As your business grows, using Excel spreadsheets to manage your accounts receivable and cash flow simply won’t do the job anymore. As hard as change is, you really need to consider a new way of managing one of the most important assets in your business. You can usually tell when it is time to let go and move on to accounts receivable software when you are spending majority of your time copying down numbers and not a lot of time left to call your customers.Once you’ve realized that it’s time to let go of Excel, what’s the next step? Finding the vendor can make or break your next accounts receivable software relationship. You need to find an application that can meet all the needs that Excel couldn’t, whether that’s integrated email, customer communication notes, automated alerts or integrated reports. You could put out an ad for all accounts receivable software vendors, like this one:

I was previously using Excel Spreadsheets, but they simply aren’t meeting me business needs anymore. They can’t keep up with the amount of invoices we’re processing each month. We’re a B2B business, selling to other business on credit terms and I have no way to even vet these business just by using Excel spreadsheets. We keep growing and are currently dealing with over 1,000 invoices a month. We need an accounts receivable software that can send invoices to customers, allow them to pay online and alert us when customers have gone past due. Do you have what it takes?

But putting out an ad like that isn’t necessary. You can start by answering a few questions about your business and accounts receivable processes:

1. What are your current processes and how are they not working for you?
2. What is your current and future business model?
3. What are your current products/services?
4. How many invoices/customers are you dealing with in a month?
5. What do you want to gain from accounts receivable software?

Once you have answered these questions, you’ll be able to better describe what you need in an accounts receivable software and better find the right match for you. Answering these questions will help vendors to know if they can meet your needs or not based on how many invoices you are processing monthly and what type of business your company is. Here are a few questions you should ask accounts receivable software vendors to know if they can help your business or not:

1. Is the product hosted or on-premise?
2. Is the software scalable and able to growth with me?
3. What additional features are available beyond simple accounts receivable management?
4. What kind of support do you offer?
5. Do you have case studies or references of successful customers?

Answering and asking these questions keeps your business from signing a contract with the wrong accounts receivable software vendor. Not all accounts receivable software is made equally, just as not every business is. Finding the right match determines whether your business will be able to continue to grow or lose out on cash flow.