or missing out those who need reminding most.
Automation can also be used, in conjunction with e-invoicing, to generate a list of contacts who have not paid, or even opened their initial invoices. Automation rules can be set to compliment reminder messages and statements, ensuring the appropriate level of contact is applied to bring payments in as swiftly as possible.
Reduce Support Calls into Accounts Receivable
Repetitive tasks for Accounts Receivable also include the need to answer the same types of support requests from customers, such as invoice reprints or access to invoicing histories. Whilst Automation itself cannot reduce these calls, the best AR Automation solutions, such as Netsend, provide an online portal for customers to access their invoices securely. This portal can also provide access to invoicing history, links to pay invoices online, options to print and download invoices and a route to edit contact details or related information.
Handling the most common support requests through extended functionality in an online portal reduces calls into the AR department, freeing up the team to focus on payment cases where a human touch is required.
Report Automation for Accounts Receivable
When AR teams aren’t issuing invoices, or chasing down payments, they’re providing information on cashflow to the wider business. Given the nature of reports required, a large percentage of these, or at least the data that is presented in them, can be automated. Better still, AR Automation can alert members of the team to specific conditions that warrant reporting or acting on – turning a typically reactive process into something proactive.
The most valuable asset to any business is ultimately people. Think about the human qualities and experience that is underused in your AR department. Reducing repetitive tasks and freeing the team up to bring this to bear on situations that need it will have a direct impact on cashflow.
Collecting money fast is always a major competitive edge, so empowering the AR team with AR Automation has far-reaching benefits. Find out more about how AR Automation can make a difference to your business, or get in touch to hear how Netsend can help you achieve this.