With the "unprecedented" events of the past few years, businesses are looking to become more efficient in all areas of their organizations. An area that is often overlooked due to its manual processes is accounts receivable. Even though payments by check have declined since 2019, thirty percent of B2B clients are still writing checks and sending them in the mail. Automating A/R has the potential to create a smoother, more dependable cash flow.
While many businesses are trying to return to a new normal after the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, some have opted to move to remote work for the rest of 2020. For paper-based A/R departments, this move has been especially challenging. Sending invoices and receiving checks are necessary components to maintaining working capital and cash flow but what happens when the employees responsible are no longer in the office?
Working from Home Means Automating Accounts Receivable
If we lived in a world where every client paid their bill on time, we wouldn't have to talk about the "dirty work" of collections. Talking to clients about money can be uncomfortable, especially when you might be taking their non-payment personally. We recommend the money conversation early and often and we highly recommend following up on any invoices that are past due.
You could automate your accounts receivable collections and save yourself a headache.
Here's why you should automate your A/R collections.
The business world is always changing and we're here for it. 2018 saw more freelancers and small businesses, consumers and employees speaking out and a more discerning audience for marketing and partnerships. January is the perfect time to determine how your business is going to change and be better in the new year.
To help small and growing businesses prepare for what's to come, we have done some research on a few business to business trends to expect in 2019.
If a client has ever asked about your payment options, you have some idea of the multitude and complexity of B2B payments. It's important to be flexible in your payment options, allowing your clients to pay in any way that's easier for them and quicker for you. Slow-paying clients can kill your business, affecting cash flow, working capital and all that you need to keep producing your goods and services.
While B2B payment options can be overwhelming, growing businesses must understand the reasons for flexibility and choosing the options that work best for clients.
One of the best ways to get your invoices paid on time is to offer many ways for your clients to pay. Innovative payment technology is available and can help reduce staff, time or other resources needed to track down payments. Inspired by the B2C market, corporate payment technologies are leaning toward self-service, but also looking for ways to reduce the chances of payment fraud. Your accounts receivable department will thank you for making their jobs easier, including reducing the time spent waiting for checks to arrive.
Here are current B2B payment trends and what to expect in the future.
Delayed payments are frustrating to accounting and business owners. Following up with a client, your accounts receivable department may be told that payment has already been sent. Was it sent via snail mail? Has the check been received and but not entered into the books? Or has payment been made electronically and not been matched to the correct invoice?
If accounts receivable is taking electronic payments, are those payments delaying the process?
Nearly every business will struggle with cash flow problems at some point or another. The challenge is when your client's cash flow struggles affect your business' cash flow. You do have options to deal with slow-paying clients including collections, writing off their accounts, or even firing them as a client. If you're stuck trying to decide what to do next, have you considered how late paying clients put your business at risk?
Payment technology helps create a seamless and innovative experience for corporate payments and supply chains. In the digital marketplace, vendors and suppliers can contract and expedite payments in a timely manner. Businesses who work with global partners can also feel more confident with transparent payment solutions.