While digitalization continues to take hold of the business world, the billing and collections functions for many organizations remain largely paper based. Businesses that automate the accounts receivable process may accomplish several operational and financial goals.
There are many benefits that organizations can unlock when they “go digital.”
Being Efficient is everything
Generating a paper invoice is a laborious process — especially when there’s a digital alternative. Instead of creating, printing and mailing an invoice, organizations can autogenerate electronic invoices and e-reminders for overdue payments. This reduces the administrative burden considerably. Plus, e-billing saves on office supplies such as paper, envelopes and stamps.
Digitalization streamlines the cash conversion cycle. The accounting department doesn’t need to spend time mailing paper invoices and late notices. Instead, you might be able to reassign some staff members from administrative tasks to value-added ones, such as budgeting, forecasting and cash management.
Customers like it, too
On the flipside, customers that pay electronically — or set up an autopay option — don’t need to waste time sending a check. Plus, recipients of e-invoices could be more likely to pay quickly to capture discounts or merely remove the payment from their to-do lists.
Most customers, whether consumers or other businesses, have gotten comfortable paying via digital options, such as credit cards, ACH or wire transfers. Companies that sell directly to consumers may also accept payment via PayPal, Venmo or other digital payment apps. These alternatives might offer lower fees than those charged by credit cards.
At the end of the day, businesses that facilitate easy digital payments are easier to work with. Reducing customers’ administrative burdens can, in turn, increase their loyalty to your company. It can also reduce the potential for the conflicts that often arise when payments go missing or arrive late.
An added “bonus”
One added “bonus” of an optimized, automated accounts receivable system: Assuming it’s secure and users follow protocols, the right software can help you prevent fraud.
Paper checks are, after all, notoriously easy to fabricate or falsify. And because you won’t need to mail checks, you’ll no longer be at risk of check thievery by a third party. Beyond all that, the more visible and accessible data is to authorized personnel, the more likely they are to spot abnormalities and troubling trendlines.
If the time is right, fully digitizing your accounts receivable system could save money and help you grow the business. Just be sure to shop carefully, set a feasible budget and invest only in a solution that truly suits your well-specified needs. Let us assist you in weighing the costs, risks and advantages of this IT investment and any others you’re considering. Contact your Rudler, PSC advisor for help digitalizing your accounts receivable process at 859-331-1717.
RUDLER, PSC CPAs and Business Advisors
This week's Rudler Review is presented by Maria Graell, Staff Accountant and Matthew Topmiller, CPA.
If you would like to discuss your particular situation, contact Maria or Matt at 859-331-1717.
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