Small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) lack the financial buffers of their larger corporate counterparts and so are especially vulnerable to cash flow interruptions. These smaller players find it especially important to be sure they are paid on time and have the most efficient accounts receivable (AR) practices they can. The slow, expensive process of handling print invoices is a barrier to smooth cash flow, and SMBs can make their operations run smoother by tapping AR tools for digital payments, electronic invoices, automated processes and more.
The October Accounts Receivable Automation Report, a PYMNTS and American Express collaboration, examines the latest automation tools and how these solutions are changing AR for small and large firms alike.
Around The AR Automation World
Installment payment plans appear to be increasingly in demand. Electronics eTailer CompSource recently sought to update its AR capabilities to enable its customers to pay for online purchases in installments. The company leveraged a solution from financing company Behalf to offer customers microloan services options during checkout.
Cross-border payments are also embracing installments, with international payment solution provider Splitit releasing a B2B credit-based installment platform. The solution automates the receipt of multipart payments to help SMB buyers leverage credit to let them make larger purchases and help sellers’ AR departments receive funds on time.
The media industry faces cash flow concerns as well, and insurance firm AIG and FinTech FastPay recently partnered to help address these needs. The new solution furnishes media companies with loans in exchange for the borrowers’ anticipated AR payments.
Find more on these and all the latest headlines in the Report.
Giving AR A Social Media Upgrade
AR departments suffer from overreliance on paper-based invoices, which can create complications when buyers and sellers need to reach out to clarify invoice details or dispute payment records. Digital AR platforms equipped with communication tools can help, however, according to FinTech VersaPay’s CEO Craig O’Neill. In the Report's Feature Story, O’Neill explains how a social network-inspired approach to AR platforms can improve communication and transparency.
To read the Feature Story, download the Report.
Deep Dive: AR Gets An AI-Powered Speed Boost
SMBs can face lengthy waits to get paid, with data finding these businesses on average to have 24 percent of their monthly revenue tied up in AR, terms or trade credit. Manual processing can make matters worse by introducing human error and human-caused delays. This month’s Deep Dive examines the speedbumps afflicting AR and how digital solutions like artificial intelligence (AI) can automated processes and remove frictions.
Find the Deep Dive in the Report.
About the Accounts Receivable Automation Report
The Accounts Receivable Automation Report, a collaboration between PYMNTS and American Express, highlights ongoing efforts to update legacy AR practices and deploy new innovations and solutions designed to make AR processes faster, simpler and easier.