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The topic of Robotic Process Automation (“bots”) comes up often in AR automation conversations, so we thought it was important to shed some light on what we’ve seen play out with businesses who choose to try bots in Accounts Receivable. Spoiler alert: they end up losing time achieving their desired results, ultimately realizing that better, faster, ROI-yielding solutions exist. Months or a year into a bot project, Finance leaders see that internally built bots aren’t working as intended, don’t scale easily, and may even be causing additional manual work for their teams. Here are some reasons that customers come back to us after these project attempts and end up choosing DadePay.

Bots take time to build, implement, re-build, and re-train.

IT is a notoriously busy function. Even if your IT team has time now to build a bot aimed at automating key parts of accounts receivable like cash application it’s important to factor in the resource time needed for ongoing bot maintenance. As unforeseen challenges arise, or your payment processes change, or new payment channels are added, will your IT team have new priorities?  What if your payers change invoice formats or payment providers?  Can your bots adapt?

Many organizations have realized that they do not want to be in the business of maintaining their own bots and prefer to have a partner to call when new requirements arise, or support is needed.

One size bot does not fit all.

Generic robotic process automation platforms require major effort and customization to apply to the accounts receivable space and to the unique payment scenarios and rules of your business. Many of the homegrown bots our clients develop can import information from a data dump into the ERP, but still require manual manipulation for cash application and closing out invoices.   Other bots are designed to retrieve remittance details but cannot upload that information into their ERP.  What if that customer changes billing platforms?

All we ARe is AR (haha). The DadePay AR Automation solution was purpose-built for accounts receivable, leveraging AI and machine learning to smoothly auto-match and apply payments across no matter what unique scenarios may arise across your paper and digital payment channels. You’ll achieve automation on Day 1 without the delays of training a homegrown solution.

DadePay also incorporates mobile technology to capture, deposit, and apply payments received in remote locations such as branch offices at point of customer delivery.

In addition to best-in-class accounts receivable technology, your business will also benefit from our experienced implementation team that has learned from the successful and unsuccessful AR automation projects they’ve witnessed, ensuring your project will be the former. Dade experts can also provide guidance on how your existing processes could be optimized so you can maximize the benefits you realize.

Our customers can reduce time spent on cash application by as much as 75%, post 90% of payments straight-through, scale their business through massive growth without adding AR headcount, reduce DSO, collections, and write-offs, and help their team members enjoy a more satisfying set of strategic job responsibilities.

The homegrown bot usually doesn’t save money.

It’s a common misconception that homegrown technology options are more cost effective. AR automation solutions like DadePay are affordable and yield measurable return in as little as 60 days. Simple cost structures based on your business payment volumes include payment ingestion, cash application automation, output files, and a searchable seven-year archive. DadePay can also complement existing lockbox solutions and help reduce per keystroke fees.

Beware of the hidden bots.

Bots can pop into your AR world in unseen ways. Some Accounts Receivable technology providers leverage bots as a method for retrieving remittance data from biller sites, maybe even charging a fee for email or file delivery of this information. As more biller sites themselves have begun to offer paid options for automated remittance delivery, they are increasingly motivated to break AR automation solution bots by continually changing their UI in ways that are minor enough as to not bother human users. Be wary of AR solutions that rely heavily on bots in this way as you may find continual disruption to straight-through processing levels.

The “bot”tom line.

Robotic process automation is amazing technology and does provide value for many use cases inside of a business. Key questions we hope businesses consider relative to their automation goals are:

  • Will your IT team always have time to help fix, re-train, or re-build your bot(s)? If not, how will your team be supported?
  • Have you worked with your IT team to clearly map out how payments are received (paper, digital, lockbox, in-office, remote locations), matched, and applied, and how your ERP is updated?
  • Will your bot help address key pain points for your team without creating new ones?
  • Do you have a clear picture of the upfront and ongoing cost of the bot approach vs. best-of-breed AR automation solutions?