The Point

Receivables: The Flip Side of the Payments Coin for Every Business

Mar  15 
Attila Csutak and Dennis Wang  Product Manager, Bank Solutions and Director, Product Manager, Business Banking, Fiserv 

Businesses can accept payments in an expanding number of channels, which can lead to headaches in accounting. Being able to efficiently handle receivables in every channel helps maintain a view of funds coming in and supports healthy working capital.

An integrated receivables solution enables businesses to accept most payment methods – check, ACH, credit card, debit card, cash – from any payment channel. Payments can be accepted in person or via mail, lockbox, phone, online or mobile on a single platform that accepts, processes and posts payments with minimal manual intervention. A well-built accounting solution can be developed to handle new payment streams as they're adopted.

A uniform, consolidated payments data stream provides several benefits:

  • Consolidated reporting across payment types – Rather than maintaining reporting across various systems and individual payment types, organizations can capture a consolidated, single view of their receivables, which provides maximum awareness of available receivables throughout the enterprise
  • Automated receivables posting, exceptions management and invoice matching – Automation accelerates processing, matching and reconcilement, and reduces errors and exceptions
  • Enhanced understanding of cash and credit positions – With a comprehensive view of cash and credit positions, organizations are able to better deploy their cash and credit. Whether paying off debts or strategically redeploying working capital, enhanced awareness maximizes treasury effectiveness

Integrated Receivables

Organizations may choose to buy, outsource or build a solution. Although investing internal resources to upgrade independent or outdated systems is the typical route taken, outsourced remittance processing is an efficient way to go for many organizations.

An integrated receivables processing solution should include the ability to aggregate payments and remittance detail from any source. A single payments platform sits between the front-end payment channels and back-end payment systems. It features a rules engine that governs how various transactions from each source should be processed and allows merchants to accept online bill payments.

Equally as important to settling payments on credit is compressing the days sales outstanding (DSO) of a receivable. Estimating the collection period on a receivable line item helps reconcile payments, which lowers payment acceptance costs and reduces the resource-intensive cash posting processing. To lower DSO organizations are turning to an integrated receivables system organization to accept, process and post every credit and accounts receivable operation from a single, unified and compliant platform.

An integrated receivables system improves billing and payment processing efficiency through faster dispute resolution with minimal manual intervention. Whether processing remittance payments from email, email attachments, EDI files or customer websites, manual intervention drives up the costs of processing electronic payments which can add costs to processing certain types of payments.

Simplifying how a business handles receivables through a single, efficient process has a far-reaching effect on the cash flow of a business. Doing it right can reduce costs, provide enhanced reporting and give a holistic view of cash within an organization – all in real time.