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Look for these 5 signs that you need A/R automation

Is invoicing quickly becoming a burden?  Before you answer that, take a mental inventory of all the moving parts of your busi...

Is invoicing quickly becoming a burden? Before you answer that, take a mental inventory of all the moving parts of your business. There’s a lot to go through, right? Servicing customers, supervising employees, creating new products, managing back-office tasks, and many more - depending on the type of business.

When it comes to invoicing, are you pleased with the way things work? Does invoicing take a reasonable amount of time, or could it be faster and more accurate? Maybe you’ve just accepted that invoicing is a labor-intensive process - but it doesn’t have to be that way.

All businesses can benefit from the efficiencies, savings, and peace of mind created by A/R automation. And you don’t have to build it yourself - there are invoicing tools on the market that offer out-of-the-box functions.

So how do you know if your business would benefit from A/R automation? Look for these 5 signs in your current invoicing processes:

You’re still collecting and storing payment information on paper.

Keeping paper payment details for customers puts your business at a disadvantage for several reasons. Businesses must pay for paper, ink, printer maintenance, and storage of paper records. Recording payment details on paper takes a lot of time, with customers calling in and staff writing down payment data and double-checking with the customer. And paper records with payment details are highly susceptible to theft or loss.

With A/R automation features, your only cost is your subscription fee to the invoicing platform. Entering payment details is a snap, as online invoicing tools connect directly with major payment processors. And security is verified by an external party.

You manually print out all invoices and mail them to customers.

Printing out and mailing a few invoices a month to customers is one thing. When you have hundreds or thousands of invoices to submit, it’s just not sustainable. In addition to all the costs discussed above, you now have to account for envelopes for sending, stamps, and return envelopes. And the time you lose to mail service and delayed payments impacts your cash flow.

A/R automation features can put invoice delivery on a regular, online schedule. There’s upfront time to enter customer details and schedule send dates, but the rest is on autopilot. Customers get their invoices via email as soon as you send them, with the option to pay immediately online or even set up automatic payments. And A/R automation can handle complex logic like usage-based billing, subscriptions, and payment plans without making your accounting staff want to tear their hair out.

You reconcile incoming customer payments by hand.

Reconciling customer payments manually is both time-consuming and prone to error. Entering an incorrect amount could cause accounting discrepancies, incorrect projections, and even reduced customer satisfaction. And not to mention that it takes forever!

With A/R automation, payments are reconciled automatically between the invoicing system and the payment processor. And many invoicing systems offer direct integrations to accounting software, so payment details can be synced there as well. That means no more recording payments by hand.

Related: Invoiced Integration Partners

You receive a lot of inbound phone inquiries about billing issues.

Whether you have dedicated customer service staff or employees handling multiple functions, you want them to use their time as efficiently as possible. That’s difficult to do if they are on the phone for hours handling customer billing issues.

Now that’s not to say that billing issues will ever go away completely, but A/R automation can greatly reduce the instance of them by removing the manual element of human error. An online customer portal can give customers the tools to perform their own investigation before they pick up the phone. And even if customers do have to call, employees can respond quickly when they have all the data available in an invoicing platform.

You’re constantly dealing with late-paying customers.

A/R automation features can help to close major gaps that cause delayed payments. Submitting invoices to customers online with immediate payment options is a great start, but it’s not the only one. A whole host of invoicing logic is available to incent customers to pay on time.

Payment plans may seem like a complex beast to manage manually - and they are. But with an invoicing platform, you can configure the terms for each customer and let the system do the work for you. And there are plenty of other options to consider, like expiring discounts, auto-scheduled late fees, auto payments, and coupons. Getting creative with A/R automation can improve your Days Sales Outstanding (DSO).

Related: Measuring collections: use these 2 metrics for a quick snapshot

A/R automation can reduce your workload and make invoicing easier.

If any of these 5 signs show up in your business processes, consider what you could gain by using an invoicing platform with A/R automation. Save time and money for your business, and create a better customer experience.

Want to learn how Invoiced’s A/R automation features could support your needs? Contact us today for a demo.

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