Raising the Accounts Receivable Bar with Unified Automation

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4-minute read

As every business knows, cash is a critical resource. According to BlackLine AR Product Marketing Director Brian Morgan, the sooner you can transfer income from the balance sheet to working capital, the faster you can do something with that cash, and the greater your chances of success.

The question is how to best go about finding that time. And the answer—or the solution—resides in how organizations can make the most of the unified, intelligent automation available today from BlackLine.

This was the topic of Morgan’s BeyondTheBlack session, Raising the Bar in Accounts Receivables with BlackLine Unified AR Solutions.

In the session, Morgan pointed out some startling statistics from a global 2019 working capital study by PWC. The study found that more than a trillion dollars was being held hostage in balance sheets beyond their due terms. Freeing up this money would generate 55% of additional working capital for businesses.

The problem with many organizations is that the information necessary to unlock this money exists, but it’s difficult to find. Searching for information on customers—such as credit risk and payment performance behavior—takes time, and many AR professionals are too busy with manual processes to be able to do additional research on customer habits.

Gain a Complete View of Your Data with Unified Processes

Moving to automated AR processes may only be a partial answer, though. Morgan points out that the processes need to be unified, sharing the same data store and process intelligence

“Without unified processes, it’s like trying to put a bad jigsaw puzzle together,” he says. “The pieces don’t fit, so you end up with siloed data and siloed solutions. That’s a real challenge for some organizations because it demands more time and effort to get real access and a real view of data.”

By contrast, BlackLine’s unified AR solutions give AR professionals insight into a number of important customer behavior attributes.

“These include things like payment performance data that comes from our Cash Application solution,” Morgan says. “So when we are building out a collection strategy, we can build out different sequences for each and every type of customer.”

Access Critical Customer Attributes on a Single Screen

With unified processes, AR teams can see a range of critical customer attributes on a single screen.

“For all of the different attributes, whether credit insurance, risk scores, risk ratings—whether you use one, two, or three different credit reference agencies—all of that data can be absorbed and consumed on one screen by and for your AR professionals.”

Morgan explained how this same information informs BlackLine AR Intelligence. This solution uses decision intelligence technology to take AR analysis a step further, by focusing on factors such as customer behaviors, cash flow predictability, and payment performance trends.

The benefit of all this, Morgan explains, lies in saving time—for AR teams and their organizations. In addition, the access to data naturally improves decision making for AR professionals. So the time created leads to more actions taken while decision intelligence is improving those actions. All of this drives actions that impact results.

“Automation is to time what interest is to money,” he says. “Who doesn’t want more time? Who doesn’t want more cash? As controllers, as CFOs, as AR professionals, this is the real crux for us in managing collections and risks during these challenging days.”

Get your copy of our latest issue of BlackLine Quarterly for meaningful, actionable insights that will help you make better use of your—and your company’s—valuable time.