8 Best Practices to Include in Your Digital Order-to-Cash Strategy During Crisis

8 Best Practices to Include in Your Digital Order-to-Cash Strategy During a Crisis

5 Min Reads

Emagia Staff

The true test of leadership is how well you function in a crisis. Leveraging order-to-cash best practices and possessing an unwavering focus on accounts receivables can help businesses grow beyond the challenges faced during any crisis, such as pandemic, recession, inflation, supply chain problems, or war.

While the fears of economic uncertainty and global recession are unsettling most businesses in the current global climate, focusing on accounts receivable—minimizing risk, improving cash flow and optimizing working capital—has become paramount for every business. Enterprises are concentrating on devising a profitable order-to-cash strategy and learning from order to cash best practices to stay in the game in these trying times.

CFOs, treasury and order-to-cash (O2C) teams are now defending their business health from the impact of external changes in the global environment, much like the front-line doctors and healthcare workers saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leveraging the order to cash best practices and an unwavering focus on accounts receivables can help businesses grow beyond the pandemic. 1. Connect, Lead, and Inspire Your Remote Workforce, 2. Leverage Digital Tools to Minimize Manual Activities, 3. Prioritize on Data-Driven Order-to-Cash Strategy to Reduce Risk, 4. Focus on Maximizing Cash Flow from Receivables, 5. Tighten Upstream Processes Such As Order Processing and Billing, 6. Manage and Expedite Cash Application, 7. Sharpen Focus on Cash Flow Projections, 8. Become a Partner to Your C-Suite and Business Leaders.

As we continue to wage an uncertain battle, the last few quarters have been incredible – how the back-office finance in almost all global companies has responded so strongly to the biggest disruption and switched swiftly to “work from home” to maintain business continuity.

Now it’s time to use every accounts and finance software to steer your cash flow and business through this storm. The true test of leadership is how well you function in a crisis.

Here are eight imperatives we believe can help global receivables process owners and treasury leaders in managing their operations during this period of remote working and of rapid economic uncertainty.

1. Connect, Lead, and Inspire Your Remote Workforce

Business continuity is the most important aspect during any time of trouble. Ensure IT support to enable necessary access to the core financial and order-to-cash systems and tools If necessary, manage daily meetings using web conferencing.

Your leadership is at test now. Building a purpose, setting goals, and communicating are critical. If your workforce is remote, helping them balance work and personal life can help you make a difference.

2. Leverage Digital Tools to Minimize Manual Activities

Your workforce productivity as well as your customers’ attention will be much lower during times of crisis. Find ways to minimize the burden of manual activities on the team. Exploring digital alternatives for manual credit application processing or manual entries from checks, remittances, lock box images, etc., can help.

An integrated accounts receivable automation software with support to other critical financial functions such as collections, deductions, cash application, and EIPP should be part of your digital order-to-cash strategy.

Make sure you automate reminder letters and provide mobile payment options. Leverage accounting automation and communication tools and explore the functionality you have ignored so far in these tools.

3. Prioritize Data-Driven Order-to-Cash Strategy to Reduce Risk

Having daily visibility on your global customer credit portfolio and assessing the overall risk is important. Factor in the impact of the current crisis on the industry, country, region, and others. For every new customer and also for credit line extensions of existing customers, ensure tighter control on the credit granting process.

Setting triggers on your portfolio will help you monitor, manage and refine your enterprise credit risk strategies dynamically during this time. Stay alert to changing dynamics and risk conditions.

4. Focus on Maximizing Cash Flow From Receivables

It’s time to reach out to your customers for payments. Hence put rigor in your global collections processes but with a very sensitive localized approach. Remember, your customers are also experiencing the current economic conditions. Focus on your collections strategy with a customer-specific approach.

Pay attention to their past payment patterns and watch out for any changing trends because many companies will delay accounts payable during these times. Leverage collections tools for sharing collections prioritization with your workforce, to send mobile-friendly correspondence to your customers.

5. Tighten Upstream Processes Such As Order Processing and Billing

Minimize billing errors by automating orders and billing to avoid costly cash flow problems, using an integrated AR automation tool. Stay on top of disputes to understand root cause and minimize the time to resolve them. Self-service customer portals, online payment options and dynamic discounting are some of the useful tools you can leverage in these times.

6. Manage and Expedite Cash Application

Visibility of cash receipts and cash application efficiency is important during this time. Manual data extraction from check copies, remittance advice, or lock box images can be time-consuming and cumbersome for your remote teams. Leverage simple cloud-based cash application automation with remittance data-gathering bots, OCR and data extraction tools to help expedite cash application and strengthen liquidity management. Having a sound cash application strategy in place and leveraging the proven cash application best practices can help businesses gain control of cash flow.

7. Sharpen Focus on Cash Flow Projections

Leverage AI, cash flow forecasting, and other analytics tools for a 360-degree view of customers. Gather daily updates on collections, receipts, and disputes. Your data is your gold mine. Short-term rolling window forecasting will be a good way to put tight focus on managing receivables turnover performance. Communicating collections goals to your teams and staying close to understand collections risk is important.

8. Become a Partner to Your C-Suite and Business Leaders

Stay close to your CFO, treasury and business managers and provide timely reports with relevant data and help in working capital planning and business planning. Business leaders are grappling with revising expectations on financial performance and communicating risk. This is your time to become a strong partner in strategic business management.

Digital tools such as automation, analytics and AI (the three A’s) can help you in these uncertain times. Leverage these tools in all ways possible to stay in control. For CFOs and treasury executives who have been contemplating digital order-to-cash strategy and transformation, this is a wake-up call.

Look forward, stay strong and lead with confidence.

As technology partners, we are here to help you during these challenging times. Using robust business intelligence and analytic tools, we can help you run your order-to-cash operations better.

Right now, more than ever, we are leading through our purpose. We believe that opening access to Emagia order-to-cash AI tools is a clear way we can help the order-to-cash community. Get your free cloud-based productivity tools for credit, collections, cash application, and cash forecasting and contact us for expert help.

Lets lead together.


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