23 07, 2018

How to Get Your Small Business Customers to Pay You Faster with Less Effort

2018-07-23T13:56:51+00:00July 23rd, 2018|Blog|

Running a small business is tough.  In speaking to countless small business owners throughout my career, one thing became clear – a desire to do accounting was decidedly not the motivating factor in their decision to launch a new business venture.  Expense management, time-tracking and invoicing customers are not the things that the small business entrepreneur thinks about when they are getting started. Ultimately, one of their biggest challenges becomes trying to find the time to deal with these tasks.  Fortunately, for small businesses there are many automated solutions to help them manage the accounting side of the business including their own receivables. Products like QuickBooks, Freshbooks and Jobber all help these small businesses to track their efforts and collect their money.   But what about the other side of the equation — the challenges that small businesses face in automating payment of their bills and that large businesses face Read More

17 07, 2018

Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment (EIPP) vs. Automated Receivables

2018-07-18T09:25:39+00:00July 17th, 2018|Blog|

As accounts receivable automation continues to become entrenched as the new standard for managing receivables, many well-intentioned leaders continue to investigate alternative solutions that don’t address the totality of the problems their teams face on a daily basis. Today, I’d like to take a look at Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment (EIPP) with a view to the important differences between it and our automated accounts receivable platform, ARC. At a surface level, the intent behind EIPP and ARC is very similar – provide customers with a great front-end experience for the AR process, increase the number of payment options available and, ultimately, drive more efficiency out of the AR process. Unfortunately, despite similar purposes, the business impacts are wildly divergent. EIPP – The Ugly Truth Let’s assume that your customer base follows a normalized distribution curve – 1/3rd will pay early, 1/3rd will pay on or around the deadline, and Read More

10 07, 2018

It’s Time to Re-evaluate your Accounts Receivable Business Process

2018-07-12T10:17:16+00:00July 10th, 2018|Blog|

As we approach the halfway mark of 2018, it’s safe to say that the challenges many faced through 2017 continue to persist this year. Between the threat of bankruptcies, customer loyalty reaching all-time lows, and the emergence of Amazon as a threat to most business in some form - success in today’s market continues to become an increasingly complex proposition. Now, I understand that some readers may look at those threats and dismiss them as irrelevant - a common reaction, I’m sure, by many of the businesses that now find themselves dealing with the fallout of the challenges identified above.   At the end of the day, business boils down to a financial transaction whereby one party provides something of value, which the other party provides economic compensation for. Simple, right? Why is it, then, that this financial exchange continues to be one of the more difficult areas for a Read More

14 06, 2018

Should CFOs Care About Customer Experience?

2018-06-15T08:50:44+00:00June 14th, 2018|Blog|

According to a report by Accenture, 90% of business-to-business (B2B) executives point to Customer Experience (CX) as a critical factor to achieving their strategic priorities. However, only 20% of B2B companies excel at CX, presenting a huge opportunity to capture new revenues by increasing focus on CX and making investments to improve. Conversely, a whopping 80% of B2B companies are at risk if they do nothing, as they will see their revenues bleed away to competitors that make the change. So you may be wondering what does CX have to do with a CFO and why should the CFO care? Isn’t CX a marketing responsibility that belongs to the CMO? Both are great questions and the answers are simple. Most CFO’s will tell you that their top priority is to act as a steward of working capital (WC) and to manage inbound and outbound cash flows, ensuring that their company Read More

4 06, 2018

Treasury Modernization – Are Banks Missing the Boat?

2018-06-12T13:42:02+00:00June 4th, 2018|Blog|

While commercial clients account for, on average, less than 15% of bank’s clients, their deposits often represent over 50% of total deposits. So why aren’t banks innovating and modernizing their treasury products and offerings to better serve this important commercial base? Driven by the need to keep up with consumer expectations around payments and mobile apps, banks have prioritized innovation around their personal banking divisions. Think of how drastically payments have changed in just a short time, with seamless payment processes of an Uber ride, P2P e-transfers, and mobile payments such as Starbucks to make consumers lives easier. Commercial Clients Are Expecting More Commercial clients are beginning to request these same innovations for their finance teams. “Why can’t we have business payments and mobile apps like I have in my everyday consumer life?” The shiny new toys in retail banking are now giving way to the need to innovate on Read More

18 05, 2018

Do Tenants Really Pay On Time?

2018-05-23T10:35:51+00:00May 18th, 2018|Blog|

I talk with commercial real estate (CRE) property accounting teams almost everyday. One complaint that I hear again and again: tenants regularly miss their rent. This may be surprisingly to most, but after a couple of years of hearing the same message day in and day and day out, I now understand why. CRE accounting teams just can’t continue to manage their collections process the same way they always have. A process that more often than not, involves a property manager knocking on the door. So how can property accounting teams start to think differently? Here are some insights on how to address this as an organization, how to begin to think about collections differently, and most importantly, to start getting paid on time. Communication is key, and not just at signing. Sign a lease, agree to the terms, and off we go. If only it were that simple. With Read More

14 05, 2018

Strategies for Optimizing Your Accounts Receivable (Updated for 2018)

2018-05-14T09:46:24+00:00May 14th, 2018|Blog|

While customer-centricity, disruption and innovation continue to be keynote themes at conferences this year, teams across North America continue to power their day to day operations with the same tools and approaches they were using when the Y2K bug was dominating headlines. Today, I’d like to share some inspiration with you around the topic of optimizing your accounts receivable process, with a focus on the shift in mindset that leading companies are adopting as they prepare their teams to drive an exponentially greater impact on DSO and working capital through 2018 and beyond. Across industries, leading AR teams are prioritizing the delivery of great experiences, an emphasis on the importance of the customer relationships, and a shift towards working in real-time. Let’s unpack each of those in a bit more detail. 1. Deliver Great Experiences The reality is that the benchmark for great experiences is not being set by B2B Read More

9 05, 2018

5 Reasons To Take A Holistic Approach To Your Accounts Receivable Process

2018-05-09T14:14:03+00:00May 9th, 2018|Blog|

I recently attended a convention keynote where the presenter spoke to the impact the Fourth Industrial Revolution on all aspects of business. This Fourth builds on the digital revolution, with the fusion of emerging technologies that are growing at an exponential rate. It is disruptive, especially with the recent focus on RPA and AI, with automation leading the charge in all aspects of our lives, professionally and personally. Yet when we think of one of the most fundamental areas of finance, Accounts Receivable, we still see AR teams taking a traditional approach, full of manual processes, disjointed practices, and segmented core functions, such as presentment, collections and payments. So how do these AR teams catch up, scale, and maybe even get ahead of the curve? It’s simple - they need to take a holistic approach to their AR process. Most AR departments only solve half of the receivables problem with Read More