Receivables Management (RM) includes financial functions such as Credit Management, Collections, Dispute Resolution, Billing and Accounts Receivable. The redundancy in the above title is intentional because the management of these customer functions is not always a foregone conclusion. Without a strategic finance platform, you may find that your receivables are actually managing you and your time. Take, for instance, the inevitable existence of past due invoices and accounts. If proper alerts and procedures are not set in place, the occurrence of delinquent payments will lead to reactive decisions, which can include order and shipment holds, lost potential sales and disgruntled customers (and sales executives). Conversely, the proactive approach of anticipating potential problematic situations, setting up strategies to quickly remedy such issues, and communicating effectively, will most likely have the exact opposite result. And if you add a Shared Services framework to that operational design, your results will improve even more so. So let’s take a closer look at the processes which will benefit from this improved management.
Collections and dispute management are the first solutions that come to mind. Within the receivables landscape, there is a strong possibility that at any given time particular invoices from your customers will be under dispute for a variety of reasons. Maintaining real-time updates to the status of such invoices, across the organization, is critical to achieving effective account management. No collection specialist wants to jeopardize a customer relationship when a legitimate issue exists regarding open invoices. Having the visibility into these disputes, with a system to flag items for resolution and remove them from the past due status, will enhance your RM objectives. Additionally, credit management decisions are continually impacted by these open invoices and this magnifies the need for an enterprise-wide financial platform, which shares and tracks all account issues. This now brings us to the Shared Service Center approach.
The Shared Service Center provides more than the significant efficiencies gained from economies of scale from consolidated operations. It also delivers a strategic platform for growth and financial operations management. By supporting RM functions throughout the organization, account information becomes transparent to all divisions and related finance teams. This leads to the availability of more accurate customer data, which helps reduce the risk of making the wrong business decisions. Adding true integration with call centers, or interaction centers, provides easy retrieval of RM data and eliminates the need for logging into multiple accounting sessions. The design supports one-click access to any receivables system and improves the experience and effectiveness for the entire user community. The additional capability to offer portal based self-services to customers through the Shared Service center expedites the RM resolution process. Customers can quickly identify problem invoices and flag them, which are then more effectively tracked and managed as service requests, or tickets. Finally, the ability to standardize and syndicate best RM practices across the organization improves training, compliance, and ultimately, profitability. Now that’s how you can truly manage your Receivables Management.
For more information about the SAP solutions for Financial Shared Services and Receivables Management, please click here: Shared Services for Financials