The Benefits Of Order-To-Cash Automation


For modern business, the most efficient route to finance-related success comes in the form of an automated order-to-cash process. By streamlining companies accounts receivable, order-to-cash automation eliminates time-consuming manual effort and ensures customers are paid ontime, every time. Implementing this automated solution brings with it host of value-adding benefits, making it an invaluable tool for executives in the finance department and for organizations of all sizes.

In this guide, we explore precisely how to maximize the advantages of order-to-cash automation, from understanding the advantages and opportunities of such system, to selecting the right software solution according to specific needs and objectives.

1. Understand the Benefits of Order-to-Cash Automation

When considering how to improve the job role of Accounts Receivable (AR) for the finance department, one of the foremost solutions is the introduction of order-to-cash automation to streamline AR workflows and ensure ongoing, organized financial success. This technique makes all invoice information available in single, secure location, allowing you to view and monitor data, while improving your customer service.

Adopting an automated order-to-cash workflow brings many benefits, including:

Accuracy: Automation makes it easier to enter, validate, and process data, automatically verifying that all information has been successfully received. This eliminates manual errors and increases accuracy.

Accountability: An automated order-to-cash system automatically generates acknowledgments and record of transactions, accurately logging all interactions between customer, company, and supplier. This level of traceability can increase customer satisfaction and boost trust in your organizational and payment processes.

Speed: Automation of invoice processing activities ensures your accounts receivable workflow is up to date and efficient. By eliminating manual processes, automation reduces delays and speeds up payment collections.

Compliance: An automated order-to-cash system allows you to track payments according to the rules of each region you work in. This means you can avoid costly overruns due to manual inconsistencies and remain in full accordance with governmental regulations.

2. Define Your Goals to Choose the Right Software

To get the full benefit of an order-to-cash automation system, you need to review your organizations goals and purpose to ensure the right software is selected.

For this step, it is important to consider:

Budgets: Before selecting software solution, review your budget and the cost of any maintenance fees to ensure an option is selected that fits the company purse strings. Often, combination of on-premise and cloud-based software solutions can bring the best of both worlds, while ensuring you stay within your financial parameters.

Business function: Another thing to review is the software capabilities. Ensure any chosen solution offers the requisite level of flexibility and control to meet business needs as they grow over time. And make sure the chosen solution caters for exactly how the company does business, such as through EDI or through customer portal for better customer engagement.

Reporting: All solutions should offer comprehensive data reporting (offline and online) to help ensure accuracy of records. Reports should be on-demand, customizable and valuable to approvers, as well as contain features to make customer service more efficient.

3. Assess the Change Management Process

Once the decision to move to an automated order-to-cash system has been made and the software chosen, attention must turn to the chances associated with change management.

Aside from the technical process of introducing new system, company personnel must be considered. People often feel resistance to change, so introducing such system can often bring about anxiety and lack of trust in its efficiency.

To avoid this and to ensure smooth adjustment, it is important to:

Communicate: Clearly communicating any changes to the existing system is of utmost importance. Make sure to explain in advance why the changes are being made and why the new system is beneficial to all.

Train: Ensure your team feels comfortable with the new system by providing full training ahead of launch. This way, everyone can use the new software confidently, meaning fewer teething problems when the new system is ready to go live.

Incorporate feedback: As with any new system, there will likely be teething problems and improvement opportunities. Ensure users provide feedback on which processes are working and which could be improved. This feedback can then be used to streamline the order-to-cash process when using the new system.

4. Monitor Accounts Receivable Performance and Customer Service

Finally, to ensure your automated order-to-cash system works as efficiently as possible, it is important to constantly monitor accounts receivable performance and customer service.

For accounts receivable performance, visualizing the flow rate of payments, completed tasks, and contact attempts informs decision making and suggests ways to improve efficiency.

For customer service, the automated system must be able to quickly provide customers with an up-to-date overview of the status of their accounts and payments over all channels, from voice and email, to web and social media.

Invoice and document automation also provides customer service opportunities, for example by automating invoice creation, delivery, and dispute resolution to ensure customers always have all the relevant payment information on-hand.

Investing in an automated order-to-cash system can have positive and far-reaching impact on the job role of accounts receivable. When your system is selected according to need, goals, and budget requirements, and when changes are monitored and thoughtfully implemented, an automated order-to-cash process provides invaluable benefits to both business and customer.