What will be different about accounts receivable in 2021? Most of us will be pretty eager to leave 2020 behind. But, a lot of what we’re experiencing now, will most likely carry over into the new year. At least in terms of the economy. Here are 5 trends I’m expecting to see emerge or continue in accounts receivable in the new year.
1. More automation
Faster invoicing means faster payment. The more automated accounts receivable processes you have, the quicker you’ll be paid. Time is always of the essence, but in a struggling economy it’s especially important that you receive your money as quickly as possible. As more accounts payable departments move to integrate their accounts payable and accounting software, you may see a smoother process all around.
2. Data analytics will improve accounts receivable
Big data just keeps getting bigger. Machine learning and data analytics are used to generate information that helps deliver faster, cheaper, and more personalized invoicing to customers. There is software to collect and analyze data and detect payment behavior patterns. This can help you detect when something unusual is happening with a customer and act quickly to receive your payment and avoid future problems.
3. Cybersecurity becomes even more important
From voting to consumer information, cyber threats are huge. As our work world becomes more virtual and remote, cybercrime will grow as well. If your accounts receivable staff is working from home at all, make sure they are only working from approved devices on a secure network with excellent passwords. This is the time to consider investing in an expert to ensure that all of your, and your customer’s, information is safe and secure. We are getting more claims where email accounts were hacked resulting in payments getting sent to the hacker’s bank account. This can be devastating to a business that was already in financial distress.
4. Subscriptions and auto renewals will continue to be big (and complicated)
Auto renewals and subscriptions are a great way to ensure that you have a steady cash flow. However, more and more states are adding auto-renewal laws that protect consumers. This trend will continue. If you sell SaaS, or other auto-renewal products, make sure you are up to date on current and pending auto-renewal regulations.
5. More people will hire collection agencies
During hard economic times, we usually see an increase in business. That’s because as collecting becomes more difficult, it just makes more sense to let professionals do the work. Letting a collection agency negotiate dispute resolutions and collect difficult cases, means you and your staff can focus on improving processes and serving your paying clients.
We’re all looking forward to a new year. Keeping up with the latest business and payment trends will help your 2021 be as successful as possible. If we can help in any way, just let us know.