Bots for Accounts Receivable: Tackle High-Volume Retailer Portals with Ease
What is a Bot? It’s short for robot, a software application that can perform tasks automatically. Bots are designed to perform tasks without human intervention. They can work faster, more accurately, and at a higher volume than humans. Bots are also referred to as robotic process automation (RPA).
Even the best-organized retailer portal can represent a lot of mind-numbing repetitive work. Fortunately, Bots can help eliminate and streamline these repetitive tasks. Here’s how Bots in your accounts receivable workflows can help tackle high-volume retail portals easily.
Automation in the Accounts Receivable Process
Robotic process automation is becoming common in many industries, especially those that work with retailers such as Home Depot, Walmart and Amazon or carriers such as UPS and FedEx. RPA helps extract, manage, and utilize data from these companies’ portals, completing every hours-long process in just minutes. Better yet, an RPA bot can accurately navigate complex data pathways and correctly populate your preferred invoice format.
Bots/RPA vs. “AI”
Although the solutions sound similar, robotic process automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are not identical. The main difference is that RPA is about doing (for example, automatically completing repetitive tasks) while AI is about thinking (such as intelligently responding to a typed query).
Bots/RPA vs. OCR
It’s also important to distinguish between RPA and optical character recognition (OCR). RPA bots and OCR work together to address different parts of complicated tasks. Simply put, RPA finds and extracts data and documents while OCR interprets them.
Accounts Receivable: How RPA Prevents Overwhelming Backlogs of Unresolved Deductions
While RPA bots are becoming more commonplace, they still aren’t as familiar as manual processes in the accounting and finance worlds. Unfortunately, “manual” is often another word for “outdated.”
Take, for example, deductions management. Without automation, internal teams are left following different data pathways for each retailer/carrier portal, individually downloading PDFs and Proofs of Delivery (PODs), manually populating spreadsheets and more. As hundreds or thousands of new deductions roll in each week, it’s easy to end up with a backlog of unresolved issues — which can significantly impact cash flow.
These repetitive tasks can be expensive, time-consuming, and downright exhausting for the people doing them daily. Fortunately, robotic process automation can help.
Examples of Bots/RPA
Although RPA can take many forms, one of its many common uses is in cash application automation. This includes accessing banks for daily payment deposits and remittance details or extracting pre-deduction and deduction details from retailer portals. Other examples include accessing retailer supplier portals to manage and exchange information, accessing PODs from transportation carrier portals and automatically connecting them to invoices, obtaining chargeback details from retailers, and even connecting with other systems within your company, say grabbing a waybill, contract, deal sheet or purchase order from a disconnected system and appending it to the invoice or deduction file in the receivables system.
Benefits of Bots/RPA
There are many benefits of RPA, including:
- Accuracy: Extract and populate data without the risk of human error, outdated information or other potential issues.
- Speed: Reduce the time it takes to download PDFs, navigate retailer/carrier portals, connect data to internal processes and more.
- Simplicity: Make your accounts receivable processes easier by automatically connecting relevant external documents to invoices, spreadsheets and files.
- Value: Improve deduction recoveries, reduce days sales outstanding (DSO) and protect cash flow with stronger AR workflows and fewer missed chargebacks.
- Consistency: Build stronger customer relationships and resolve deductions more quickly by leaning on automation instead of manual efforts.
What RPA Systems Need
An RPA accounts receivable solution must have certain features to do all this and more. For example, Carixa AR Automation Software offers:
- Expert design: Our RPA solutions are built on extensive experience in collections and other parts of the growing finance world.
- Low cost of entry: With Carixa, Bots/RPA is both affordable and scalable, making it a good fit for businesses that need a ready-to-go cash flow solution.
- Ease of configuration: There’s no need to be a technical expert; we handle setup and configuration.
- Consistent monitoring: Without regular improvements, data processing can be interrupted. Carixa software is monitored and updated to keep up with changing retailer/carrier portals.
Accounts Receivable Automation: Best Practices and Common Questions
As you consider RPA solutions for your accounts receivable workflows, you may encounter questions without obvious answers. Fortunately, you’re not alone. Here’s what to know about getting started with Carixa AR Automation Software:
“How Does Setup Work?”
Our Operations Team works with your staff to identify priorities, configure the Bot/RPA and run necessary tests. We’ll also validate test results to ensure you get exactly what you need. It’s all part of our smart implementation — ensuring onboarding success. The process is led by experienced order-to-cash practitioners who understand your needs, challenges, and goals, ensuring that implementation is as fast and easy as possible.
“What Should We Expect?”
Your IT team doesn’t need to get involved in Carixa software setup or ongoing maintenance. Instead, we monitor the bot daily, capturing metrics in an Operations Dashboard that tracks tasks, potential maintenance needs, and more. That frees up your internal teams to experiment with the software and learn how it helps make their higher-value tasks easier.
“What Happens When Data Pathways Change?”
Retailers and carriers are always updating their portals. Lower-quality robots would be rendered useless after every update, requiring near-constant tweaking to maintain performance. Carixa is different. We know where to look for updates and how to keep our software ready to go at all times — which means a shift in pathways or retailer/carrier portals won’t stop your progress.
“Can We Get Support?”
Once your robotic process automation software is up and running, we’re still just a call, click or email away. We’ll work with you to plan regular meetings that fit your schedule, allowing us to cover everything from issues and adjustments to key performance indicators (KPIs) and future goals. Outside of these meetings, your Customer Success Manager is also available for troubleshooting, support and any questions you might have.
Get Started With AR Robot Process Automation
If your accounts receivable process relies too heavily on manual tasks, it’s time to turn to RPA. With Carixa, you can offload repetitive tasks, simplify data capture, and ensure accuracy while protecting your cash flow.
Ready to see Carixa AR Automation Software in action? Contact us today to get started.