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7 Accounts Receivable Process Improvement Strategies

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Cashflow is the lifeblood of any business. It is essential to keep the business running, and liquidity is a must to pay operational expenses, such as rent, salary, and inventory. Without ample cash inflow, any brand, be it a startup or a multinational corporation, will eventually grind to a halt, though it’s profitable on paper. Here, accounts receivable come into play.

What is accounts receivable?

Accounts receivable implies outstanding invoices customers owe to a brand for services or goods they received. It represents the money waning on a company’s balance sheet, or simply,  it is the money customers are supposed to pay to a brand. This money is crucial for maintaining cash flow and financial health. But, the culture of late payments is a ubiquitous concern where settling invoices by the due date isn’t the norm. So, when customers make delayed payments, brands are forced to mimic it, affecting their vendors, and go on like a chain reaction. 

Here are X innovative strategies for improving your accounts receivable processes to prevent excessive capital from being tied up in outstanding invoices.

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1. Keep a precise and updated customer database

Mistakes within a brand’s billing and collecting payment system can cause delays. Even trivial errors, like a wrong email address, can stop invoices from reaching the right person. Make it mandatory to regularly check customer information for accuracy and keep the in-house team well-equipped to handle this data.

2. Clear communication

Brands should define their payment terms upfront in contracts, proposals, and invoices. Make sure these terms are clear, concise, and easy to understand from a customer perspective. This includes stating the due date, late fee policy (if applicable), and accepted payment methods.

3. Professional invoicing

Brands should issue invoices promptly after delivering their goods or services. Ensure invoices are accurate and cover all necessary details like product descriptions, quantities, pricing, and taxes. Adopt online invoicing tools because it is easier for customers to pay electronically and refer to receipts in the future.

Also read: How is Technology Revolutionizing Cross-Border Financial Services?

4. Offer flexible payment options

Brands should provide multiple payment methods like credit cards, bank transfers, or online payment apps. The EMI option also works, especially for premium purchases, but make sure that your customers are on the same page as you regarding terms and fee policies for each installment.

5. Promote clear and concise credit policies

Accounts receivable is like giving customers credit. So it’s essential to have clear rules for collecting debt and giving credit. The finance and sales teams should work jointly to create realistic policies for customers, decide when to raise credit limits, and frequently check the credit approval process to keep up with economic changes.

6. Early and follow-up payment reminders

The idea is that there can be legitimate reasons for payment delays from customers. As a brand, it is essential to be empathetic and reach out to them in a prompt and professional manner. Then, you can work out a solution that works both ways.

Like follow-up messages, early reminders are also important. Sending alerts a week or at least a couple of days before the due date allows customers to plan their finances and make payments on time. 

A late fee policy shouldn’t make customers feel that an organization is fleecing them. This damages the brand’s reputation in the long run. Always offer a reasonable late fee policy that complies with local regulations to minimize delayed payments. 

7. Streamline and automate workflow processes

Many mistakes can occur during invoice processing, from entering wrong client info to missing invoices altogether. Having a standard invoice template in action ensures that every necessary detail is captured during payment requests. Using a technology-led billing app further helps to generate invoices instantaneously upon the completion of work instead of accumulating them for batch processing later. 

Still, collecting payments can be a daunting task requiring a substantial workforce. You can tackle this challenge by automating the process wherever possible. Automated billing tools, alongside managing invoices, can also send timely payment reminders and enable customers to make online payments through secure links, simplifying things for businesses and customers.

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We hope the above combination of preventive measures and proactive payment-collection strategies helps your business. Ultimately, it’s about accepting the custom of late payments from the customer side and being assertive about timely payments through polite discussions. Focus on delivering excellent service or goods because when customers value what your brand does, they will prioritize paying you on time.

Vishnu Mohan V Avatar


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