The average collection time for a small to medium sized business is 19 days. According to CashEdge’s recent 2011 Small business Payables and Receivables survey, the majority of the 405 businesses surveyed indicated that they wanted to reduce the time to collect by 50%. How can your business achieve this lofty goal? ERP systems have a series of powerful tools that can aid the collection process. Here are five easy ways to utilize existing tools with your ERP system to increase cash flow:
1. Auto-Invoice out of your ERP. Emailing invoices to your customers seems easier but that process can be almost as time consuming as physically mailing the invoices. ERP systems, like Sage Accpac ERP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV, give you the ability to automatically email all invoices to your customers when you post. Build in automatic email reminders as the due date approaches and you will save yourself hours of phone calls.
2. Process credit cards within your ERP system. Accepting credit cards has become more complex with the introduction of the PCI Security Standards but your Sage Pro, Accpac on NAV ERP system is already outfitted with tools to ensure your compliance, including Sage ERP Accpac. Simply enter the credit card information into your ERP then receive notification of approval or denial. Many systems have the option to automatically show the receipt of funds in your ERP once they arrive in your account.
3. Accept checks by phone. Paper checks account for 1/3 of non-cash payments according to the Federal Reserve but they also take the longest to arrive. Shorten that time by getting the pertinent information over the phone as soon as the check is issued. This gives value to your clients by making the payment process easier and can significantly reduce the time it takes for you to receive money owed.
4. Scan in checks for immediate deposit. Getting to the bank can be difficult in the course of a busy day. You can easily outfit your accounts receivable department with a small reader that authorizes the check online then immediately deposits the money into your account.
5. Accept ACH payments. The Automatic Clearing House (ACH) is a U.S. Government run system that allows money to be electronically transferred from one bank to another through an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Accepting ACH payments eliminates the delay of the “next check run” and allows you to collect payment the day it is due.
Receiving payments owed allows you to operate properly and make necessary investments in equipment or staff to keep your company growing. Technology can be a powerful driver in increased receivables without much user intervention. To find out what accelerated cash flow could mean to your company’s bottom-line, contact us today.
For more on this subject, download our white paper: Seizing Opportunities in a Slow Economic Recovery.