The pandemic fundamentally disrupted the business-to-business payments experience and facilitated a hastened adoption of digital channels for both buyers and suppliers alike. While businesses scrambled to adapt and find new ways of meeting their customers’ escalating expectations, the world evolved, and before our eyes rose a new global economy – one that prioritises digitisation and convenience.
With this digital revolution taking the economy by storm, most corporate functions have significantly and dramatically changed, with accounting and finance departments being no exception. Having been provided the motivational jolt necessary to overhaul invoicing and payment practices that have long been mired in inefficiencies, businesses are now seeking to augment their current accounting operations with robust digital capabilities to drive efficiency and accelerate cash flow.
While the catalyst for change may be attributed to the pandemic, this desire for digitisation is predominantly driven by buyers, as they’re looking for greater involvement in – and to influence – the payments process. To satisfy their demands – and ultimately provide better customer experiences – companies in return are kickstarting projects that are expected to deliver major improvements in efficiency. As both parties’ aspirations come to a head, fantastic, united experiences are burgeoning, resulting in a wholly new approach to accounts receivable – Collaborative Accounts Receivable.
Many accounts receivable (AR) transactions rely on traditional, highly manual, and time-consuming processes. Activities such as preparing and sending invoices, and receiving and processing checks, are tedious, inefficient, and prone to errors, but where traditional AR processes truly fall short is in their neglect of the most important stakeholder: the customer.
There is a significant communication gap between AR departments and customers, inhibiting AR processes from reaching their fullest potential. Unfortunately, traditional AR automation alone is unable to mend that widening chasm. The significant pains pertaining to wasted time, underutilised talent, and delayed cash flow as a result of manual accounting processes can certainly be addressed through automation but getting to the root of – and resolving – these issues requires businesses to critically rethink and retool their processes as well.
So, while companies have gone full bore on digitisation and are seeking automation opportunities en masse – our research has uncovered that 95 per cent of AR/AP workflows are either being digitised or will be digitised within the next year – true AR transformation will only be achieved when digitisation is viewed as a strategic lever, and the customer experience is reimagined as an integral piece of the puzzle.
Versapay’s collaborative accounts receivable platform bridges the gap – and effectively transforms AR – by automating core tasks and connecting you with your customer through a shared portal where both parties get access to the same information: invoices and supporting documentation, disputes and ongoing conversations, payment histories, and more.
By emphasising the importance of – and encouraging – collaboration, Versapay empowers AR teams to build stronger customer relationships, which leads to massive gains in efficiency, accelerated cash flow, and exceptional customer experiences. Digitisation is inevitable, and the consensus is that to remain competitive, AR modernisation is a must. But to acquire more customers, maintain long-term loyalty, and capture more revenue, a more comprehensive, strategic, customer-driven outlook is needed, and this mentality is at the heart of our solutions. Rather than be satisfied with automating existing processes, we view digitisation as a transformative process that offers new and better capabilities.
With rising expectations on how buyers and suppliers should engage impacting the transaction process, the ability to offer a superior customer experience while simultaneously increasing back-office efficiencies has become highly coveted. Augmenting your Microsoft Dynamics ERP with a seamlessly integrated accounts receivable solution is the catalyst to transforming your AR and creating a single source of truth for all accounting and financial activities.
Being deeply embedded within the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem – as Versapay’s payment solution for Microsoft Dynamics Business Central and Finance and Supply Chain Management is – allows our customers to process customer payments, offer diverse payment methods, lower processing fees, automate manual processes, enhance security, and increase revenue more efficiently.
Craig O’Neill is CEO of Versapay
This article was originally published in the Autumn 2021 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.