OB10-The Institute of Financial Operations Study Finds More Companies Expediting Collections through e-Invoicing and Early Pay Discounts

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Annual Accounts Receivable Survey reveals growth in automation and focus on collections

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Increased adoption [of automation] will improve organizations’ satisfaction in their collection efforts and eliminate the need to call customers to chase late payments.

The third annual Accounts Receivable (AR) Survey from OB10 (http://www.ob10.com), the e-Invoicing network, and The Institute of Financial Operations, the globally recognized authority on best practices in financial operations, finds that more companies are accelerating their collections processes through e-Invoicing and are taking discounts for early payment. The survey gauges the views of accounts receivable and credit professionals in the areas of collections, invoicing, payment processes, and the economy.

The 147 participants included AR and credit professionals, CEOs, presidents, and CFOs from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies in North America and the UK. The results indicate that e-Invoicing continues to grow as a reliable invoice submission method, as 29% of respondents use it versus 26% last year. This is also the first year that respondents’ use of e-Invoicing has surpassed that of EDI.

Regardless of the invoicing submission method used, 85% of respondents believe electronic invoicing expedites the collections process. Additionally, early pay discounts are growing as a cash-management option, with two-thirds indicating that they have accepted discount terms offered by their customers.

When asked about the results of their collections efforts, 50% were only ‘somewhat satisfied,’ suggesting that there is an opportunity to find and implement an ideal solution – or combination of solutions – to improve collections. More respondents said that they were calling late-paying customers to chase payment. This method has increased in popularity over the last three years from 55% in 2010 to 61% in 2012.

“While this year’s survey shows good growth for invoice automation, more can be done to streamline the procure-to-pay process,” said Luke McKeever, CEO for OB10. “Increased adoption will improve organizations’ satisfaction in their collection efforts and eliminate the need to call customers to chase late payments. We can then expect to see more organizations take advantage of early pay discounts.”

“This year’s AR survey shows how OB10 and The Institute of Financial Operations continue to have an acute understanding of what organizations find important in the procure-to-pay process,” said Jo E. LaBorde, Executive Director of The Institute of Financial Operations. “We are equipped to monitor trends and offer solutions designed to help improve their financial operations.”

This year’s AR survey introduces the Invoice, Payment and Cash Flow (IPC) Barometer, which asks for respondents’ opinions on how effective they are in invoicing, customer payment efficiency, and cash-flow management and generates an overall score. Organizations will soon be able to gauge their own IPC Barometer result on the OB10 website and learn how to improve it.

To read the full 2012 OB10-Institute of Financial Operations Accounts Receivable Survey, download the white paper from the OB10 website or The Institute of Financial Operations website.

The white paper can also be accessed here:
OB10: http://bit.ly/OB10arsurvey
The Institute of Financial Operations: http://bit.ly/IFOSurvey

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Ernie Martin
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