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How can you plan with accuracy when customers ignore payment terms?
Knowing when cash will come in from customers is important but, on average, 60% of customer invoices are paid late, with many being settled weeks or months after your required due date. Sounds familiar?
Annoying as this is, customers will pay to their terms, not yours – or if they are waiting on cash themselves, you’ll get paid when they (hopefully) do.
Knowing customers pay late but then assuming every customer will pay on time in plans & forecasts creates overly optimistic scenarios and at worst could be dangerous.
The only way a business can realistically plan and forecast with accuracy is to learn and monitor the payment patterns and behaviour of every single customer, because how they’ve paid in the past will give you a far better view of how they’ll pay in the future.
It isn’t possible for humans to crunch all your accounting package’s Accounts Receivable data, but Machine Learning can – it can do all the heavy lifting, automatically providing insights on:
- When invoices will be paid.
- The order in which to chase invoices.
- Which customers pose a risk (i.e. If they change their payment pattern).
- And give you the accurate numbers to use in your forecasting spreadsheets or cashflow software.