April 21, 2021

Cash Is King: Intelligent Automation for Your Accounts Receivable Processes

Last October, Rimilia, the leader in accounts receivable (AR) automation, joined forces with BlackLine to deliver on a shared vision: transform and modernize Finance and Accounting.

This is an exciting next chapter in our history. The acquisition expands BlackLine’s capabilities by adding AR automation to financial close automation and solving a problem we know organizations struggle with—unlocking cash.

Cash is the lifeblood of any business. With economic uncertainty and changing customer behaviors, cash management and business resilience has never been more important. Now, more than ever before, the ability to rapidly apply payments to invoices and manage unpaid collections from customers is critical.

According to PwC, €1.2 trillion of working capital is held hostage on global balance sheets—and this figure was reported before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The report estimates that releasing this cash would be enough for global companies to boost their capital investment by 55%, without the need to look externally for funding or put their cash flow under unnecessary pressure.

Cash remains king, and yet working capital remains effectively locked in an organization’s biggest asset—their debtors.

So many F&A organizations are still using spreadsheets and paper to manage their order to cash process. In many cases, weeks are lost as teams try to reconcile their payments and invoices, leading to delays in applying cash, friction in the customer relationship, reduced employee morale, and significant delays in the financial close process.

Businesses are also unnecessarily writing off bad debt that that could easily be collected and applied if they deployed intelligent automation.

Traditional manual accounting processes are not sustainable, and BlackLine Cash Application delivers intelligent automation for your accounts receivable processes.

Intelligent automation replaces manual tasks with a system that can replicate the activity a human would do, by learning logic based on decisions to determine the right outcome. 

For example, from the minimal data on a bank statement, BlackLine Cash Application can determine exactly which customer the account belongs to and which invoices the payment relates to. It can manage things like deductions, tolerances, and taxes, and fully apply the payments and journal back to our customers’ ERP without a human touching the majority of payments.

“With Cash Application, all parts of the process—application rates, turnaround time, unapplied cash, and team performance—are monitored and measurable. When we see an area for improvement, we can identify exactly what needs to be done and predict how the customer will benefit,” says Christoph Koenig, director I2C, service delivery EU, and global process owner at Brambles.

And his teams aren’t the only ones experiencing significant benefits from the solution. Here are additional outcomes from other customers using Cash Application:

  • Reduced unapplied cash by 95%
  • Able to support business growth of over 30% without needing additional headcount
  • Reduced FTE’s from 16 to 2.5, enabling redistribution of resources
  • Removed their reliance on lockboxes and significant keying fees which often run into multi-millions of dollars annually

This week we released AR Intelligence, which equips credit and finance professionals with the critical data they need to manage risk and cash collections. This data is typically difficult to mine or report on, and AR Intelligence delivers real-time visibility.   

Learn more about our accounts receivable automation solutions that can reduce manual activity by as much as 85% and collect more cash across your order-to-cash processes.

Kevin Kimber

Intelligent Automation