Talking to our clients, we conclude that the following are the 4 cornerstones for an efficient and resilient invoice to cash processes.
- The ability to know for sure where the invoice is on the journey from creation to settlement,
- The ability to forecast cashflow based on aged debt analysis and on the propensity of buyers to pay on time,
- The ability for all stakeholders to gain the same snapshot of invoice status – from the buyer to the sales or customer service representative talking to the customer.
- Automation for Productivity
- The ability to automate at least the most critical and error-prone, time-consuming tasks such as invoice creation and dispatch
- The ability to use the data from automation for reporting and analysis that yield further insights
- Ensuring that any data needed for analysis is in an easily manipulable, searchable format – just saving PDFs is not enough
- The ability to store copies of all artefacts and all contact history securely and in a compliant manner for audit and analysis
- The ability to access the data on orders, invoices and payments remotely and securely for flash reports, tactical planning and MI
- Customer Services
- Enabling your customers to self-serve online without reliance on office-based contacts
- The ability for sales and customer service stakeholders to self serve information on invoice status
- The ability to integrate online ordering with online billing for a unified customer experience.
The most common pressure our Corrivo clients face is the requirement to provide almost daily updates on department performance in collecting income and aged debt profiles. Collecting, analysing, and delivering that information in a timely and accurate manner was one of the stumbling blocks many of our clients sought to overcome by switching to Corrivo. Our clients have used the data within Corrivo to become a value-adding resource to their executive teams. Based on what our clients tell us, there are 5 critical areas of visibility to consider. Come back soon for a breakdown of the five key components of visibility.
Automation and Productivity
Teams are having to do more with less budget. Cuts to this year’s OpEx mean that every piece of software and employee needs to be justified in terms of the value of their output. In this, automation is a stressed worker’s best bet to boost productivity. There is no longer an argument for creating invoices manually when cost-effective automation will create 10,000 invoices automatically before 9 am or create hundreds throughout the day within minutes of orders being received. Corrivo users tell us that the workflow tools are a tremendous asset that saves them time and effort every day that previously ate away at their productivity. Automated and prioritised activity lists help teams achieve what was previously impossible without an army of helpers.
We’ve also found some clients tell us they’ve become better managers and team leaders by being able to see how one individual’s productivity has peaked and troughed. Finding out what is behind a downturn in productivity and creating an action plan has made their jobs more human while making them super-efficient at busting targets. Automation averts the key stressor that many of us face – the worry about what we may have missed. Workflow tools help you stay on top of the workload and feel sure you’ve tackled the priorities.
Digitisation, as distinct from automation, makes more data available, searchable, manipulable and accessible to all the people who need it. Corrivo lets teams decide which employees get to see what information – the breadth and depth of detail they can see is set on a need to know basis. Speed of access to data is key to reporting up to executive management and back along the value chain to sales and customer service – or direct to customers – about accounts and individual orders or line items.
Many of our clients tell us that although the Invoice to Cash process is a critical cog in a company’s performance, it is an area that has struggled the most with under-investment in digital transformation. Sales and ERP systems are good at what they do, but cannot always stretch to cover I2C processes. This is why our clients made the move to Corrivo – because it is designed for AR and collections teams, not bolted on to an ERP system.
Many companies we talk to tell us that over the last year their focus in I2C operations has switched from invoice output to aged debt collections and that key to succeeding in keeping customers loyal and ensuring cash flows is the ability to provide timely updates directly cot customers. Giving all stakeholders a suitable window on invoice status – including customers themselves via portals means that vital customer relationships have been preserved and strengthened at a time of stress. Many companies have also hastened the development of online ordering systems for customers and having their invoices accessible when logged in to place orders has completed the customer experience for many businesses. Accounts Receivable is now being treated in a much more connected way with the sales process and is being seen as critical to getting those all-important customer ratings and reviews that do so much for a company’s reputation.
By exploring visibility, automation, productivity, digitisation and customer service you can not only maintain best practice but also find winning strategies for dealing with the business as unusual conditions being faced by companies around the world.
As a vendor of I2C software, we are on a mission to ensure departments like yours know where tools like ours can bring you the biggest success, but more importantly plug the biggest barriers you have to cash collections, billing and dispute management right now. We are here to help and are glad to be able to share the success stories of our clients to inspire you in your role.