Accounts receivable is one of your greatest assets. It is what keeps your business a float and where most of the focus should be, especially during times when cash flow is slow. The accounts receivable department is not one that you want distracted. You need this department to be the most productive in order to keep your business running smoothly, however, it is admittedly usually the team in most companies that is facing the largest bottlenecks and brain draining manual tasks.
Here are 5 ways to boost productivity in your accounts receivable department, to make your team more efficient and happier.
ELIMINATE NON-VALUE ADDED TASKS
Non-value added tasks can be described as those tasks that you can do in your sleep. It is something that is done manually over and over and over again, like punching in numbers from a spreadsheet or creating invoices. It is not to say that these tasks aren’t necessary to get work done, obviously you can’t run an accounts receivable department without creating invoices, but they may not need to be done every day over and over again. These tasks can be automated with the right software so no one is wasting time.
SOFTWARE IS A/R COMPATIBLE
Whether you’re using an ERP system, a general accounting system, or some type of industry specific business software to manage your accounting, make sure that it is accounts receivable compatible. If the system doesn’t help you manage your accounts receivable, but rather makes you do work arounds or manage outside spreadsheets, then the system is not making you productive but actually causing the problem.
DIVIDE AND CONQUER
Divide and conquer could mean a thousand different things to a thousand different companies. Everyone has their own process to get tasks done, but the point is that you have a process. There should be an assigned job to each person on the team or an assigned day that a task gets done, not chaos and confusion on who owns what task.
OFFER MULTIPLE PAYMENT OPTIONS
Nothing should be difficult for the customer. The more difficult a task is for the client to complete, like having to make a trip to the post office to pay a bill, the longer your accounts receivable team will be working harder to get these accounts paid. To make your department as productive as possible, allow clients to pay online with an ACH or credit card. This will get your payments in faster and keep the team from less stress.
It’s not enough to just expect and ask the accounts receivable department to be more productive. A team of people that are happy and enjoy their job will immediately be more productive than those that aren’t. Celebrate achievements and make clear to the team how important their job is. The more they feel that their work is making a difference, the more productive they will be.
The point to drive home is that the accounts receivable department needs the right tools and a comfortable working environment in order to be productive. The more tasks they are required to do manually, the longer it will take for anything to get done and the more likely it will be that those tasks will contain errors.