Everyone wants a quick fix to their issues, it comes with the age of instantaneous access. You don’t have to wait until you get to the library to find the answer you’re looking for, just get on your smartphone and ask the question you have in Google. We can watch movies instantly by opening up Netflix, or any streaming services, and we can find out news as it’s happening on social media networks. However, there are some things that can’t come completely instantaneously. Sometimes you have to work to optimize a process in order to become streamlined and effective, put in the hard work ahead of time to reap the benefits later.
Optimizing your accounts receivable process includes putting a little work in up front, unless you have the tools to automate this process. Using an automated accounts receivable tool makes the below processes instantaneous.
KEEP ACCURATE CUSTOMER DATA
When you’re sending out invoices to customers, it’s important to know who the primary contact is, what their email address is and what the company address is. Often times, if you’re manually keying in this information it can be incorrect. If this information is incorrect, there’s a chance you will get paid very late, or never at all. If you’re sending the invoice to the wrong contact or to the wrong email address, there is a chance the right person who will pay the invoice will never be contacted. You can avoid this by checking in on your customers every now and again and verifying that their information is up to date.
CREATE A STREAMLINED BILLING PROCESS
Your accounts receivable team should have a process and workflow that is followed every time an invoice is sent to a customer. This includes timing of the invoice being sent, timing of follow ups, email templates and what to do if an account needs to be escalated. A lot of these processes can be automated by using accounts receivable software, including payment reminders and invoice presentment as soon as the invoice is created. Without a proper process in place, certain accounts may be left to the wayside and not paying on time.
Having a process for cash application is extremely important, not just for internal recording and proper accounting, but because it can be extremely helpful if an invoice dispute arises. Payments should be applied to the correct account against the correct invoice as soon as invoice comes in. This is another process that can be automated using accounts receivable software.