Cash flow is crucial for business survival and success. Here’s how teams can stay on top of AR with AutoQL.
~5 minute read
Managing cash flow is one of the most common challenge that business owners and their teams face. Cash flow is particularly important for small- and medium-sized businesses that may be totally reliant on only a handful of customers or clients.
There are a few strategies that can be implemented to gain control of a poor cash flow situation and to maintain positive cash flow on an ongoing basis. One such strategy is improving the state of accounts receivables (AR). Well-managed AR helps teams cultivate lucrative and mutually beneficial customer or client relationships.
It’s not just the accounting department that needs to understand cash flow. Team members in direct contact with partners, suppliers, customers, and clients need real-time insight into repayment habits as they make calls and take meetings.
The more easily this information is available to key players across the business, the sooner action can be taken to enhance cash flow going forward and ensure positive cash flow on a regular basis.
Here’s how teams can use AutoQL to explore the data around cash flow and AR to build strategy that will help improve the average days to pay:
Determine Current AR Trends with AutoQL
In order to understand if AR trends are negatively affecting cash flow, team members must first understand the current state of their business’ AR.
With AutoQL, anyone can ask the following questions about their AR and receive immediate answers that reveals the current repayment situation:
- What are the average days to pay?
- Average days to pay for the last 12 months?
- What are the average days to pay per customer?
- Average days to pay per customer for the last 12 months?
Uncovering the data that answers these questions will allow teams to see if, in fact, they’re dealing with an AR management problem. It can also tell them if the AR problem is recent or if it’s an ongoing issue for the business. They will also immediately see if there are any particular accounts driving the average days to pay up or down.
Read more: How to Talk Data with Conversational AI
Taking Action on AR Insights
Based on the answers the team has discovered, they will already have a much clearer path forward. They can then provide recommendations and take action based on the insights they’ve found in the data.
From here, team members analyzing the data can also drill down to uncover the underlying details from each account with a single click. This allows them to see the nature of each account’s AR habits. If a client or customer has a longer than average repayment timeline, they can see whether the the slow payments are recent, if they are cyclical, or if there’s any correlation between days to pay and the total invoice amount.
Once the data has been analyzed, teams can build strategies around negotiating new repayment terms or following up with late payments. They may need to have a discussion or even end the relationship with any customers who continually pay weeks or months later than the agreed-upon terms.
As part of an ongoing strategy based on real-time data, teams may update their terms and conditions, implement a late payment penalty, or begin collecting payments in stages through the duration of a project, for example.
Traditionally, finding the answers to these questions can be a tedious process. While dashboards can serve the purpose of keeping an eye on AR, today’s agile businesses need immediate answers they don’t have to dig for. Likewise, pulling multiple custom reports is time consuming and often requires the intervention of an internal or external technical team. These rigid reports restricts any exploratory analysis that would allow teams to get to the root of the problems they are trying to address.
With AutoQL, it’s easy to take repayment trends into account when making key decisions that depend on cash flow. With natural language data query capabilities, it’s easier than ever to access the information that can help employees make mission-critical decisions that promote positive cash flow, improve relationships, and, ultimately, drive revenue.