Expert Advice: Shopping for Accounts Receivable Software

Advice from the Experts: Shopping for Accounts Receivable Software

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Accounts receivable software automation can save your staff hours on routine tasks. But, purchasing the right software is hard. There are dozens of options to consider when shopping for accounts receivable software. Where do you start the decision-making process?

PDCflow is here to help. We spoke to our Product Management Analyst and a few ARM software partners to gain insight. Here’s their advice on what to consider when finding A/R software solutions for your business.

Lex Patterson – President, DAKCS Software Systems

  1. What is the most important feature of an Accounts Receivable software?

Key features are business and even client-specific. Based upon this, a key element to look for in ARM software is flexibility of the configurations you need. A good solution should work the way you need it to work, and be flexible enough to adapt to new scenarios you run into based upon your business.  

  1. What is the most overlooked factor people don’t take into account?

A key consideration that is sometimes overlooked is the company behind the software. How deep are their roots? What happens when you need support? Are you placed in a holding queue that’s eventually responded to out of the country or is your call answered promptly with a helpful, knowledgeable and familiar voice? Selecting the company is perhaps even more important than selecting the software features.

“Are you placed in a holding queue that’s eventually responded to out of the country or is your call answered promptly with a helpful, knowledgeable and familiar voice?”Lex Patterson
  1. Is there anything people may focus on too much that’s not as important as they may think?

The key here is to understand the problem or concern you are focusing on. Often we find there are various solutions we can offer to customers. Taking the time to really understand what our customer feels is important is the first step in delivering the best solution.

  1. What’s one piece of advice for merchants during the buying process?

Take the time to capture the key elements of your workflow and then walk through each of these tasks so you have a solid understanding of the software workflow. Then go beyond the demonstration and ask for references of recent installation as well as customers who have been on the system for a while. Ask questions like:

  • How did implementation and conversion go
  • How would you rate their support after the sale?  
  • Are there limitations you wish were different?

Barbara Newton – Director of Operations, Collect!

  1. What is the most important feature of an Accounts Receivable software?

Accounts Receivable software is all about automations – having the program make routine decisions and take routine actions to save operator time, scheduling regular tasks to occur without human intervention, and use batch processing to deal with large numbers of accounts at the same time. Recently, after working with a Collect! technician, a Collect! user was able to reduce manual multi-day tasks to a few minutes, thereby freeing staff up for more valuable work.

  1. What is the most overlooked factor people don’t take into account?

Most people do not adequately assess the program’s flexibility. Many will go for inexpensive, out of the box solutions and then change their business processes to match the limitations of the software. In contrast, a flexible software will allow them to set the software to accommodate their existing and future workflows.

  1. Is there anything people may focus on too much that’s not as important as they may think?
“Generally, the more flexible the software the better; you do not need to use all the functionality that it comes with, but it is there for you when you need it.”Barbara Newton
    1. What’s one piece of advice for merchants during the buying process?

    Rushing the process is never a good idea. Ideally you would get a test copy of the software and enter some accounts to put the software through its paces. Make sure that you can customize automations to suit your workflow, so that you can continue to work your accounts the way you want, rather than having to adapt your workflow to the software.


    Chris Campbell – CEO, Simplicity Collection Software

    1. What is the most important feature of an Accounts Receivable software?

    A flexible software that will provide accurate tracking and management of account balances, transactions, and the ability to report and track data. A follow up to that feature is automation.  The data needs to be accurate and easily accessible to your team even if your team is remote (i.e. cloud-based). We pride ourselves on our ability to provide a variety of ways to access, report, organize, automate, and analyze your data.

    1. What is the most overlooked factor people don’t take into account?

    Clients who don’t truly understand their process or industry processes. Clients typically come to us with outdated ideas that “have always worked” and overlook the updated technologies that can make their lives easier and their processes more efficient.  

    Clients should look for opportunities to simplify and consolidate their data and processes whenever they can. Simplicity is capable of data and process automation which can do amazing things, but the client needs to understand their processes before going down that path. Simplicity provides many ways to automate, integrate, and update data in support of our customers’ business processes.

    1. Is there anything people may focus on too much that’s not as important as they may think?
    “Don’t try to replicate exactly what your old system did. Look for opportunities to simplify and utilize new technology to streamline your business.”Chris Campbell

    Our product name says it all, Simplicity. Our tools offer ways to simplify and allow customers to do away with old cumbersome processes.

    1. What’s one piece of advice for merchants during the buying process?

    Beware of companies that may “hold your data hostage.” Make sure you have an easy way to get data in and out of whatever system you choose to use. Also, make sure your software is flexible and can easily scale and grow with your business.

    PDCflow - Accounts Receivables Payment Hub

    Matt Thomas – Product Management Analyst, PDCflow

    1. What is the most important feature of an Accounts Receivable software?

    Electronic Communication. Consumers want to self-service their accounts and they want the experience to be fast and they want it to be easy. Electronic communication is essential to this as it allows customers to be educated on the status of their account, settle the account, and receive peace of mind that everything is taken care of. A great way to accomplish this is to send account statements with a payment request. It’s fast, simple, and convenient.

    1. What is the most overlooked factor people don’t take into account?
    “It is so easy to overlook but many businesses forget about the experience their consumer is going to have.”Matt Thomas

    Most decision makers tend to look at either the bottom line or the impact a solution will have on their own employees. While these factors are important, a good consumer experience improves the bottom line with faster payments, more self-service, and often makes your employees look like heroes when they work with customers to provide a great experience.

    1. Is there anything people may focus on too much that’s not as important as they may think?

    Businesses tend to focus on tools that function the same as what they’re currently using. While it’s great to know what works with your processes, changing your software is also a good chance to reevaluate and improve office workflows. Innovative software products can help you do this.

    1. What’s one piece of advice for merchants during the buying process?

    Look for a software solution that is also a true partner and has the interests of your business at heart. Do they have a desire to learn your business? Do they know your industry? Do they consult with you? Do they seek feedback on how they can make their solution better? These are all key questions you should be able to answer yes to before buying.

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