Blog2019-02-20T12:58:06-05:00
2808, 2019

How to Transform Your Accounting Processes – Step 2: Assemble the right team

By |August 28th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

Whether your distribution company is growing, has stalled or is in decline, each scenario has its challenges. Whether enabling scale, securing profit margins and cash flow, or guarding against new competitive business models, you may not have the time or resources to devote to a lengthy finance transformation project. Transforming your finance processes doesn’t need to take months or years. But to achieve rapid results, you need a plan. There are five steps you need to undertake to improve your finance efficiencies, deliver a better customer experience and bring in more money – faster. Here’s step 2. - Missed Step 1? Click here to catch up. - 2. Assemble the right team According to a study by CIO.com , the lack of a strong team can cause your digital transformation project to fail. The top team-related challenges include leadership that isn’t committed, resistance to change, and a lack of talent to carry out the transformation. To ensure that your financial transformation succeeds, you must dedicate a person to change management – a champion. If your company is large, you may have a Change Manager. If your company is smaller, you can assign a business analyst to this role. Choose someone Read More

2008, 2019

How to Transform Your Accounting Processes – Step 1: Assess your current state

By |August 20th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

Transforming your finance processes doesn’t need to take months or years. But to achieve rapid results, you need a plan. There are five steps you need to undertake to improve your finance efficiencies, deliver a better customer experience and bring in more money – faster. Here’s step 1. 1. Assess your current state Charting your path for the future starts with understanding where you are now. Here are six questions that will help you identify inefficiencies in your current AR process and learn how they are impacting your cash flow. How many employees are involved with your collections processes? In addition to full-time collections staff, be sure to count other employees who follow up on late payments. Do you hire interns at year-end? Do your salespeople take time away from deals because they need to collect payments in order to get their commission checks, and what about your customer service team? How much time does AR spend on inefficient tasks? You might be surprised by how many hours disappear into your AR black hole. Consider how often your team resends invoices to customers – along with the time they spend searching for, scanning, mailing, or emailing supporting documents. Multiply those Read More

908, 2019

VersaPay Shortlisted for Key Industry Awards

By |August 9th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

We are pleased to announced that VersaPay is a finalist in the 2019 SaaS Awards Program in the category ‘Best SaaS Product for Business Accounting or Finance’ as well as a finalist in The 2019 Credit & Collections Technology Awards in the category of ‘International Technology Innovation’. The SaaS Awards The SaaS Awards program is now in its fourth year of celebrating organizational successes and the software innovations that fuel them. With awards for excellence and innovation in SaaS, the Software-as-a-Service Awards program accepts entries worldwide, including the US, Canada, Australasia, EMEA and UK. SaaS Awards and Cloud Awards organizer Larry Johnson said: “The standard of entries this year was incredibly high, with consistent attention to innovation and most importantly, customer success. The volume of entries warranting consideration of a place on the coveted shortlist was unprecedented. “In our fourth year promoting SaaS exclusively alongside its sister awards program, the Cloud Awards, we have again seen a wide range of entries from Canada, Europe, Australia and the East joining those from the US. Moreover, again we are seeing such innovation from established blue-chips to agile start-ups. All seek to provide essential productivity tools to their users by leveraging cloud-based software Read More

608, 2019

Unlock Your Money and Gain a Competitive Edge with AR Automation

By |August 6th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

Invoice-to-cash automation transforms an often-overlooked area into a competitive advantage. Many wholesale distributors use digital technology to automate parts of their supply chain. However, digital tools can also transform your post-sale experience to set you apart from other vendors. AR automation streamlines your manual, time-consuming processes by automating core elements including invoice presentment, collaboration, collections, payments, cash application, and bank reconciliation. It helps you get paid faster, which is critical when you’re faced with low profit margins and increasing cost of capital. It allows you to unlock money that is tied up in AR, improve your margins, better manage your cash flow, and ensure that you have the working capital you need to run your business. Give Customers a Better Experience AR automation improves the experience you provide to customers by giving them on-demand visibility into accounts. Customers can log-in through a customer portal 24/7 to view invoices and supporting documents, check the status of a payment, change their preferences, and more. The online portal allows payments to be made via desktop, smartphones or tablets, meaning customers can pay at any time they want. By offering a range of payment methods customers can also pay you how they want – Read More

2907, 2019

Innovative Digital Technologies Positively Impact Every Area of Your Finance Operation

By |July 29th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

You have the opportunity to use digital technology to protect your margins, free up your cash flow, and improve your customer experience Disruptors such as the Amazon Effect, shifting buyer expectations, and an increase in manufacturers that sell direct-to-consumer are putting your business at risk. According to a survey from Modern Distribution Management (MDM) , growth in the wholesale distribution market is expected to moderate. In fact, 30 percent of wholesale distributors are concerned about their outlook due to uncertain economic conditions, tariff trade wars, and a slowdown in residential construction. To thrive in today’s rapidly-changing landscape, you must use digital technology to transform your company and remain competitive. A report from IDC found that wholesale distributors who use digital technologies – such as robotics, analytics, and cloud services – can transform their finance processes and help them achieve the following benefits: Dramatically reduce your costs so that you can better protect your margins Improve your cash flow management Optimize your working capital Boost customer profitability IDC states, “Given the importance of cash flow, the effective management of both payables and receivables is critical, with a particular focus on chargeback management and identifying every opportunity to generate revenue. Integration with Read More

2307, 2019

CFOs Not Actively Pursuing Digital Transformation Are Putting Their Business at Risk

By |July 23rd, 2019|Categories: Blog|

Digital transformation is about more than giving customers an online portal so that they can view information online. It’s about using technology across your business to boost efficiencies and provide customers with greater value. To stay competitive and improve the customer experience, you must embrace digital transformation. According to The Enterprisers Project digital transformation is “the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business resulting in fundamental changes to how businesses operate and how they deliver value to customers. Beyond that, it's a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment often, and get comfortable with failure. This sometimes means walking away from long-standing business processes that companies were built upon in favor of relatively new practices that are still being defined.” According to the National Association of Wholesale Distributors, “leaders must learn the art and science of innovation.” And they must do this sooner than later. The NAW recommends that wholesale distribution leaders, “follow a vision and plan for change” as opposed to allowing change to occur randomly or making it up along the way. According to the NAW, “digital tools are becoming a standard ingredient for running a profitable distributor business.” The Read More

1607, 2019

The Fear of Financial Loss and Saber-Toothed Tigers

By |July 16th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

As humans, more often than we’d like, we use our amygdala when confronted with the need to make quick and urgent decisions.  This is the Fight/Flight/Freeze portion of our brain. This part of the brain is designed to help keep us safe from nasty predators and other life-threatening scenarios. Thousands of years ago, it protected us from saber-toothed tigers. Today, we engage that portion of the brain when confronted with very different types of frightening situations. Neuroscientists have discovered that the portion of the brain that is activated when suffering financial losses is the same portion as when our ancestors were being confronted by that saber-toothed tiger.* Humans are hard-wired to treat financial loss as a life-threatening predator. This is why, when faced with the decision to implement a new financial technology or solution that has a cost, but the potential for significant value, we either: FIGHT: Deny the information being presented and convince ourselves that the cost of change is too expensive. Example: “I could hire another head count for that price, no thanks.” FREEZE: Get stuck and do nothing. Example: “I can see the value and agree something should be done, but we’re not in a position to Read More

1007, 2019

Hackers Are More Sophisticated Than Ever (and Your Customer Data Is at Risk)

By |July 10th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

With cyber attacks making headlines almost every day, it’s not a matter of “if” you will be breached but “when.” Every AR transaction could expose gaps in your security that open your customer and financial data to hackers. Your chances of a breach also increase if you don’t know what payment systems all of your locations are using to process customer financial data. If your IT team isn’t aware of a system, they won’t be able to ensure that your financial data is secure. “20% of finance professionals said that their company was hit with a business email compromise attack.” TD Bank Human error also causes a number of breaches. AR employees may store customer credit card information in an unlocked Excel spreadsheet and then carry it around on their laptop. If the laptop gets stolen, your customer data is at risk. Or an employee may accidentally open a malicious attachment and give a hacker access to your network. The costs of a data breach are high. According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million - up 6.4 percent from one year ago. These costs include everything from technical investigations to lost business and brand Read More

807, 2019

Why Should Sales Leaders Care About Accounts Receivables?

By |July 8th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

I was recently onsite with a prospective client to observe their order-to-cash process. The main focus was on the finance/credit side, but after having some impromptu conversations, it became apparent that their Sales reps were doing much (if not all) of the collections work. The main reason for this was threefold: Credit Holds - Customers would be cut off from placing new orders if they passed their credit thresholds or went past due on aged invoices. Therefore, it was in the Sales reps best interest to ensure their customers were paying up so that they could keep the pipelines open for new orders. Relationships – Sales owned the relationship with the customer and wanted to have control over all communications specific to each customer (good or bad). Commissions – Sales reps were paid commissions when invoices were paid, giving them clear incentive to ensure quick payment of invoices. While the above scenario was great for Finance in that they had a motivated team of Sales individuals focused on minimizing aged Receivables, there were some major impacts from a Sales standpoint. Collecting vs Selling Sales reps were spending more than half of their time doing things like making collections calls, going Read More

307, 2019

Long Collection Cycles Increase Your Costs and Reduce Your Margins. Can You Afford it?

By |July 3rd, 2019|Categories: Blog|

Multiple touchpoints create extra steps in your invoice-to-cash cycle. The more steps you have, the longer it takes to get paid and the higher your operational costs to serve customers. The average payment cycle for wholesale distributors is 37 days. If you want to shorten your payment cycles and free up your cash flow, take a hard look at your invoice-to-cash process. The more steps that you have in this process, the more friction you will create and the longer it will take to get paid. “48.8 percent of the B2B invoices in America are overdue” Atradius Late payments often stem from friction in the invoicing process. It’s not that business owners don’t want to pay on time – it’s that, due to the nature of their business, it can be difficult for them to pay. If a contractor is on the road most of the time, they may only be able to write checks once a month. If an invoice is due before they have a chance to process their monthly checks, their payment will be late. If these road warriors could pay you with a couple of swipes on their mobile device, they would submit payments faster. When Read More

2506, 2019

Managing Massive Volumes of Invoices Causes Headaches and Drives Up Costs For Wholesale Distributors

By |June 25th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

Inefficient processes and siloed systems make it hard for AR teams to stay on top of every invoice – and for you to gather accurate data with which to base decisions. Wholesale distributors typically send 50K-1M+ invoices per month. Tracking, managing, and following up with all of these invoices is a massive job. In fact, AR teams for wholesale distributors can have hundreds of employees that are spread in locations across the country. Your drivers and sales people also serve as an extension of your AR team if they collect payments when they drop off goods and sell new orders. These teams often work in different software programs that don’t integrate with each other – making it difficult for you to gain visibility into every payment and your cash flow. Storing financial data in different silos makes it impossible to track the thousands of invoices that flow through your systems on any given day. Disparate systems also prevent you from gaining on-demand access to crucial analytics. You may have to base forecasts on historical data, as opposed to what’s happening right now. With a lack of insights into supply chain and customer relationships, you will miss opportunities to reduce costs Read More

1806, 2019

In Wholesale Distribution, Low Profit Margins Leave Little Room for Error

By |June 18th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

Due to slim profit margins, you can’t compete with Amazon on price. To stay in the game, you must improve efficiencies and customer experience. The gross margin for building materials and construction wholesale distributors is 13.5 percent. With such slim margins, you’re under pressure to turn over inventory quickly. If it sits for too long, the carrying costs and interest rates eat into your profits. Analysts predict that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates over the coming year – after almost 10 years of historically low, long-term rates . As the cost of borrowing increases, it will be more important than ever to optimize your operations so that you can control your costs and ensure that cash coming in is available as quickly as possible. This includes taking a hard look at your AR inefficiencies and finding ways to streamline your processes – while simultaneously giving customers a higher level of service. Small businesses have plenty of choice when it comes to where they can buy wholesale goods. With just a few clicks, they can get whatever they need on Amazon. Not only is the Amazon online shopping experience convenient, but the products are often priced lower and delivered Read More

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