More than a year has passed since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in the United States. The pandemic wreaked havoc on the economy and turned the normal way of doing business upside down for many industries and companies. Accounts receivable, collections and cash flow, which were always a challenge, became critical as businesses closed and accounts receivable went unpaid.
The pandemic forced companies to close their offices, and the trend to remote work became the norm for many companies. This paradigm shift to working remotely created a mismatch in the flow of information and documents needed to transact business. Companies that did not have automated processes were impacted the most as the normal flow of information by paper ceased was delayed.
The pandemic amplified issues with on-time payments. Customer payments fell behind, creating a cash flow squeeze for many companies.
When customers closed their offices AP departments stopped working until personnel could get set up to work remotely. Companies with manual systems had to rely on paperwork they could get forwarded from their offices. Invoices and statements sent to offices weren’t being seen by AP personnel. Approvals for payments that could be processed were hampered by difficulty in getting internal approvals. Checks had to be processed manually if at all. Records of AP balances were not updated on a timely basis.
The payments by check that could be processed were further delayed by lengthy and prolonged problems in the postal system. Mail that had to pass through major processing centers was delayed for weeks.
Companies with manual AR systems struggled when offices closed and team members had to work remotely. Payments were not received and applied on a timely basis. AR balances and past dues were not kept up to date. AP contacts who worked remotely were difficult to reach.
AR and AP issues were easier to deal with for companies with automated systems. Cloud-based AR and AP solutions with self-service portals and automated processes kept vendors and customers connected no matter where they were located. Automated information continued to flow and be updated, reducing the impact of the pandemic on payments and cash flow.
Automation can help to reduce or eliminate the reasons for getting paid late. Automation makes this possible by eliminating or reducing the road blocks and delays that can cause late payments. Automation increases efficiency, reduces costs and results in increased profits, cash flow and shareholder value.
Lockstep Collect, a leader in cloud-based credit and collection platforms, can help you collect cash in 4 ways:
- Cloud-based solutions
- Automated customer communications
- Customer self-service
- Collections Activity Management
Lockstep Collect is an experienced software partner that can help you maximize your collections and cash flow in the new normal.
If you would like to learn more about how you can benefit from automated credit and collection solutions, please contact Lockstep Collect at www.lockstep.io.