If you’re a supplier dealing with B2B customers, you’re likely familiar with requests to use your customers’ third-party billing portals for invoice delivery and status updates. Portal adoption has grown significantly over the last 5-7 years. This rapid pace of adoption has also coincided with accelerated maturation of the third-party portal technology market. In contrast, accounts receivable technology adoption hasn’t kept pace. This has caused major problems for AR teams.
Billing Portal Adoption Has Been Bad News for Accounts Receivable Teams
You are likely facing many of these challenges:
- Buyers force you to use their system as a requirement if you want to do business with them.
- Logging into third-party billing portals multiple times a day to check on invoice statuses and following up with rejected or disputed invoices.
- Managing multiple logins, vendor setup/provisioning, and training staff to use these systems.
- Compiling reports from these systems regularly on outstanding AR.
- Dealing with ever changing and increasing buyer data requirements including endless manual data entry.
Will Robotic Process Automation Save AR Teams? Not Likely
If you have attempted to automate billing portal entry and reporting, you may have explored using bots or RPA (robotic process automation) technologies to alleviate the manual entry effort required. However, this comes at an inflated cost, and often requires ongoing maintenance to keep up with customer changes in the billing portals. RPA has benefits in many different functions but with the dynamic nature of billing portals and customer requirements, it has proven to be an ineffective method to get invoices delivered, approved and paid.
So, what now?
The Answer Is True B2B Third-Party Portal Integrations
Third-party portals have evolved significantly to allow for integration with supplier systems (ERPs, accounting/billing systems) and with true B2B integration, suppliers can finally benefit through their increased efficiency. When you are fully integrated, you will experience the following benefits and efficiencies:
- Eliminate the need for your employees to constantly log into customer billing portals.
- Manual entry and reporting are eliminated.
- Data retrieval and notification of invoice statuses are available in near real-time.
- Customer and billing portal data changes can be quickly addressed and easily managed.
- Accurate reporting of invoice statuses can be easily fed into ERPs, collections systems, and support entire order to cash automation processes.
These are just a few of the benefits you will see when you are fully integrated into client billing portals.
How Sidetrade Can Help AR Teams with Invoice & Document Delivery with B2B Billing Portal Integration
At Sidetrade, our best-in-class customers have started their automation journey with AR e-invoice automation and are reaping the benefits within Sidetrade’s Collections and Cash Application solutions as the entire AR team is working from the same data.
- Billing teams are informed immediately if an invoice is not accurate or accepted by the customer.
- Collection teams are focused on invoices that are actually collectable, and able to action disputes as they happen, and not days/weeks later.
- Cash application teams are informed of payments and remittances as they happen, allowing for a more effective cash application process.
Our clients no longer resist the customer billing portal adoption, but rather embrace and encourage use of them, as they get a real-time accurate view of where their receivables are at. This enables their companies to not only be a partner to sales in adopting new customers, but delivers the data required to measure the effort and costs of supporting billing portal-required customers.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how we can help with AP portal challenges.