accounts receivable Credit control
4 mins read

Automated accounts receivable: Why accounting software alone doesn’t offer best practice

Off-the-shelf accounting software has revolutionised the ease with which small businesses can manage their finances. From tracking your finances and making reconciliation smoother to accounts payable and staff payroll, ERPs (enterprise resource planning) like Netsuite and Microsoft Dynamics 365, and accounting software like Xero, MYOB and QuickBooks makes doing business easier than before. 

But while these broad tools give businesses breathing space from mountains of paperwork and manual tracking, they’re not necessarily helping them to get ahead or chase late payments in an efficient way. 

To get ahead, leading businesses are using apps and add-ons to their standard accounting software, taking it from a basic, broad-brush accounting system to one that is targeted and offers specialist features for key areas. One such area is accounts receivables or collections.

By your accounting software with an automated collections tool, you should see a significant impact in three key areas of the accounts receivable process;

  • Customer experience
  • Speed with which you get paid
  • Time spent on manual vs high value tasks.

In fact, automating your accounts receivable is one of the fastest, most cost-effective ways to save time and improve your cash flow.

Delivering a better customer experience

While finance might not be top of the list when people think about customer service, it’s an increasingly important aspect that business owners and finance teams need to consider. Accounts receivables is often a component of the frontline staff that a customer interacts with during the onboarding stage. Then, receiving and paying the bill at the end of the cycle is often a final chance for a business to offer strong, memorable customer service. 

Automating your collections helps you deliver better customer service as automation ensures you:

  • Deliver a consistent, timely payment experience every time. Automation keeps messages consistent, eliminates internal decision paralysis, reduces human error and streamlines reminders across well-timed, pre-determined intervals.
  • Follow-up with customers across multiple channels (email, SMS, phone call), giving them the option to engage with you in a way that works best for them.
  • Tailor messages and payment reminder workflows for different customer sets to reflect their different needs or strategic value to your business.
  • Build in ‘pre-reminder’ emails to remind people to get their ducks in a row or get in touch ahead of time if there will be issues with paying. And to make the last customer touchpoint a good one, send the nice ‘thanks for paying’ email.

Get paid faster

The bottom-line is the bottom-line. Getting paid is a must and getting paid on time (or ahead of) not only saves you time in chasing late paying customers and all the hassle that comes with this, it’s also much better for your cashflow as the money is in the bank rather than just a promise.

Boosting your standard accounting software with an automated collections add-on is proven to get businesses paid faster. How?

  • Automated collections tools make it easy for customers to pay you with ‘pay now’ buttons in email invoice reminders and links to pay in SMS reminders.
  • Automating the reminders’ workflow ensures all invoices are chased (not just the large ones) so smaller or more difficult accounts don’t fall through the gaps
  • Automation tools allow you to take an account-based approach to reminders. So, when you send a reminder for a recent job you can highlight the most recent due date, but you can also remind them about payment due on other invoices associated with that account. The customer can then pay everything at once, from the one reminder rather than having to tally up a total owed across multiple separate invoice reminders.

Save time

Best practice accounts receivable isn’t having an automated tool do it all. Rather a key impact automating collections can have on your AR is the time it can save you in both the paperwork side of things as well as actual account handling time. 

  • Pass the time-consuming, manual process and repetitive tasks to automation so you can focus on chasing key or more complex accounts.
  • Don’t come back from holiday with a pile of accounts and reminders to send out, automation keeps workflows (and payments) going while staff are away on leave.
  • A central dashboard gives you quick easy access to key, real-time performance stats related to your AR so you don’t have to spend hours trolling spreadsheets to crunch the numbers.

These days, automating your accounts receivables/collections is a no brainer. With minimal fuss to integrate with your standard accounting software (usually just a few minutes) and such a significant impact on not only your cash flow but the back-office functions of your business as well, it should be a top priority for implementation. 

So, if your balance sheet could use a boost and you’d like to chat through enhancing your accounting software with an automated collections process, get in touch with the CreditorWatch team. We can take you through CreditorWatch Collect, our simple to use automated collections tool. 

accounting software accounts receivable automation Business Owner cash flow credit controller
George Markham
Corporate Specialist
George is a NSW Corporate Specialist with five years of experience in financial technology services. He is dedicated to assisting businesses in mitigating financial risks tied to debtors and suppliers through CreditorWatch’s comprehensive credit risk solutions. His client base spans across all industries and states, with a particular focus on construction, manufacturing, and logistics.
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