4 Reasons Not to Overlook Accounts Receivable Automation

accounts-receivable-problemsIt’s not rocket science; finance professionals understand the value of automating their accounts payable process. The pain of a manual AP process is impossible to ignore and felt throughout an entire organization.

…But what about Accounts Receivable?

With so much focus on automating accounts payable, it seems the inefficiencies and cost of a manual, in house accounts receivable process are easily overlooked.

Since October 14-18 is officially Accounts Receivable Recognition week, it is only appropriate to acknowledge appreciation where warranted, and shed some light on the positive impact accounts receivable automation can have within organizations.

…But What about Accounts Receivable?

Sure, maybe the pain of a manual AP process is harder to ignore, but unlike AP, the benefits of AR automation are immediate and require very little work on the part of your organization.

Here are 4 BIG reasons to stop putting aside your AR project, and to get it off the ground and running:

  1. 100% paperless, right away.
    The great thing about automating your accounts receivable process is your organization can go 100% paperless immediately. Your accounts receivable solution vendor should be able to seamlessly integrate with your invoicing application, and take over the printing and mailing of paper invoices, so your organization is paperless right away. If your customer-base is international, it is also beneficial to work with a vendor who has multiple mail rooms located world-wide. This helps save on the inevitable shipping costs associated with mailing paper invoices.
  2. File cabinets become a thing of the past.
    Does your finance department have an embarrassing amount of file cabinets housing paper invoices? It’s ok; you’re not alone. Electronic archiving allows you to avoid the mounds of paper and time consuming filing associated with manual storage. This also make searching for invoices much easier, allowing for improved customer service.
  3. Customers feel no pain.
    While your organization can immediately reap the benefits of paperless invoicing, your customers will not suffer as a result. We all have those customers who INSIST on receiving paper invoices (you know who I’m talking about); it’s unavoidable. Yes, you could force your customers to move to e-invoicing, but a forced change may cause confusion and frustration. Instead, allow your customers to choose their invoice preference in a web portal. Offer incentives for choosing an e-invoicing preference (over postal mail or fax), and allow your customers to adapt at their own pace.
  4. Electronic invoicing compliance guaranteed.
    Understanding and meeting the government regulations around e-invoicing in different countries can be difficult and confusing. Working with an AR vendor takes the work of understanding the “legal stuff” off your plate. Your AR vendor should understand the regulations and laws of e-invoicing, and be able to comply with the specific country regulations.

The Benefits of Accounts Receivable Automation

The benefits of automating accounts receivable are clear:

  • Save money on the cost of sending invoices by 40-80%.
  • Increase efficiency (and space) with electronic archiving.
  • Reduce Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) by at least two days.
  • Diminish document handling time by nearly 96%.
  • Improve customer service by adhering to different customer invoice preferences.

What other benefits has your organization seen from automating accounts receivable?

Sara Kerwin

With a background in lead generation and writing for SEO, Sara is in charge of leading Esker's digital marketing efforts. Obsessed with all things Google, she is taking the online world of document process automation by storm as she educates business professionals on how to make their company's business processes more strategic, efficient and cost-effective.

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