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Keywords: shared services, accounts receivable, SAP, The Institute of Financial Operations, best practices, financial operations
Anna Bowsher | News | 27 June 2012
Accounts receivable departments can see numerous benefits if they streamline their processes through a strategic receivables management program combined with adoption of a shared services environment. This is according to a new report, Managing Your Receivables Management within a Shared Services Organization: Approach, Design, and Benefits, co-released by The Institute of Financial Operations and global software company SAP AG.
Finance leaders at world-class organisations are always looking for ways to streamline their operations and give top executives visibility into cash flow, all while saving costs. They can achieve these goals — and several others — by implementing a one-two punch in their departments that handle credit management, collections, dispute resolution, billing, and accounts receivable, as highlighted in the report.
The white paper addresses why visibility into finance processes is so important, especially in the largest companies. Think of how disruptive it can be for one department at a corporation to try to collect unpaid bills from a major customer when another department is trying to lure that customer into additional sales. With improved visibility and a centralised system of monitoring customer data, an enterprise can improve its customer service and watch out for its bottom line at the same time.
“Organisations that are proactive with their receivables management can see noticeable improvements in their profits and collect money quicker without hindering their customer service,” said Martin Naraschewski, vice president, Finance Solutions, SAP.
The shared services piece gives an additional boost to a strategic receivables management program by making sure an organisation observes best practices across the board, instead of employing different processes and levels of service depending on location. For instance, the report says, “account information becomes transparent to all divisions and finance teams. This makes accurate customer data more readily available and reduces the risk of making the wrong business decisions.”
“The Institute agreed to team with SAP on this white paper because we realise the growing importance of visibility across the financial operations spectrum,” said Jo LaBorde, executive director of The Institute. “New products and services that can help our members do their jobs better and add to the bottom line will only further enhance the role of accounts receivable professionals within their own organizations.”
A full copy of Managing Your Receivables Management within a Shared Services Organization: Approach, Design, and Benefits can be found here.
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