10 essential questions when choosing accounts receivable software for digital payments

Blog | April 10, 2024

Reading time: 5 min
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When it comes to the finance world, especially managing accounts receivable, the right software can mean the difference between chaotic cash flow and seamlessly orchestrated invoices and payments. With numerous accounts receivable software providers out there, it's crucial for finance leaders to be armed with the right questions to ask. After all, this software isn't just about digital capabilities; it's about enhancing your entire financial ecosystem.

Below are the ten questions, rooted in deep financial sense, that you should pose to any accounts receivable software provider to ensure their solutions align with your core business needs.

The ten questions rooted in deep financial sense chart

1. What features does your accounts receivable software offer for digital payment processing?

Gone are the days when simply sending an invoice and recording the payment sufficed. Today's AR software should be a powerhouse of features for digital payment processing. Look for providers offering a unified platform consisting of automated invoice delivery, multiple payment gateways, and robust reconciliation systems.

Your focus must be on solutions that streamline the payment experience for your customers. Do they provide a portal with a variety of payment options like credit cards, ACH, or eChecks? A great provider will have a user-friendly interface that can handle bulk payments, accept partial payments, and automatically allocate them to specific invoices.

2. How does your software ensure data security and compliance with payment regulations?

Security and compliance are not negotiable in the realm of financial services. Ensure your accounts receivable software is PCI DSS compliant if it processes credit card payments. For ACH transactions, they should meet the requirements of NACHA, the Electronic Payment Association.

Inquiring about how the software protects data at rest and in transit is prudent. Are they ISO 27001 certified? How often do they conduct security audits? These pertinent questions can help you to assess the robustness of their security measures.

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3. Can your software integrate seamlessly with existing accounting systems?

It’s critical to inquire how well the AR software integrates with your current accounting systems. Seamless integration ensures that transactional data flows accurately between systems, ruling out the possibility of errors due to manual data entry or transfer.

Some key systems to mention are your ERP systems, banking software, and business intelligence tools. If the integration is clunky, the benefits of your new AR software will be greatly mitigated by the costs and complexity of incompatible systems.

4. What level of customer support and training does your company provide?

Excellent customer support and training are essential. If you simply purchase software without the resources to understand and use it, you might as well be throwing money into a black hole of inefficiency.

Ask about the onboarding process. Do they provide training webinars, user manuals, or dedicated account managers? Additionally, inquire about the customer service options—Will there be a support hotline available 24/7? Quick problem resolution can make or break your AR system’s effectiveness.

5. How customizable is the software to suit our specific business needs?

Businesses are unique, and your software should reflect that. Inquire about the flexibility of the software to adapt to your specific needs. Can you customize the invoice templates to align with your brand? Is it possible to add custom fields or workflows?

The more tailored the solution, the better it will match your internal processes and improve your team’s productivity. Don’t settle for a one-size-fits-all solution in a world where customization can streamline operations.

6. Does the software have reporting capabilities to track payment trends and performance?

Data-driven decisions are the hallmark of successful financial management. Your software should provide comprehensive reporting capabilities to track payment trends, delay patterns, and team performance over time.

Ask if the software can generate AR aging reports, cash flow forecasts, or profitability analysis based on payment histories. The ability to mine this data will offer valuable business insights and inform strategic decisions.

7. What is the pricing structure of your accounts receivable software?

Affordability is key, and a transparent pricing structure is a non-negotiable element. Inquire if the software is offered as a subscription service (SaaS) or if there are one-time licensing fees. Is the subscription cost scalable with your business growth?

Be thorough in your queries and ensure you understand every aspect of the pricing model, including any potential hidden costs such as setup fees, transaction costs, or costs for additional users.

8. Can your software accommodate future scalability as our business grows?

You’re not investing in an accounts receivable software solution for the short term. Your choice should facilitate long-term growth. Ask the provider about the scalability of the software. Can it handle a 10% growth in the number of invoices or customers? How about 50%, or even 100%?

Scalability is also about performance. How does the system handle peak loads around payment deadlines? Can it automatically allocate resources to handle increased transaction volumes?

9. How user-friendly is the interface for both employees and customers?

An intuitive user interface is mission-critical. Your AR software should be easy to use for both your team and your customers. A clunky, difficult-to-use interface will lead to errors, lower adoption rates, and, ultimately, a loss of value.

Ask for a demo to understand the day-to-day experience using the software. Test different tasks, from creating invoices to verifying payments. Gauge the general feel of your team by seeking their feedback after the demo.

10. Are there any case studies or client testimonials showcasing successful digital payment processing with your software?

Nothing speaks louder than a track record of delivering on promises. Ask for case studies or client testimonials that demonstrate successful digital payment processing. Can they provide references from businesses similar to yours in size or industry?

Evaluating success stories can give you a glimpse of how the software will perform in your environment. Look for signs of improved collection times, better customer retention, and streamlined financial operations.

Essential considerations for choosing accounts receivable software

In conclusion, your choice of accounts receivable software can have a profound impact on your business's financial health. By asking these questions, you're not only vetting the capabilities of the software but also the commitment of the vendor to meet your operational and compliance needs. Make these ten queries a standard part of your selection process, and you’ll hone in on the accounts receivable software that’s best for your business.

Want to learn more about accounts receivable software and how it can help your company move finance forward?

Talk with a Billtrust Expert today!
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