There are few things that could be considered to be “easy” about the ERP decision-making process. However, one of the first steps to a successful decision is to find out what features are most important to your business, choose a solution with that can handle your unique needs, and move forward.
From the main modules to the specific features, you’ll rarely find something perfect for everything, but by focusing on the things that matter most, you’ll end up with a solution that benefits you now and in the future.
At Innovative Cloud Solutions, we’ve worked with companies like yours to assist you through the decision and implementation process, helping these organizations to understand their options and make a decision that sets them up for long term success. In this, we are breaking down what ERP is and discussing the many parts that need to work together to benefit your business—starting with financial management.
The Sum of Its Parts: A Continued Deep Dive into the Financial Management Module
Financial management is the core of your ERP platform—no matter what it’s connected to, data and money flows through it. Throughout your ERP decision making and discussion process, you will spend a great deal of time analyzing the features and functionality of your financial management module because once you implement, your people will spend a lot of time in it.
Just as ERP represents everything included within it, financial management is as well. From General Ledger to Tax Management to Deferred and Recurring Revenue and more, everything needs to flow.
In a recent blog, we discussed the capabilities and benefits of a powerful cash management solution as part of your ERP platform. While this blog explored how to track current cash flow and understand future needs, we would today like to turn our attention on how the money gets there.
Accounts Receivable: Top Features and Benefits of a Powerful AR
You expect your customers to pay you in a timely manner, but tracking the money as it moves from likely-paid asset to collected cash requires the right technology. Whether or not you’ve collected the cash, commissions need to be paid, taxes need to be tracked and reported, and when a customer does pay, the payment needs to be applied.
Knowing this, an AR platform that can do all of this while connecting efficiently to the GL, CRM, and other financial management applications can ease the constant strain that goes on managing these processes.
What Is AR Functionality in ERP?
Getting from ‘agreement to buy’ to ‘invoice sent’ to ‘cash collected’ is one of the most common processes in accounting and selling. Knowing this, there are many concerns that go into the process—especially in the wake of the new revenue recognition standard, where accounting for sales transactions will be based on the fulfillment of performance objectives.
Accounts Receivable functionality tracks the invoices awaiting payment, tracking all the money your company is owed but has not collected yet. This includes invoices you’ve sent for products or services you’ve already delivered. Here’s how to find a solution that helps you improve your collections by automating processes, tracking receivables, and running comprehensive reports.
Why Is It So Important?
In order to deliver a positive customer experience, one of the most important processes a business needs to do is offer a flexible buyer experience that matches customer expectations and needs. With a powerful AR platform, you can offer this flexibility while making it easier to track invoices and payments.
A fully integrated AR platform delivers the flexibility and automation you need to simplify the way you collect money, making it easier for customers to pay, convert from potential money to real cash, and calculate totals for things like sales tax, commissions, and interest. This will help you to improve customer satisfaction, reduce uncollectable debts, stay in compliance, and streamline operations.
Things to Look For
As we discussed in our blog on cash management, there are a few things that make an AR software better than others, and things you should rank your potential choices on:
- Flexibility: Whether you need to send invoices in a wide range of formats or need flexible billing functionality, you need to seek out a solution that can adapt to customer needs—as well as your own.
- Payment Handling: Adjusting to customer needs requires more than just the ability to send an invoice in a range of formats. You also need to accept payments the way your customers want to pay. For example, accept PCI-compliant credit card payments with flexibility to handle manual charges, transaction voids, and refunds.
- Automation: With many companies working in the subscription economy, being able to automatically send recurring invoices has often become a necessity for modern businesses. However, it goes beyond that. Simplify the approval process, automatically send reminders, track interest on late payments, and flow information into the right entities, accounts, or ledgers using the right currencies and tax codes.
- Compliance: From sales tax automation to deferred revenue tracking, the ability to track AR balances by performance obligation and account for these at the right time will be an imperative under ASC 606.
- Reporting: Spot potential problems in collection before they become real ones. Stay up to date with over-limit accounts, aging accounts, and expiring credit cards, report on collections and get a single version of the truth.
Learn more about other key features of AR software here.
Acumatica Cloud ERP: The Usability Leader
Finding a solution that is user-friendly and functional is a key decision process in the ERP evaluation stage. As we continue to break down the smaller components of ERP and why they matter in the bigger picture, we invite you to learn more about your path to purchase by getting a free ERP evaluation and comparison checklist from Acumatica here.
Acumatica AR is part of the Acumatica Financial Module and integrates with other necessary functionality based on your industry and unique needs. Learn more about Acumatica Financial Management, your path to making an ERP decision, and contact us to learn how we can help you.