Combination of Receivables Management and Shared Services Can Improve Bottom Line, Recent Research Shows

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A just-released white paper by enterprise application software provider SAP and The Institute of Financial Operations outlines strategy for organizations to manage their receivables before the receivables manage them.

Organizations that are proactive with their receivables management can see noticeable improvements in their profits and collect money quicker without hindering their customer service.

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 organizations 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 centralized system of monitoring customer data, an enterprise can improve its customer service and watch out for its bottom line at the same time.

“Organizations 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. “New receivables management solutions from SAP, combined with a shared services approach, can lead to a more streamlined order-to-cash process. SAP empowers finance professionals with up-to-date information that helps improve the company’s overall financial operations, resulting in better service to customers.”

The shared services piece gives an additional boost to a strategic receivables management program by making sure an organization 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 realize 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 at

About The Institute of Financial Operations

The Institute of Financial Operations is a membership association comprising four affiliates: International Accounts Payable Professionals (IAPP), International Accounts Receivable Professionals (IARP), the National Association of Purchasing & Payables (NAPP), and The Association for Work Process Improvement (TAWPI). Based in Orlando, Fla., with offices in Boston and London, The Institute serves as a global voice, chief advocate, recognized authority, acknowledged leader, and principal educator for people in financial operations, with a particular focus on accounts payable, accounts receivable, procure-to-pay, information management and data capture. Combined, the affiliates have 5,000 members. For more information, visit


SAP and all SAP logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries. All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies.

SAP Forward-looking Statement
Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations The factors that could affect SAP's future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including SAP's most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.

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