Rethinking Receivables (Part 2): Why AI-Driven Automation Should Be Part of Any Long-Term Strategy

In Part 1 of the Rethinking Receivables blog series, we highlighted four strategies that all finance leaders should prioritize in 2023 in order to maintain a healthy cashflow and resilient business model.

Now, in Part 2, we explore the influence and impact of AI-driven automation within accounts receivable (AR), how to spot a best-in-class solution, and how they benefit stakeholders throughout your company.

Why Accounts Receivables automation?

With all the of obstacles facing today’s businesses — ongoing pandemic, inflation, talent retention, supply chain slowdowns, etc. — finance leaders must be proactive in shoring up the processes that impact cashflow, operating capital and customer relationships.

Fortunately, this is exactly what AR automation solutions provide: An easy-to-use, easy-to-implement solution that works by removing the manual bottlenecks throughout the invoice-to-cash (I2C) cycle that are responsible for slowing down cash collection, revenue securement, and, ultimately, your company’s ongoing growth and resiliency.

Impact on key stakeholders

It’s important to note that AR automation’s benefits are not limited to one department; rather, they span across the I2C cycle and outside of the business to deliver transformational change to virtually every key stakeholder, including:

  • Chief financial officer — Digital solutions are key to achieving every CFO’s top priorities: retaining top talent, simplifying cash forecasting, and securing revenue to support new growth and investments.
  • AR managers/leaders — With automation, AR leaders have the tools and technologies to be true partners to their business by empowering the people and optimizing the processes that impact cash collection.
  • AR team members — With mundane tasks out of the equation, AR team members can be more strategic when collecting cash and serving customers. 
  • Customers — Thanks to immediate and accurate payment allocation via automation, easy access to data, customers get transparent terms and conditions from day one.
  • Suppliers — Improving the AR process makes things easier on your customers’ AP teams as well (i.e., faster cashflow being secured on the AR side means suppliers are ensured faster payment).

What makes a good digital solution?

With so many options to choose from, deciding on an AR automation can come with a great deal of fear (and risk). That’s why it’s important to look for solutions that offer:

  • AI-driven technologies — A recent study found that companies identified as “AI Achievers” (i.e., those who heavily prioritize and champion AI investments) enjoy a 50% greater revenue growth on average.* It’s no secret why: AI technologies act as highly intelligent digital assistant that helps AR teams carry out a variety of strategic functions including data extraction, predictive analysis and financial oversight.
  • ERP/CRM integration — The most effective automation solutions minimize complexity and disruptions. That means integrating with any ERP/CRM system — even in diverse multi-system environments.
  • Support for global compliance/security — Operating in a decentralized model or internationally makes it particularly important to find a solution that supports multiple languages, sites and currencies, as well as regulatory e-invoicing compliance and global payment coverage.
  • Future flexibility — Whether you want to automate the entire I2C process, one element at a time (credit management, invoice delivery, cash application, etc.), or expand automation to other processes (AP, procurement, order management, etc.), the solution should offer the flexibility to do so on your own terms.

Think you’re ready to leverage AI technology to retain talent, secure revenue and realize your digital AR potential? Be sure to read Esker’s latest white paper,  Rethinking Receivables  to learn more.

* The art of AI maturity: Advancing from practice to performance. 2022. Accenture.

-Written by, Dan Rogney

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