It sounds easy enough: keep track of who pays their invoices when and ensure that it takes place on time. Credit managers are well aware that this is a complicated process. If there is a large customer base and many transactions taking place, for example, matching payments with invoices can often be a major chore. Handling complaints and keeping the days sales outstanding as low as possible also demands an increasing amount of time. A lot of time is wasted on manual and routine jobs, such as keeping records and the reconciliation of invoices, for example.
Such an inefficient process is time-consuming yet does nothing for the cash flow. But it doesn’t have to be this way. It is time for credit managers to be given the chance to keep customers satisfied and reduce the days sales outstanding.
Automation is the answer
So how can we ensure that these processes are more efficient? Simple: automate the process and improve the cash flow with specialised software. After all, computers are really good at sorting data. This makes a large part of credit management the perfect task for technology. Begin automation and keep time available for the tasks that credit managers are really there for: keeping the days sales outstanding (DSO) as low as possible and increasing customer satisfaction. Martin de Heus, Head of Business Development at Onguard has another four reasons why automating credit manager processes can help:
Real-time insight into customer data
Often with the manual processing of invoices the information in the customer profile is not up to date. For example, the credit manager receives notification that an invoice has not been paid, but in fact the customer has paid it already. Matching did not take place in time and so the customer wrongly receives a reminder. Automation reduces the time between receipt of a payment and its registration. In addition, software can link up with existing systems. This makes it possible to integrate with different data and always have a clear overview throughout the organisation about which customers still need to be approached and which have kindly paid their invoices. Real-time insight into customer data makes it far clearer for both the credit manager and the customer.
Having a good overview of which customers’ invoices are still outstanding makes it easier to be sure that expenditure and income match. It also provides an accurate overview of the amounts that still need to be collected. As a result invoices are sent out quicker and thus you can start collecting payments faster.
Reduces operational costs
Automation naturally comes at a cost, but rapidly pays back because of better use being made of credit managers’ time. Tasks that normally take up a lot of time – and therefore cost money – can be managed by automation. This gives employees more time to get on with things that computers just cannot do.
Greater attention to customers
Customers ensure that a business can pay its invoices in turn. For this reason in particular it is important to approach them in a friendly, personal way. When the approach to customers is properly addressed in the credit management strategy, this improves the customer relationship. Increasing the speed of receivables management and the possibility of segmenting customers on the basis of their payment behaviour can ensure that customer communications are more accurate. A streamlined process means that there is more time to really talk to the customers and develop familiarity with personal customer data in order to do this in the future as well.
So, automation of certain credit manager tasks with software can drive progress and efficiency on many different levels. A streamlined process provides a clearer picture of each customer, gives more insight into expenditure and income and frees up more time for credit managers to focus on the important things that computers cannot do. for example, arranging (payment) agreements and maintaining customer contact. In this way, automation allows better customer communication and a far more efficient working process. More than enough reason to seriously consider automating your receivables management.
Want to read how credit management software works? Download the ultimate guide to credit management software here.
“If you are not taking care of your customer, your competitor will.”
MARTIN DE HEUS