The latest accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) solutions are pulling double-duty by tackling friction not only on their own side of the B2B payment equation, but on the other side as well.
This week's look at AR-AP convergence explores how solution providers are looking to drive corporate customer satisfaction through automated AR technologies, accelerate supplier payments via enhanced AP tools and reduce lumpy cash flows for both buyer and supplier as innovators consider these two functions as a unified whole.
Melio Lands Funding For AP, AR Technology
With a cool $144 million in fresh funding, B2B payments technology startup Melio has plans to grow in both the accounts payable and accounts receivable space. The company offers solutions to help small businesses manage their supplier payments as well as receive payments via an integrated tool to accelerate cash flow and combat late payments.
While the company aims to give small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) more control over their B2B payments workflows, Melio's technology also addresses the needs of these small businesses as both buyer and supplier, with technology that can accelerate B2B payments to the advantage of both AR and AP teams.
“At a time when small businesses need the most flexibility, they have the least,” said Matan Bar, Melio Co-Founder and CEO, in a statement. “Our mission is to keep small businesses in business. We do this by allowing small businesses to manage payments remotely, paying when and how they want, giving them more control and helping businesses manage cash flow. Business payments shouldn’t be more complicated than paying a friend with your phone.”
Sailfin Debuts AR Solution With Deep Customer Ties
Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), Sailfin Technologies has rolled out its accounts receivable solution, with a deep focus on users' own business customers.
Its Smart Receivables Manager (SRM) solution aims to mitigate risk by providing suppliers with a "360-degree view of customer accounts," allowing vendors to offer their customers credit. In addition to enhancing cash flow visibility, the company is highlighting the opportunity to improve the customer experience through automated collections, streamline dispute management, and electronic invoicing and payment acceptance capabilities that can support customers' needs to pay in a variety of ways and currencies.
"The digital revolution of financial processes presents significant opportunities that help businesses drive efficiency and manage their working capital more effectively," said Sailfin Chief Executive Officer Harit Nanavati in a statement. "Our expertly designed, AI-led platform delivers best-in-class features that our clients need to create delightful customer experiences and drive exceptional results."
AvidXchange Boosts Business Growth Via AP
Rolling out its Boost your Business Program this week was AvidXchange, an accounts payable automation solution provider. The company said in a press release that the initiative aims to accelerate customers' AP automation journeys to save money and embrace best practices.
In a statement, AvidXchange CEO and Co-Founder Michael Praeger said that as organizations accelerate technological adoption as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, they're also looking to drive growth for the year ahead.
"We conceptualized this new program specifically for companies that are still burdened by antiquated back office processes," he said. "By helping them shift to eInvoicing and ePayments, we're pivoting their entire finance team to focus on what really matters right now — bolstering the balance sheet for the year ahead."
At the same time, this shift must also keep the supplier in mind, and AvidXchange highlighted the ability of AP automation technology to help AP teams keep track of supplier payment preferences and have the ability to comply with those preferences, whether that be paper check or virtual card.
MSTS Links Paper Invoices To Payments Disruption
While accounts payable and accounts receivable solution providers are demonstrating the potential benefits of a deeper connection between buyer and supplier, new research from MSTS shows the interconnectivity of AR and AP in a different light.
According to the company's latest survey of 300 financial managers, there is a correlation between suppliers sending paper invoices, and buyers paying late. Paper invoices are also tied to a higher instance of billing errors and disputes between buyers and suppliers, Digital Commerce 360 reports.
Yet at the same time, paper checks and other manual payment methods remain the primary invoice payment method for 25 percent of survey respondents, with 48 percent saying they send invoices via email, and 18 percent sending invoices via traditional mail.