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Integrated Receivables: A lesson from an unlikely source.

By now, we’re all familiar with the symptoms of COVID. But businesses have also experienced — and will continue to experience — a myriad of symptoms from the pandemic. Many businesses have adjusted, some are coping, and others have disappeared altogether. As companies retracted into a “remote environment,” many legacy processes were exposed as inefficient, incongruent with the current state, or even outdated. Accounts Receivable (AR) often fell into the latter category.

As employees retreated to their home offices, it became apparent that traditional AR processes needed an overhaul. And since there are few things more important than how businesses collect money, many organizations started looking toward the banking and financial technology (fintech) industry to help with solving the AR challenges presented by the pandemic.

Since the banking and fintech industry plays a critical role in ensuring the world never grinds to a stop — no matter the challenge — it’s important for these institutions to not only innovate but also be prepared for any number of scenarios. As such, you can ensure that your company also stays prepared and is responsive to the changing needs of your customers (or simply the changing world) by working with the right bank or institution.

And there is no better time than the present to determine if you have the right financial partner. For instance, how is your AR faring? Have you seen an increase in delinquency? Are you experiencing higher than average Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)? Or is your team bogged down with dispute resolution? Could your team’s time be better spent on other tasks?

If you answered “yes” to any of the previous questions, you could be just one solution away from lower total AR costs, improved accuracy within your payment system, and most importantly, faster posting of payments for improved cash flow. That’s because modern AR software solutions employ the use of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) — ultimately saving you time and money, while also helping you future-proof your business.

Automation and AI make light work of the typically manual AR tasks that could take up hours of valuable time. But even more than being a time saver, payment software solutions that employ the use of automation and AI can provide insight and understanding into why your current AR processes may be ineffective or where you might be spending excess money.

For example, does your team spend too much time determining the validity of deductions? If so, disputes may be delayed when staff is working to recover from invalid deductions. Instead, look for a modern AR solution that leverages the power of AI to “auto-push” denials and documentation for invalid deductions as well as post credit memos in a single click.

Or have you ever considered the cost of supporting and reconciling various global payment methods and invoices? Powerful AR solutions have been designed to be virtually agnostic and seamlessly support your customers’ preferred global payment methods and deliver invoices through different, expansive measures like email, mail and electronic data interface (EDI) — thus keeping payment operations in “the now,” rather than in the outdated past.

Integrating your payment operations with a solution like CommercePayments® Integrated Receivables can give this type of immediate upgrade to your current system. Integrated Receivables can truly take on your real-world problems with dynamic AI and robust automation capabilities designed to reduce delinquent AR, lower DSO and accelerate dispute resolution. But it can also help unify the entire payment process — credit, collections, deductions, cash application, electronic billing and payment processing. And while this might not seem like such a big deal “normally,” we certainly now know the value of shoring up and centralizing our processes and practices so that we can be prepared for the unexpected.

And, speaking of unexpected, how agile is your risk management? While risk is a dish for which we have varying appetites, you should feel like you have control when it comes to the credit operations of your business. Credit application, review and approval processes should be easy to administer, change and affect — at any time. A solution like CommercePayments® Integrated Receivables Credit Cloud, provided by Commerce Bank, does all this, plus it gives your credit department better visibility to the overall risk exposure of your customer portfolios. Centralizing this data as well as providing other valuable, actionable insights based on real-time customer credit data enables your credit team to provide the most accurate credit decisions. Further, this type of solution takes several of the unknowns out of the larger equation — will my business come out on top?

While most of us would rather have skipped the lessons COVID has taught us, the pandemic highlighted the need for an effective and robust business toolkit. Especially one that focuses on and improves the way businesses get paid.

CommercePayments® solutions are provided by Commerce Bank.

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