How Can Using Accounts Receivable Software Automate Business Processes?
Credit professionals spend a lot of time with manual processes that should be automated or simplified to the point where they are much easier to manage. Some tasks that can be automated include reprinting of invoices and statements, invoice and statement delivery, due date reminders, and past due collections communications.
The first step toward automating the process begins with invoices and statements. One of the most common excuses credit professionals hear for non-payment is that they never received the invoice in the first place. The credit manager then has to reprint invoices and deliver them to the contact via fax or email. This is very time-consuming and a task that could easily be eliminated if the invoices and statements were already available in an electronic format. Further, some companies do not allow collection representatives full access to the accounting system to reprint invoices. This can cause additional payment delays as the documents are requested from the accounting department.
One solution is to generate PDF copies of invoices and statements when the original invoice or statement is printed from the ERP accounting system. Some Accounts Receivable Software applications provide built-in document management capabilities that not only generate PDF copies of documents, but can automatically file the documents in customer folders which are quickly accessed by credit and collection representatives.
Some ERP systems provide automated tools to deliver invoices and statements to customers via email or fax. However, many ERP systems do not provide this type of functionality which can delay invoice delivery and which in-turn delays customer payment. Credit managers should investigate Accounts Receivable Software systems to expedite invoice and statement delivery as this is often the most prevalent reason for late payments.
Much of the communication that is provided to late accounts is standard and could be automated based on a customer classification, amount owed, and days outstanding. Collection representatives shouldn’t have to write the same email or letter over and over again to dozens or hundreds of customers when they could quickly mass-mail customers who should receive the same message. For example, some Accounts Receivable Software applications facilitate the delivery of template reports, such as an open invoice report, to multiple companies who have open balances.
Communications and other business processes can be streamlined by automating delivery of credit and collection letters via email using Accounts Receivable Software. Further, integrated document management systems can be setup to create and automatically file electronic copies of invoices and statements that credit managers can access for review or to fax or email to customers who do not have access to the accounting system to reprint these documents.