Startup Check-In

DadeSystems Is Building The Twitter Of Accounts Receivable

The year is 2018, and social media platforms like Twitter are now influencing the way businesses handle accounts receivable.

With its 280-character limit, a tweet is sheer elegance in its simplicity — while a payments discrepancy is anything but. What if the succinct and straightforward nature of the former could be brought to bear for the latter? For DadeSystems, that’s the whole idea of its new functionality piece.

CTO Doug Hathaway explained that the startup’s payment lifecycle software does have support for a deduction process, but adding this automated collaboration piece will enable parties to easily and succinctly ask about payments discrepancies as soon as they’re observed. Although discussion threads are not public, Hathaway said the flow is essentially a “Twitter for B2B.”

Once the payee has pinged the payer, the payee can present questions that are either automated or part of the payee’s workflow to determine the reason for the discrepancy and resolve the issue.

Say a company pays a vendor by check with a list of invoices. The vendor can use DadePay to scan the image and post the payment to its ERP system. But if the payment amount doesn’t match the invoice amount — say, $1,000 was owed but only $800 was paid — then the vendor can post the partial payment and initiate a conversation about the discrepancy.

Previously, that vendor would have had to call a guy who would then call another guy at the paying company to find out why the company didn’t pay the full amount. Now, said Hathaway, an automatic email gets sent to the payer requesting that the payment be adjusted.

Sometimes these discrepancies are simple mistakes and are easily fixed, in which case, the back and forth is just a lot of extra legwork for some poor employee — especially when the vendor is likely managing 2,000 payments a day.

Other times, there’s a legitimate reason why the payer failed to communicate. Maybe the product was defective or the goods were spoiled. Hathaway said DadeSystems’ new functionality lets the payer choose from a list of reasons, thus kicking off a workflow process to get that information to the right people. For example, quality control would need to know if partners were receiving damaged or spoiled goods.

Hathaway said DadeSystems’ partners are now piloting this functionality so it can be built out using real data and real problems, not in isolation. He expects the feature to become available at the end of Q2.

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