Accounts receivable are a major consideration in many mergers. The issues that need to be considered go far beyond the valuation of accounts receivable, amounts past due, and estimates of collectability.
During the due diligence process the accounts receivable departments need to be thoroughly reviewed to determine the most efficient and cost effective way for the departments to be merged and operated in the future. Here are some suggestions on how to prepare in the accounts receivable department for a merger.
Start with a view of the big picture so you don’t get lost in the forest because of the trees. Overlay the major business processes, transaction cycles, organizations and staffing, policies and procedures and technologies to identify differences in the departments and possible gaps in critical areas.
ORGANIZATION AND STAFFING
Review organization charts, job descriptions and personnel files. Depending on how you plan to operate when the merger is completed, and the level of technology and accounts receivable automation you have available, develop a new organization chart, select key personnel and determine staffing requirements. You may need fewer people in some functions and more in other duties. Focus on increased cash flow and customer service, not reduction in headcount.
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Mergers can involve businesses in similar or different products, services and markets. The choice of policies and procedures depends on whether the businesses are alike or not.
In the case of similar businesses, policies and procedures should be aligned to achieve operating efficiency, but keep an open mind. The policies and procedures of the company to be merged may be superior.
The policies and procedures of businesses that operate in different markets may need to be different to be competitive. In that case, align what is appropriate and leave the rest unchanged.
Goals and KPIs need to be established for the merged departments, so you can determine if the post-merger department is operating as planned.
Software platforms and communication technology should be aligned as much as possible to be cost effective and efficient.
If software platforms are different, the decision on whether to migrate to your company’s platform will again depend on whether the businesses are similar or not. Cloud-based software applications can make it easier and less expensive to share a common platform. If different platforms are used, software to help consolidate data from multiple business systems will probably be needed.
The same decisions need to be made for communication technology. The merged companies should align capabilities as much as possible depending on the markets served.
ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE AUTOMATION
Either company or both may not be using accounts receivable automation for some or all of their processes. Accounts receivable automation is an essential requirement to achieve cost effective and efficient results, and increased cash flow.
Software for accounts receivable automation and data consolidation from multiple business systems is available from Lockstep Collect, a leader in cloud-based and premise based software solutions, with the experience and expertise to help you successfully merge accounts receivable departments.
If you would like to learn more about how you can benefit from accounts receivable automation and data consolidation, please contact Lockstep Collect at www.lockstep.io.