A recap of Growfin’s Spring Launch
In the run-up to building the world’s first Finance CRM that we launched in March 2022, we had a key learning from our market discovery exercises, our early adopters, and beta customers.
More than a hundred leaders from finance and accounting functions made one thing clear about their invoice-to-cash process—there were multiple key stakeholders who played a key role in AR collections.
Right from a CFO, VP, Controller, and Director to AR Manager and Collection Owner, there were several stakeholders in just the finance organization. However, an interesting insight that guided us to build a collaboration-first AR automation solution was the involvement of non-finance stakeholders as well in the AR process, like sales team members and customer success managers.
When Growfin launched, our key objective was to give a foundational platform for all these stakeholders to work together, in order to collect cash efficiently and predictably. Every stakeholder’s requirements for AR data varied vastly from the others.
For example, a sales or account executive would like to have visibility on the payment status for escalated accounts that are mapped to them. A CFO, on the other hand, would like to see the overall health of AR collections. A Controller would like to see where the cash is stuck or the aging of overdue invoices. The V1 of Growfin’s Collections solution was aimed at giving different teams the visibility they needed.
Packing in enhanced collection planning and visibility capabilities
In the last few months, we have had front-row seats to understanding how companies are collecting and managing their invoice-to-cash process.
Our understanding of the market has deepened and we have been privy to several insights from finance leaders in companies like Intercom, Mindtickle, and Leadsquared, to name a few. Over the last quarter, our mission has been singularly focused on piping this useful feedback back into the product suite that we are developing.
Today, more than 1000 users from non-finance functions use Growfin, as key stakeholders in their companies’ AR processes.
With this fall release, we aim to strengthen our platform’s capabilities in being able to give better real-time visibility of AR data to key stakeholders in the AR collections process. By virtue of better visibility, we believe this will also allow you to plan your collections better.
Collection Planning for AR Managers: Track your collection team’s performance proactively
90% of the companies that we spoke to were managing their AR collections manually outside of their ERP, using spreadsheets.
This essentially means a few things:
- The AR process in these companies is extremely manual so the collections planning for the month too happens manually.
- From collectors and AR Managers to the finance/accounting leadership, none of the stakeholders have real-time visibility into whether an assigned invoice is closed or still open with outstanding values.
- There is no way to see how much of the collection targets attached to the collection owners are made up of amounts from invoices that have been carried forward from the previous time periods.
- This can also mean that high-value invoices might be slipping through the aging buckets, resulting in an increase in DSO.
For AR managers, seeing these data points is very crucial to be able to track the collectors’ individual performances and do course corrections as necessary. You want to be able to pinpoint where your cash is stuck by gaining visibility on the amount that is being carried forward and the invoices that are behind it. This is also an important detail that the AR manager would want to bubble up to the Controllers to throw light on the areas that are being bottlenecks in the AR process.
This was the exact knot we wanted to untie for all stakeholders involved in the collections process by building the Collections Planning feature—plan collections better by having a greater degree of real-time visibility, using the data that matters to you.
While Growfin supported collections territory mapping earlier, using which AR managers could assign collection owners a group of customers, the logical next step was allowing Collection Managers to be able to plan collections for a time period, usually on a monthly basis.
For large collections teams, the newly introduced Collection Planning feature in Growfin can take a lot of grunt work away from the AR managers' plate while also giving them the much-needed visibility into the team’s performance and the impetus needed to track the outstanding amounts at an invoice-owner level.
Statement of Accounts: Helping AP teams plan their vendor payments better
In all the humdrum of manual AR collections, it’s easy to lose sight of what matters most to you, as a company-wide goal—delivering a great customer experience.
Every small interaction with the customer can contribute to the larger experience of the customer with your company. Just as collections planning is an important activity for AR teams, the customer too needs to be able to plan their payments well in advance.
To help your customers’ Accounts Payable teams plan their payments better, it makes a lot of sense to share a statement that records where their payables stand today with respect to their account, and how much of it is outstanding.
This is where a Statement of Accounts comes in handy. Growfin now allows you to export a Statement of Account with a single click, for every customer from the Accounts page. You would be able to attach these statements in your reminder emails to customers and help them plan their payments well in advance.
Real-time Visibility for sales team members right within Salesforce
Easy collaboration between customer-facing and collections teams is critical for an efficient collections process. Currently, sales and customer success, and finance teams communicate via emails or Slack messenger, which complicates communication due to delayed responses and missed messages.
Sales and customer success teams often do not have visibility into payments for escalated invoices. Likewise, the collections team too does not have visibility into whether account executives have managed to send reminders to accounts. The root cause here is the fact that collaboration happens on a separate tool and AR data like overdue and escalated invoices reside elsewhere, most often in sheets.
Since sales and customer success teams are power users of CRM, the best way to give them context about the receivables mapped to their accounts, is by taking the AR data to where these teams live and breathe.
Growfin’s Collections solution integrates deeply with Salesforce to allow sales team leaders and executives to view data scoped out specifically to their roles. Sales team members can view the total outstanding, current due, and overdue amounts, as well as overdue by aging.
The new Salesforce integration also provides customer-facing teams and finance teams with a unified view of invoices at an account level. A big step forward is the elimination of the need to switch between tools. When collection owners comment on an account or an invoice in Growfin, a comment automatically gets created in Salesforce. Getting notified and passing on updates between the finance and customer-facing teams is a breeze now.
The ability to track disputes raised in Growfin, assigned to customer-facing teams, within Salesforce is a game-changer. Whenever a dispute gets assigned to a member from the sales or customer success teams, it creates a task in Salesforce, assigned to the executive.
This makes it easy for them to follow up on individual invoices and act on the collection task that needs their attention directly from within Salesforce. Finance teams will be notified of these changes via Growfin, without the need for any manual intervention.
And that sums up a few of the top highlights from this quarter. But there’s more brewing, like the Cash App solution that is in beta and a growing list of deep integrations. We are striving to make Growfin’s solutions suite streamline your entire invoice-to-cash tech stack.
See these features in action. Reach out for a personalized one-on-one walkthrough of the platform.
Book a personalized demo to learn how Growfin can help you accelerate your cash inflow and reduce your DSO by at least 20%.