Many small and medium-sized businesses struggle to manage their accounts receivable. Managing accounts receivable is critical for any company to track customers’ outstanding balances and ensure timely payment. With the ever-increasing use of electronic invoicing, many companies have found that they can collect paper invoices from their customers with no issues. You must make your business practice as efficient as possible to remain profitable and avoid potential penalties for failed collections practices.
Here are the best practices for managing accounts receivable.
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Most small business owners use spreadsheets and paper invoices to manage their accounts receivable. However, such methods are inefficient for tracking receivables, let alone collecting them. Accounts receivable software can help businesses keep track of their outstanding payments. It uses powerful artificial intelligence and proprietary algorithms to help you quickly identify money-making statements. In addition, the software provides customized solutions for speedy collections and automatic invoicing reminders.
Software programs such as e-invoice software will allow you to create and send invoices on the fly and keep track of outstanding payments in real-time. The automation will enable you to have up-to-date business transactions, pay your staff on time, and keep your accounts receivable under control.
Invoicing software is highly efficient for small businesses because all information is at their fingertips. In addition, the software eliminates waiting for checks or other payment methods to come back into the office before being able to record the payment.
Offer various payment methods and options
Online payment portals such as PayPal or Stripe allow customers to pay online via their credit card for quicker processing. In addition, payment portals can connect directly to the e-invoice software. Online payments enable the business owner to track payments made by the customer and keep their accounts receivable in order.
Multiple payment options, such as credit cards, checks, and ACH payments, allow customers to pay quickly without waiting for a personal check to clear. Credit card payments are guaranteed and immediate. There is no chance of the client disappearing before paying you because they never received the invoice.
Other options you can offer include allowing customers to pay via automatic bank draft, check, or cash payment. These payment options may help you collect much of your outstanding accounts receivable faster by eliminating the need for customers to write a check and mail it back to you.
Set up AR collection policies
Consider setting up AR collection policies that are fair but realistic. Set up AR collection policies to go after the accounts receivable of the customers who have been overdue for a long time.
You can track which customers are non-paying and set up emails and reminders to prompt these clients to pay their outstanding invoices.
Using accounts receivable software will help you do this more efficiently, without any errors that may occur when doing it manually. Collecting payments on past due invoices will help your business remain profitable and keep your cash flow in check.
Utilize automation to your advantage
Software such as e-invoice software can send you automated notifications when a payment is due and remind your customers of when the account is past delinquent. The reminders also mean you will never miss a payment again.
Account receivables software integrates seamlessly with your accounting system and bank for automatic deposit payments. Most companies automate these processes at no additional cost, leading to more money in the bank and less time worrying about collecting uncollected balances.
Involve your team in the process
Ensure that your team members are up to date on their duties. Let them know which customers are late in paying and the payment policies. Teach them exactly how to handle customer inquiries so there is a consistent process for reducing uncollected payments.
Involvement will give your team members a sense of ownership and responsibility for the success of your business. You will have happier employees by involving them instead of just handing off the job and hoping for the best.
Use the right key performance indicators
Track your key performance indicators to stay informed of your business’s performance. Use this information to see what is working and needs improvement. The KPIs help you keep track of the performance of your financial sector.
Small businesses should track and analyze every aspect of their accounts receivable management so they can see where their customers are not paying and what needs to change for them to do so.
Have clear billing procedures in place
Make sure that each customer has a clear understanding of your billing procedures. Clear billing procedures will help reduce the number of customers who don’t pay you because they don’t know how to pay you.
Clear procedures allow you to track your past due invoices and help prevent any late payments. Billing procedures also include information on how to handle collections, past due invoices, and overall payment methods for your customers.
Let clients know the payment deadlines and what happens if they do not pay by the due date. These procedures will improve customer service and time management skills within the company’s walls.
Review your AR regularly
Never let your AR remain stagnant, even if you do not have a lot of customers. Review your accounts receivable monthly to ensure you are not receiving late payments.
Ensure you are not missing out on sales by not having enough money in the bank or being short on cash flow because of many outstanding accounts. With more data about each customer’s payment history, you can make more accurate predictions about how many sales they will make and whether they will be able to pay their bills.
The information is essential for determining which customers to focus on when collecting payments so that you have enough cash in the bank to cover all your monthly expenses.
Accounts receivable management should prioritize your business to maximize your sales and manage your cash flow. When you collect payments quickly and easily, you create a much more optimistic and productive work environment.
Utilizing these strategies gets you paid faster, leading to faster sales and much easier management of all aspects of your business.