Integrating your enterprise resource planning software with your customer portal not only leads to greater efficiency but also simplifies tasks for your business and customers. One of the ways this helps is by enabling your finance team to easily upload invoices and initiating the process of integrating customer payment portals into your ERP ecosystem.
An ERP and customer portal integration allows the two systems to synchronize and share information with one another. The customer portal can collect information from the ERP such as invoice details, purchase orders, and credit limits. Likewise, when data like payment details are uploaded in the customer portal, it is also updated in the ERP system. Customer payment gateways make it easy for customers to access and pay their invoices from the customer portals. Here is how it works.
When an invoice is prepared your AR (accounts receivable) team can upload it to the customer portal and send it to your customers as an attachment through an automated email system. When customers enter the portal using their unique customer IDs, their records would be automatically pulled from the ERP system.
The customers can view invoices and make payments via virtual cards, credit cards, checks, or other payment methods like Pay-Pal and Razor pay. After the payment is made, the invoice ID and payment status attached to the customer ID is again updated in your ERP system in real-time.
Usually, businesses overlook the need to integrate customer payment portals with their ERP due to increasing costs or business interruptions caused by system modifications. However, when you see the effect of this integration on your operations and customer experience, the costs seem to be worth it. Here are a few benefits of this integration.
Both human interventions and manual errors are substantially reduced when your online bill payment podium is tied to your ERP system. The integration also initiates seamless data transfer from myriad portals to ERPs and thus reduces data redundancy.
Most business processes are streamlined by integrated systems. For instance, the customer payment details are available in the ERP in real-time. This helps your AR teams to track payments against corresponding invoices without the error-prone manual data collection process.
Due to coherent data synchronization, customers get up-to-date information on their payments and other details at their fingertips. Also, the probability of them receiving already paid invoices from your AR team is substantially reduced.
Prior to electronic payments where data from transactions could be directly integrated into ERPs, businesses often had to wait long periods for invoice payments and suffered delays in assessing current cash flow status. Integration reduces the wait time to a few hours with more cash inflow.
One of the major benefits out of your ERP and customer payment integration is the availability of payment made and payment overdue reports with a few clicks. As customers make the payment, that information is available in the ERP in real-time. Similarly, reports of delinquent customers are stored in the ERP ecosystem for your AR team to do priority follow-ups without the hassle of finding default customers.
As customer payments are fed directly into the ERP or the general ledger in near real-time, it is not necessary to have a dedicated AR employee or paid accountant solely to re-enter data from credit card transactions for accounts reconciliations. Thus, your labor costs are considerably reduced.
Now, your ERP can deliver on digitizing AR processes but has limitations in automating processes.
Your AR team may find that deploying an ERP itself can be expensive and time-consuming. Moreover, integration with payment gateways can make the entire process extremely complicated for them.
Integration of ERPs is all about seamless data migration as data flows from the ERP to payment portals and vice-versa. But often data sources are elusive and are buried in accounting systems, department-specific applications, and spreadsheets. So, data collection is more challenging than you would expect it to be.
The ERP integration with payment portals has helped fill the gap in accounts receivable processes like collections, credit risk management, and cash reconciliation in the following ways.
Most ERPs support the worklist prioritization feature, which helps your AR teams to focus their follow-up activities with customers who have defaulted over 30 days. The ERP will already have the data due to synchronization with the payment portals.
Most auto-dunning systems are supported by ERPs too which help AR teams to reach out to single centralized repository.
ERP integration supports reconciliation processes like remittance collections, invoice matching, and deduction identification, but some aspects of these processes are still manual in nature.
Since payment details are readily available in ERP, invoice matching activity turns out to be less tiresome for your AR team.
When you deploy an ERP and integrate it with customer portals, it helps facilitate credit management process improvements like an online credit application and automated credit scoring. Learn more here.
For detailed know-how on how ERPs help AR processes to be more comprehensive, download our ebook
There is no doubt that setting up an integration between your ERP and customer payment portals will bring a host of benefits to your business and customers. Though initially hesitant, many SMEs are looking towards these integrations for seamless data flow between the two ecosystems. Also, certain regulations may require the business to provide historical customer data to these payment portals, which is only possible when your business deploys an ERP and integrates it with the portals. The ERP here can act as a single centralized repository.
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The HighRadius RadiusOne AR Suite is a complete accounts receivable solution designed for mid-sized businesses and SMBs to automate eInvoicing, Collections, Cash Reconciliation, and Credit Risk Management to enable faster cash conversion and maximize working capital.
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