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Remove slack from the system — how to shorten your sales to cash cycle

Posted by  Bas van Woudenberg

Project accountants and CFOs can remove slack from the sales-to-cash cycle and regain valuable lost time by doing one simple thing. Read what it is below and visit our webinar 'Removing slack from the system — how to shorten your cash cycle' on 19th October, register here now.

Digital tech has moved on since the late Nineties. And project accountants are highly qualified people. So why are they still using manual workflows and outdated software to do tedious admin, when they could be adding value to every project? Here’s how manual workflows are killing your productivity, plus a modern alternative that gives time back to accountants.

Manual workflows are killing you

Every single day, chief financial officers (CFOs) at professional services organisations are unknowingly building slack into their sales-to-cash cycle (or ‘cash conversion cycle’) — by sticking to the status quo. And it’s not doing their business, their reputation, their staff or even their customers any good.

This is 2018, not 1998

The ‘status quo’ is how we used to do certain things before digital technology made it easier. For example, email was first used by the masses two decades ago, but how many of us are still using it to manually gather client information, send invoices and chase them up? Some of the laborious accounting practices most businesses still use today include: manually recording transactions for billing purposes, individually generating invoices and manually sending emails to issue and chase payments.

This creates unnecessary labour, longer time lags and extra costs. Which leads to late bills, inaccurate invoices and more payment disputes, among other things. Worst of all, you're annoying loyal customers, creating yet more monotonous workload for highly educated accountants and running altogether less efficient projects. The bigger (negative) picture is an elongated cash cycle, which reduces liquidity and creates a treacle-like cashflow — which we all know can cripple any business.

Giving time back to you

If tasks which require lower skills are automated, you as the project accountants can free up time to add value to projects, like analysing historical and real-time performance to identify areas of business improvement, or modeling ‘what-if’ scenarios. At Unit4 we are in business for people, we are in business to make their working lives better. In our webinar (details below) we’ll show you how to give time back to project accountants and build more agility into your business so you can bill with precision, deliver more profitable projects and deliver outstanding results for your customers and their clients.

Automated workflows shorten the sales-to-cash cycle and give time back to accountants so they can add value to your projects.

Here’s a spoiler for our webinar: with Unit4’s PSA Suite, project accountants can:

  • create batch invoicing
  • automate invoice distribution
  • enhance the accuracy of invoices
  • distribute bills on time
  • issue reminders automatically (by automating email workflows)

By eliminating the need to manually record transactions for billing purposes, this:

  • improves the billing process efficiency
  • reduces lag time in invoice distribution
  • shortens the time it takes to collect outstanding payments
  • gives time back to project accountants

Let’s remove slack from the system

To shorten your sales-to-cash cycle, you need an automated solution that’s powered by data and intelligence; one which creates a single source of truth and a 360-degree view of customer accounts.

Unit4’s PSA Suite (Professional Services Automation) is a native cloud solution built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM. When you install the Unit4 PSA Suite’s Financials module, you extend the PSA capabilities with a full accounting solution that can also be integrated with the Unit4 Business World financial back-office solution or any other third-party Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution. It comes with built-in legislation, support and industry best practices for these sectors: accountancy, architecture, consultancy, engineering, IT services and legal.

Unit4 helps you shorten your sales to cash cycle

By taking advantage of today’s tools, project accountants can reduce the time it takes to convert their sales to cash, making the business more financially agile. And, yes, today that is not only a widespread reality but also an easy transition.

If you’d like to hear more about how it works, join our webinar 'Removing slack from the system — how to shorten your cash cycle' on 19th October. Register here now.

Bas van Woudenberg

Bas van Woudenberg is a professional services sector veteran, aiming to support organizations to improve utilization rates, customer satisfaction, and financial results. Bas is also the director of the Unit4 PSO Center of Excellence.