As an accounts receivable professional, a good majority of your time is probably consumed by sending email. And if it isn’t, that’s probably because you have too many other things to do than sit around and type out emails to customers. Either way, doing this task manually will inevitably leave you behind on your accounts receivable. Some customers simply won’t get touched. The solution to this is using automated email.

Automated email allows you to break out groups of customers based on circumstances, such as the number of days late on an invoice, whether they are in dispute, if they are due for an invoice or if they are a new customer. You can then send emails automatically for those customers specifically to send them the information they need. When you are sending the emails automatically, you are able to save more time. Below, we’re going to highlight some of the time saving benefits of using automated email.

When an email is being crafted manually, your task usually looks like this:

1. Look up the customer’s account
2. Find out if they have received any previous reminders or communications
3. Find out how much the invoice is worth
4. Look up the invoice number
5. Look up the primary contact
6. Write out the email
7. Send the email

Writing an email this way can take about 5 minutes each. Although that doesn’t seem like much, when you have 100 or more of these to send it could take hours. In fact, just 100 manual emails would take you eight hours (an entire day of work) at 5 minutes each.

If you’re using automated email your task to send out email will look more like this:

1. Pick a group of customers to send the email to, such as all customers 45 days past due
2. Choose a pre-created email template
3. Set the auto-email to go out at a certain day or time

In just a minute or two you have eliminated an entire day’s work.

Companies using automated email for accounts receivable have seen a huge reduction in time that they instead use to make phone calls to customers who are especially late on payment. Since using automated email, BEGA-US has saved 332 hours of time. Not only are they sending payment reminders and collection emails, but sending welcome emails to new customers. This has helped them to forge relationships with new customers and give them an idea of what their collection policy is, to continue their good accounts receivable days. After only using automated emails for one year, PolyPortables LLC. has sent 8,770 auto-emails and saved 439 hours. Those are hours they have instead spent on the phone with customers asking for payment and reducing their average days late to only 4.

Using automated email makes a huge difference in your collections process. Where you may have only been able to send an initial invoice and one reminder, you can now send a welcome email, a reminder, a past due notice, a second reminder and make a phone call. With all the time saved you will actually start collecting more and improve your accounts receivable.