New Year, New Goals: Five Resolutions for Your A/R Team
With every new year comes revamped strategies designed to help achieve overarching business goals. As we wrap up the first month of 2019, it’s not too late to commit to some business-focused new year’s resolutions that’ll help you reach those goals.
We’ve put together a list of five resolutions that will help Accounts Receivable (A/R) teams drive towards a more successful 2019.
1. Take stock
As with any resolution, it’s important to take a step back and take stock of the current situation. What do we do well? Where can we improve? This is the same for A/R teams when coming up with goals. What processes seem to be working, and which need to be revisited and reworked? Once you’ve done this, you can then work toward making the adjustments that will benefit your team, and ultimately your organization.
However, don’t just make this a one-time thing. Establish a cadence for monitoring and assessing the state of your A/R process. With 2019 poised to be a transformative year for B2B payments, it’s important to regularly assess what you are doing and keep an eye on the trends and innovations that’ll improve your processes and ultimately, your bottom line.
2. Dust off customer data and keep it clean… and safe!
In today’s business environment, we’re only as good as the data we collect and put to use. When it comes to payments, there’s an enormous amount of data that needs to be collected, analyzed, and applied. This is a perfect opportunity to ensure that your customer data is accurate. While the auditing process might take some time, it will ultimately save you a lot of time and headaches throughout the year from working with outdated or inaccurate data.
Also, you want to make sure that your customer data is secure. In today’s environment, few things cause more reputational risk to an organization than a security breach or other data mishaps. That’s why it’s critical to stay on top of evolving regulations and understand data risks and how to avoid them.
3. Automate, automate, automate!
To put it simply, automating A/R processes can do wonders for your team and organization as a whole. From reducing the costs associated with payment processing, increasing cash flow through faster payments, improving operational efficiency, and enhancing the overall customer experience, there is no shortage of benefits when it comes to automation.
Aside from putting unnecessary burdens on your teams, not automating your processes impacts your bottom line by increasing Daily Sales Outstanding (DSO). So, make a commitment to not slowing down cash flow and keeping your customers happy.
4. Switch to eBilling to save time, money & the environment
As with automation, eBilling is another tool that allows you to save more money and enhance the overall experience you provide your customers. As you would educate your team on new processes, you can also educate your customers on the advantages of eBilling, as they are equally compelling for them as they are for you.
Also worth noting, as of January 27, 2019, the U.S. Postal Service is increasing the price of stamps from 50 cents to 55 cents, and the price of a metered letter from 47 cents to 50 cents. With 51 percent of companies still using paper checks, this price increase will really affect how much businesses spend on sending invoices and checks.
And let’s not forget that eBilling has environmental impacts as well. By driving electronic adoption with our own customers, we’ve saved more than 60,000 trees. Although, perhaps the only incentive you need to give your company and customers to switch to eBilling is the impact it’ll have on CSR programs.
5. Make payments more personal
Today’s consumer expects personalization. While your A/R team might be dealing directly with A/P teams, at the end of the day, we are all consumers. This is why it’s important to make an effort to weave payments into your company’s overall customer experience in 2019. Why is this so important though? It’s expected that by 2020, customer experience will overtake everything, including price and product quality as the top brand differentiator.
This is no different in the B2B space. In fact, 72 percent of B2B customers now expect personalized experiences, and 73 percent of them said their standard for the customer experience is at an all-time high, according to Salesforce’s 2018 report.
By talking to your customers about payment preferences, and using accessible data to meet those preferences and provide a customized payments experience, you will enhance your CX and differentiate yourself from competitors.
We’re excited about what the rest of 2019 holds for the future of B2B payments. Taking some time at the beginning of the year to analyze your situation and set new goals will pave the way for a successful year for your A/R team and broader organization.