The invoicing process of today is heavily based around manual work that requires chasing down payments. This problem has been set as the standard rather than the exception. A lot of companies are living in this vicious cycle; having to follow-up and intervene with the majority of their outstanding invoices.
There are multiple solutions to remove the majority of these manual tasks.
We’re going to dive into how accounts receivable is supposed function in today’s cloud-based environment.
Introducing EZ-AR™; the first automated invoice generation and collections accounts receivable solution built on the Salesforce Force.com platform.
This software solution utilizes automated-tracked email templates within custom-flexible journeys that react to the recipient’s behavior. In doing so, it significantly improves cash in-flow and reduces average Days Sales Outstanding (DSO).
How does it wrap such a tight bow on the outstanding invoice process?
EZ-AR™ acts as an extension to any accounting package or cloud-based offering such as Salesforce CPQ or Field Service Lightning. Although, it’s a standalone solution that doesn’t require these systems in order to alleviate invoicing issues and processes such as the case outlined below.
Before diving into EZ-AR™, we will compare the current invoice process vs. our solution.
THE ARCHAIC INVOICING PROCESS
The payee’s AR agent has to manually generate the invoice and produce a receipt. This took them over 40 minutes to finalize.
Since sending out, weeks have gone by since the accounts receivable (AR) agent has heard from their most recent opportunity win. They are unsure whether they’ve even received the invoice.
The agent reaches out to them again, and they finally acknowledge receipt for the second invoice. It’s now been 15 days since the initial invoice. Yet, for the client’s accounts payable (AP), it’s considered day 1 due to their claim of only receiving the second invoice.
At this rate, the DSO will most likely reach 40 days and be considered delinquent (redline and accrue late payment interest). That’s IF they ever receive payment on the account.
Now the project is at risk of never reaching completion and will be halted due to non-payment. The agent must heavily intervene and elevate this invoice to problematic at this point.
The Unsustainable Cycle of Outstanding Invoices
They are now habitually reaching out to their client’s accounts payable to get a confirmation of expected payment. Yet, the AP on the account side claims that they still haven’t viewed the outstanding invoice and are unaware of the billed amount. It’s now been 24 days and there is no firm expected payment date.
Finally, after multiple communication threads with their client’s accounts payable, they confirm the payment date. They’ve marked as 42 days from the initial invoice. The AR agent now relays this to the project manager for the account, which won’t deploy their resources until payment confirmation.
At this point, the accounts receivable clerk has spent an extra 12+ hours on a single account. All while the project team has incurred more hours than they initially billed. Even though they are receiving payment, the company will be incurring higher cost on the project. This will thin their margins and affect their cash flow.
Again, this is in the event that they receive the payment and it doesn’t get written off as bad debt…
Accounts Receivable Utilizing EZ-AR™
The company performing the work generates the invoice within their CRM which is entirely handled by EZ-AR™. The necessary data is pulled from the quote or bill associated with the account in Salesforce. Now that the invoice has been generated, they then select the process journey for the invoice.
This took under 5 minutes to complete from generation to receipt of the invoice.
Here’s an example of the process journey functionality: if a recurring account consistently pays within the terms, then less follow-up and intervention is needed.
In this case, the payee AR agent chooses an end-user journey that simply tracks the invoicing activity and refrains from following-up more than necessary.
At this point, they’ve generated the invoice, chosen an automated customer journey, and are now able to view the invoice activity log for the client’s accounts payable. If they don’t take any action, you are able to elevate this invoice manually or choose another automated journey to intervene.
Shifting to Shorter Payment Cycles
The recipient’s agent takes a few actions and EZ-AR™ is handling the follow-up. Throughout the process, the EZ-AR™ user has been able to view all of the invoicing activity which is relayed at a high-level to decision-makers. Due to this, the payee’s project management can see payment status for the client.
They are no longer at the mercy of the client’s reporting, which has eliminated the guessing game. Beyond this, the payee can now rest easy realizing that they have it in control and have high-level visibility.
In this case, payment is received which helps the company retain a low DSO. The consistency of EZ-AR™ alleviates cash flow related issues. This, in turn, allows the CFO to relay a decrease in bad debt write off to their company’s CEO and board.