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Top AR Automation Solutions for Quickbooks Users

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If you’re a Quickbooks user and satisfied with how that accounting software works for your business, then you’re absolutely on the right track to insist on a Quickbooks AR automation solution. 

After all, one of the goals of accounts receivable automation is to simplify your invoicing and collections processes. If you implement AR automation software that doesn’t easily integrate with your accounting and other ERP systems, you’ve just complicated matters unnecessarily.

The truth is there are a number of equally good AR automation software solutions that integrate with Quickbooks, so it’s from that list that you should begin your search. There’s no point in checking out other solutions– unless you plan on switching your accounting system in the future. 

As you’re considering different options, it’s easy to get excited about a product’s sizzle–all its features and capabilities–but keep this in mind: No matter how many extra bells and whistles are included in a solution, if you need IT resources that you don’t have just to make it work with Quickbooks, it may not be worth it.

In this article, we’re going to review the benefits of AR automation and provide some guidance for comparing different options. We’ll also explain how some accounts receivable software solutions are leveraging machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to catapult your efficiency, productivity and accuracy to the next level. Solutions that are AI-enabled allow finance teams to improve their cash management and cash forecasting significantly.

Why Quickbooks AR Automation Software?

Obviously, receiving payments on time is crucial for the health and growth of your business. As important as getting paid is, many companies, regardless of size or industry, suffer through their invoicing process because of outdated, sluggish, inefficient workflows. Your finance team has to manually create invoices which takes time and is prone to human errors and omissions. Then the invoices have to be distributed electronically or through the mail.

Accounts receivable automation replaces those time-consuming and repetitive manual tasks with automated workflows. Automation drastically reduces the time it takes to create and send invoices. Data is automatically pulled from your accounting system which means there’s no error in the transfer of information. The invoices are accurate and customized per the customer’s requirements, increasing the probability that they are approved without a hitch. 

You get paid faster because of the reduction in time it takes to create and send invoices, the expedited approval process and the fact that most Quickbooks AR automation software will accept multiple payment methods, including quicker electronic methods which facilitate early and on-time payments.

What Are the Benefits of AR Automation That Integrates with Quickbooks?

If you asked a group of finance team members from different organizations what they value most about their AR automation, you would get various responses. But by far the most popular answer would include something about how they no longer have to manually input data from disparate sources to create invoices. 

In addition to replacing tedious manual processes, here’s a quick view of the benefits of AR automation software:

  • Faster invoice creation and distribution
  • Faster payments
  • Reduced DSO
  • Increased cash flow
  • Higher rate of accuracy
  • Lower AR costs
  • Enhanced customer relationships
  • Compliance with legislation

Streamlined processes

With automation the entire invoicing process is more efficient. A lot goes into making sure each invoice is ready to go out the door: checking for accuracy in terms of price and internal details; ensuring the specific demands of your customers are included, such as how they want to receive the invoice or purchase references that they need for faster approvals; and finally manually preparing them for distribution.

Mistakes at any point in this workflow can mean late payments, credited invoices, negatively impacted cash flow and irritated customers.

Time that was once spent on gathering data and inputting it to create each invoice can now be spent in more valuable ways. Finance teams can focus on cash forecasting and other tasks that contribute to your company’s growth. 

Faster payments

It could be the golden rule of AR collections: The faster you can get an invoice into your customer’s hands, the faster you can get paid. Quickbooks AR automation software shortens the time between invoice sent and payment received–your DSO. 

This accelerated process is largely due to two factors. First, your invoices are being automatically generated and sent out electronically, so there’s very little time lost here. And secondly, because you’ll be providing your customers with convenient online options for payments, they pay sooner. There’s no more “the check is in the mail.”

INCREASED CASH FLOW

Of course you should be able to improve cash flow with speedier payments, but AR automation software that’s powered by AI also helps increase cash flow. AI-enabled software quickly learns from past transactions and is able to predict expected payments with a high degree of accuracy. You’ll also be able to reduce reserves and write-offs because the software can identify high risk accounts that pose a threat to a healthy cash flow.

IMPROVED ACCURACY

Presenting invoices that are inaccurate or missing required information is bad for business in a few ways. Any mistakes have to be investigated, taking up someone’s time that could be spent on a more valuable task. And because finding the error and correcting takes time, the invoice will often go out later than it should have.

An often overlooked negative effect of inaccuracy is the message it sends to your customers. Businesses that regularly send incorrect documents are perceived as unprofessional and less trustworthy. Not so good for retention and referrals.

Lower processing costs

There are both direct and indirect costs with regards to invoicing and collections. Both of these types of costs can be reduced by implementing an AR automated solution. 

Automated digital processes are less expensive in the long run as you’ll be eliminating paper, ink, printing equipment, postage as well as document storage space and furniture. 

No matter the size of your finance team, you’ll find that a majority of the manual tasks they are charged with can be automated. This frees them to focus on work that adds more value to your organization. Also, as you scale you most likely won’t need to hire more staff as the software should be scalable. 

Improved customer experience

AR automation software should offer multiple payment methods which most customers will appreciate. Many will also provide a customer self-serve portal which allows them to view their accounts, get answers to questions and make payments at their convenience.

Compliance with legal requirements

As more and more countries are requiring e-invoicing–but each with their own set of standards–compliance can quickly grow complicated and complex. Global invoicing is a challenge that many automated AR software solutions can simplify for you.

What to look for in a Quickbooks AR Automation Provider

If you’re convinced it’s time to make the leap to a more streamlined receivables process and begin realizing all the benefits we’ve discussed, here are a few questions to guide you to the software provider that’s right for you.

  • Does the software give you cash positions in real-time?
  • Does the solution leverage ML and AI?
  • Can you customize your invoices and alerts?
  • Does it integrate easily with your existing ERP and other business systems?
  • Does it automatically reconcile customer accounts as well as your own bank accounts?
  • How user-friendly is the interface?
  • Does it work across multiple entities and currencies?
  • Is there a self-serve customer portal?

A final word on automating your receivables process. It’s certainly a step in the digital direction you won’t regret. But what if you could find a solution that would streamline your AR processes and also provide you with the tools to manage cash better and make more accurate forecasts? 

AR automation software that leverages ML and AI gives you the best of both worlds. You not only reduce manual, paper-based processes to streamline your AR processes but you’ll have access to real-time cash positions for better cash management. The advanced technology can predict payments with startling accuracy, identify high risk accounts and optimize working capital for improved cash forecasting.

You might be thinking that all sounds great, but it also sounds like something only enterprise level companies can afford. While it’s true that larger organizations have benefitted from ML and AI-powered solutions for a few years, it’s also true that those benefits are now available to mid-market size businesses.

Take a look at Payference

For cash management all in one place, Payference is the all-in-one cash management tool for mid-market businesses across all industries. Payference IQ Technology™helps you control DSO and DPO by optimizing working capital to unlock hidden cash.

Learn more about how Payference worked for this biotechnology company or just reach out to our team today for a free demo.