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What is Remittance Advice & How Do You Use Them?

5 January, 2022
4 min read
Terri Miller, Director of Business Operations
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What you'll learn

  • Understanding the types of remittance advice used globally
  • Understanding the importance of remittance data for your business
  • Exploring the best practices to send a remittance
CONTENT
What is a Remittance?
Why is Remittance Advice Important for Your Business?
What Should a Remittance Slip Include?
What is an Example of a Remittance?
What is the Best Way to Send Remittances?
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What is Remittance Advice & How Do You Use Them?

Often you might have heard your accounts team mention the term remittance advice. Derived from the word ‘remit,’ which means to pay back — a remittance is an online or offline document sent to confirm a payment transaction. Businesses working with multiple customers seek transparency with invoicing as it offers financial clarity. Remittance advice makes this process convenient because you’ll know when you’ll receive your payment and against which orders.

Remittances allow suppliers to match their open invoices with incoming payments seamlessly. If a customer doesn’t generate remittance, the suppliers can request one to avoid applying payment on-account. In this blog, we will discuss remittance and why it’s essential for a business.

What is a Remittance?

A remittance is a document that signifies the reason why a customer made a particular payment. While the usage of remittance originated when checks were widely in practice, it’s still in use because several global businesses still transact via checks. Customers send in their remittance advice along with the payment so that the suppliers can maintain a record. Even though digital payments are prevalent now, remittances help organize and match open invoices with payments, which is largely helpful if you’re dealing with multiple payments from your customers every day.

Also known as customer remittance, remittance advice generally contains the invoice number, line-item level information and their corresponding payment information. Cash application teams have to handle remittances manually which can turn out to be cumbersome. Read this article to learn the best practices of remittance processing.

Types of Remittance Advice:

  1. Paper-Based Remittance: These remittances are usually paper-based documents that are either hand-written or printed. They contain information such as an invoice number and the payment amount.
  2. Email Remittance: Customers usually send the remittance information through an email. The remittance is either present in the body of the email or as an attachment.
  3. EDI-Based Remittance: Usually large enterprises send remittances through EDI machines. These remittances are a combination of alpha-numeric characters.
  4. Web-Based Remittance: In case of retail giants like Amazon, Walmart, their A/P teams upload the remittance in a website portal. The supplier cash application teams would log into those portals and download the web remittance advice.

Apart from these, there are various remittance formats prevalent across the industry; you can get a glimpse of the 13 most commonly-used remittance formats here.

Why is Remittance Advice Important for Your Business?

While remittance isn’t mandatory for a business, here are some reasons why you should consider it:

  • With remittance advice, it’s easier to maintain records and know which payments are associated with which orders or customers.
  • If check payments are involved, it helps the analysts understand which customers’ checks are cleared. Learn how Artificial Intelligence can help cash application teams to capture remittance data from check stubs.
  • It’s beneficial for businesses to compare the actual payment vs the outstanding payment. Plus, if you have customers that prefer paying in instalments, remittance advice aids in monitoring them.
  • For businesses tracking electronic payments, they can maintain records by simply scanning the remittance data.

What Should a Remittance Slip Include?

A remittance slip is ideally declared on a document with company letterhead. It should include the contact details of the POC along with the following information:

  • Date
  • Name and address of the customer/supplier
  • Name and address of the business
  • Mode of payment
  • Payment amount; payment made against each order if remitted in installments
  • Invoice number
  • Transaction ID
  • Tentative date of payment expectation

If the remittance is sent by email, your accounts team can monitor the payment or communicate with the POC in case of discrepancies.

What is an Example of a Remittance?

Let us consider a buyer-supplier ecosystem where the buyer is PentaCorp, and the supplier is ABCCorp. As PentaCorp releases the payment corresponding to the goods supplied by ABCCorp, they also send a remittance advice that indicates the order number, invoice number, payment amount, line-item level details.

The following image shows what a cheque remittance looks like:

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What is the Best Way to Send Remittances?

Customers send remittances through various modes. They could send it along with the check or via emails, EDIs or as web remittances. When sending it via email, ensure you deliver it to the correct department. We would recommend confirming the email credentials with the cash application team before sending it in to avoid miscommunication. If you’re sending the remittance advice along with the check, it means you’re also clearing the invoice simultaneously. Maintain a copy of the remittance advice for your recordkeeping too.

The cash application teams have to handle multiple remittance formats and sometimes even missing remittance scenarios. Manually processing remittances from emails, EDIs, paper-based documents or even web portals can turn out to be difficult and error-prone. Learn how the cash application team at Wesco simplified their remittance processing by automating the cash application process.

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