When using phone call automation for accounts receivable, the most popular option to do this is using interactive voice response or IVR. Even if you have never used IVR before, you likely have encountered it and used it before. Recall a time you called a company and were prompted with menu options. Maybe you called your cell phone company and had the option of pressing 1 to pay your bill, pressing 2 to change your plan or pressing 3 to speak with a representative. This is IVR at work.

IVR is an automated telephony system that can make a connection from a computer to a human. This allows companies to handle large volumes of calls either inbound or outbound. A prerecorded menu can be added to the IVR system to allow customers to self-serve their needs.

This is extremely helpful to the accounts receivable process. If you get a large number of inbound calls from customers asking for information on things like balances, past invoices or past payments, they can get this information on their own from the prerecorded menu. This frees up time that would take up hours of the collection representative’s day. Instead of manually searching for every customer’s information and what they still owe whenever they call in. When making outbound calls, the collection representative now doesn’t even need to pick up the phone. They can simply make calls from their computer with all the customer information pulled up in front of them.