Companies have been using technology to improve performance and streamline processes for decades, but accounts receivable departments have been left behind to suffer through manual processes. While automating your accounts receivable process many not be the first thing that pops into your head when you’re brainstorming how to reach cash flow goals, many companies are realizing that it should be considered as a valuable and worthwhile investment. Here are three things you probably didn’t know about accounts receivable collection software that may move improving A/R processes up to the top of your to-do list.
ITS LESS COMPLICATED THAN YOU THINK
Using an automated system, while it will take some getting used to a training on your part, is easier than you think. Especially when you compare it to the long and arduous manual processes you’re likely using now. For example, you can easily complete all actions for any given customer in just one screen, including scheduling customer communications, adding notes, making phone calls, assigning an account to a different user, accessing financial information, payment history, and much more. Here is what one accounts receivable software user has to say:
I was skeptical at first but this is one of the easiest systems I have ever installed. After initial implementation was taken care of, the system ran smoothly, support was fantastic, and it has paid for itself time over time!
IT CAN IMPROVE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND RETENTION
the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% but only 5-20% for new prospects, making it very clear that increasing customer satisfaction and retention should be on top of any company’s priority list. Have you ever thought about how much your accounts receivable collection process impacts how a customer feels about your business? In most cases it’s the last point of contact they’ll have with your company, which means it may very well be the first thing they remember when deciding if they should do business with you again in the future. Making the invoice and payment process fast and easy is essential not only to ensure you get paid on time, but to increase the chances of repeat business. Accounts receivable software helps to retain customers and increase satisfaction by:
- Allowing you to quickly resolve invoice disputes when they do happen.
- Giving the entire team to access up-to-date invoice information. That way, when a customer calls in about an invoice there is no confusion and they don’t have to explain themselves or the situation over again if someone else picks up the phone or a collector leaves the company, is out sick, is on vacation, etc.
- Automating communications such as payment reminders or a collection letter for more open and consistent communications with customers.
- Automating the phone call management process, allowing customers to easily access their personal account information and quickly.
- Allowing customers to pay and access invoices through a personal customer portal
YOUR COMPETITORS MAY ALREADY BE USING IT – AND GETTING AHEAD
It may sound a little odd at first to think that you could be losing competitive advantage due to the way you manage invoices, but its possible. If you’re using slow, manual processes and getting paid late, you don’t have the cash you need to invest in the growth of your company. If you’re competitors are able to access cash and working capital, they may be able to buy equipment, technology, and hire more people to take their business to the next level.
Is this something you really need to worry about? Research shows that more and more companies are either implementing or planning to implement an A/R management solution; so if it’s something you’re already considering, now is the time to get out ahead by increasing cash flow.