Achieving Efficiency With Order-To-Cash Automation

What Is Order To Cash Cycle

It is hardly news to the savvy executive in the world of finance that the order-to-cash process can often be complex but that does not have to mean that firms are doomed to inefficient results and unhappy customers. By utilizing the right order-to-cash automation software, business can quickly and easily streamline their order-to-cash cycles, thereby improving the accuracy and efficiency of every stage of their operation.

The order-to-cash cycle also referred to as the O2C cycle works by connecting the data from customers order with the subsequent billing and invoice processes. This information is sent back and forth between departments such as sales, invoicing, and accounting in well-synchronised fashion. When an organisation makes the decision to move to an automated system, the order-to-cash process can be completed much more efficiently and with fewer prospects of miscommunication or error.

While the task of integrating such system into business current operations may seem daunting, the steps to successful automation are straightforward and, with the right guidance, can be completed in as little as few weeks:

Step 1: Identify Needs

Before beginning the automation process, it is important that the appropriate personnel in the organisation have identified exactly what requirements will be necessary for successful implementation. This can be done by considering previous versions of the order-to-cash cycle, examining any corresponding reports and looking at the desired rate of accuracy suggested by the business goals.

Step 2: Investigate Options

Once based on the needs of the organisation have been established, thorough exploration of the available solutions must be undertaken. The potential candidates should be evaluated according to features relevant to the business, such as scalability, analytics, workflow automation, international currency support and data security.

Step 3: Prepare the System

It is crucial that the system, both in terms of hardware and software, is prepared and ready to meet any further requirements determined by the chosen order-to-cash software. This preparation may involve upgrading, tweaking and configuring the various elements of the back-office system to meet the automated solution, as well as researching possible integration of the software with existing programs such as an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Additionally, personnel should be appointed to coordinate and manage the automation process.

Step 4: Establish Auditing Practices

Before the order-to-cash system goes live, the business must determine and document automated procedures so as to promote accountability and accuracy. This includes establishing pre-defined set of rules and regulations, as well as deciding how record entries will be audited while the user is logged in to the system, and how reports such as sales performance and customers order history will be generated and analysed.

Step 5: Deploy the Solution

Once the system is ready, and any back-ups and contingency plans have been put into place, the automation solution can be deployed. The businesshould ensure that any auditing processes, in addition to the workflow automation, and any other features, are performing according to expectations before fully committing to the implementation of the software.

Step 6: Monitor, Maintain and Improve

Over time, monitoring and maintaining the system should become routine, with updates to the software as it evolves implemented in timely fashion. If any processes are proving to be difficult to manage or are continuing to fail, it is worthwhile to explore the possibilities of automation and whether any additional implementation of software or data should be taken into consideration.

The implementation of an efficient, automated order-to-cash cycle can reap massive rewards for any organisation in terms of accuracy, ROI and customersatisfaction. To ensure that successful automation process is achieved, executives must ensure that they are equipped with the right knowledge and software that can meet the bespoke needs of the organisation. By following these steps, business can be well on their way to becoming more organised and cost-effective in their daily operations.