Organizations are constantly searching for ways cut their time-to-bill, get the invoices out the door faster, and improve order-to-cash. Accounts Receivables (AR) documents must be processed in a timely and efficient manner to ensure customers are billed promptly. Automating the billing process overcomes the challenges of remote locations and allows for the quick receipt of supporting documents. In conjunction with a broader document management system (DMS), same-day billing becomes possible.
Before we look into this type of process automation though, we must first ask:
What’s wrong with the way that it’s currently done?
One of the major drawbacks of a typical, manual AR process is the potential for human error. Managing the order-to-cash cycle relies on multiple instances of human intervention to receive and process orders, generate a paper invoice to the customer, receive and process the payment, and finally recognize the payment in the accounting system.
A manual AR process also requires more time to perform simple invoice processing activities such as matching supporting documentation to an invoice, one of the most common reasons for late or unpaid bills. The more people involved, the higher costs become.
Manual processes also tend to be inconsistently applied, leading to a lack of process control and visibility. Combined with the inability to send billing documents as they are generated, this overly manual paper-based process is likely inflating your DSO and preventing you from monetizing those receivables in a timely fashion.
The Key Benefits of Billing Automation with a Document Management Context
Document management software can turn these process inefficiencies into a streamlined system. A document management system with accounts receivable automation stores all relevant information in a secure, central repository. Imaging and electronic workflow automates the validation of data, activation of exception alerts, and forwarding of supporting documents to the appropriate person. For example, in the transportation industry, a document management system could electronically transmit a Bill of Lading (BOL) and associated documents from a point of delivery to the head office, triggering the invoicing process. This billing automation ensures customers are invoiced quickly with all of the supporting documentation they need to process the payment.
What are the key benefits of leveraging DM technology for billing automation?
1. Capture and Track Documents Electronically
Capturing supporting documents electronically improves invoice processing efficiencies and reduces human errors. Documents arrive at the right billing desks, in the right format and at the right time.
2. Improve Process Efficiency
Better access to the proper billing documents results in faster time-to-bill. Billing departments are able to issue their invoice days faster, in many cases the same day, with the required supporting documentation.
3. Accommodate Different Document Formats
A DM system provides a single home for all types of documents – be they Excel spreadsheets, emails, scans, pictures, and anything in between – that can be easily organized, and quickly searched. This also eliminates the inefficiencies associated with storing files in a mix of network drives, accounting department file cabinets, file-sharing services, and personal computers.
4. Reduce Administrative Burden
Reduce costs and tasks associated with printing, folding, stuffing, stamping and mailing of invoices.
Automating Accounts Receivable processes with Document Management technology delivers continuous business and process improvements which are measured by improved cash management, reduced billing errors, increased labor productivity, and reduced DSO.
If you’d like to learn more please contact us, or click on the button below to learn more about how this technology can improve processes for your business.
Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Markham, Ontario, Microdea is a fast growing document management and automation software company serving hundreds of customers in the transportation and logistics industry, including truckload and LTL carriers, private fleets, brokers and 3PLs.