How Automated is your Order to Cash Process?
3 minute read
If you’ve been around accounting systems or general business, you understand the phrase, Order to Cash (OTC). It’s a fundamental business process that documents companies’ steps from when they make a sale to when payment is received. Online orders can be accepted via different sales channels, such as phone, email, web, or salesperson, the contractual relationship is confirmed, and orders get fulfilled through shipping and logistics. The process of OTC is standard in almost all businesses. On completion of the order, an invoice is generated and booked as sales. If payment has not been received, the debt gets documented and pursued until the funds are received.
Enter the Pandemic. Sure - we’re all tired of talking about it, but consider how this has affected OTC if your revenue model is more Business to Business (B2B). Your buyers are more comfortable ordering products while they are working from home. One minute they’re buying their college-bound child something for their dorm room, and the next, they're looking for spare parts to keep their operations running, all from the comforts of home. It’s the Amazon effect; buyers look for the ease and speed of doing business with you as they are with online retailers. What happens if your systems and processes don’t make it easy for them to do business with you? Well, I bet one of your competitors has methods that make it easy to do business with them.
Some of the more common steps in an OTC process via the web are as follows:
Capturing of the order in your ERP
The process starts here. With the right eCommerce platform, this should be easy and streamlined for your customer to understand and set up. they should see thor pricing and be able to order using their terms.
Automated Sales Tax
If you have Nexus to where the shipping address is, you'll need a proper tax calculation and documentation for future tax filing.
Payment Gateway Processing Credit Card
If your customer does not have payment terms or wants to add this option for all customers, credit cards get approved, and all information is seamlessly shared back and forth between ERP and Credit Card Processing companies.
Shipping and Fulfillment
Customers’ orders get fulfilled and sent to the requested address of the customer.
Customers will get sent a generated invoice.
If the customer did not use a credit card in the ordering process, you would collect payment from the customers based upon previously agreed-upon terms.
Now, think about your process. Is it easy for your customers to do business with you? More importantly, do your customers think it’s easy to do business with you? Most companies have some or most of the pieces they need. Providing customers with web ordering capabilities lets you meet buyers where they are in their journey and helps you capitalize on every sales opportunity. A fully integrated B2B solution with your ERP allows for an automated OTC process that benefits both you and your customers.