January 14, 2020
by Rimilia

It’s time to stop crunching numbers and start building relationships – meaningful ones that add value, and bring you joy instead of pain.  

Why? Because the future of the finance function is changing, and top of the list is relationships. Relationships with everyone from your customers, your sales team, finance department and your executive teams. You only have to look at economic drivers, the ever-expanding responsibilities of finance teams, and the automation train bolting out of the station to understand transforming your Financial Relationship Management (FRM) approach ihere, and here to stay. But knowing which AI platform can help you reach your #relationshipgoals is not a linear path – much like dating. 

Here’s the challenge for finance executives: 

In a recent report by Deloitte, dramatically titled The Meteor Is Coming: the role of the privately-backed CFO’ states investors and shareholders are expecting CFOs to be the driving force of technological change, and adaptation to promote investment returns. No pressure then! 

This new era for CFOs and their responsibilities, naturally has a domino effect which is filtering through to all areas of finance and the wider business departments. Change has to happen, but how, when, and what are the pitfalls. Organisations need to quickly understand which AI trend they need to take note of, and how it can help growth and scalability. 

One area ripe for automation and relatively untouched is the Accounts Receivable function. Enterprise organisations have spent millions on automating money going out, but have neglected to give some TLC to automate money coming in. In factonly 3% of global organisations have achieved any form of accounts receivable automation. A whopping 97% of global organisations rely on manually matching remittances and spotting disputes. This is a hugely expensive task, prone to errors and forcing employees to spend their time on boring repetitive tasks, instead of focusing on more strategic or value add initiatives.   

In order to operate effectively and efficiently and make strategic decisions, finance teams need to know if customers settle bills on time, are they an early or late payer, how regularly do they order, what are the payment terms for each account and how long have they been a customer. With the help of AI, all this rich data can build a detailed picture of each customer. Highlighting payment patterns to increase visibility, not in the matter of days or weeks but in a matter of minutes.  

“Organizations enabling AI at the enterprise level are increasing operational efficiency, making faster, more informed decisions and innovating new products and services.” EY 

What’s the big attraction?

Moving away from the traditional back-office number crunching is critical, businesses need sufficient visibility to navigate the changes and achieve the greatest success. While finance leaders rely on information to control costs, increase cash flow and reduce risk, the data they so desperately need is often elusive or out-dated.  

Rimilia powered AI ensures relationships are managed from sales to customer success and from credit to controllers. The powerful AI capabilities collate data from all areas of the business to provide one single version of the truth in real-time. From here analytics, insight and trends can develop to enable better decisions to be made, predict customer payment behaviours and ultimately help reduce bad debt provision and unlock more working capital.

But, what should be most attractive to CFOs is relationships and fostering fruitful ones.  Back in 2008, Rimilia was founded by finance professionals who understood financial relationships and real-world accounting. Fast forward a few years and Rimilia continue to help global organisations master cash flow optimisations and financial metrics, because they have lived and breathed it.  We have fostered knowledge into the creation of FRM. We are all about relationships, from the ones that help build our products and grow our business, to the relationships we have with our customers and the passion we invest into making them successful; and finally to the relationship we ultimately want to pass down to our customers customer, in terms of satisfaction and experience. 

The competitive advantage

There’s no question that automation is going to dominate and revolutionise finance, its simply the organisation’s that act quickly and embrace the change that will benefit the most.  Those implementing Artificial Intelligence to automate their accounts receivables will benefit from an increase in productivity, meaning more revenue will generated. This thus provides additional money to spend on jobs to support growth.  

It’s time to connect the front and back office functions to enable finance, sales and customer success teams to work together and optimise customer relationships. Rimilia’s unique AI solution, FRM helps companies achieve all the standard expectations of increased revenue, increased profitability, increased customer satisfaction and managed credit risk. However, where we differ from others is the ability to also reduce bad debt provision, unlock working capital, improve DSO, reduce costs by eliminating manual activity and improve overall order-to-cash efficiency.  

“Companies that embrace AI have lower risk of exposure, improved customer relations, control over their costs and increased cash flow” – Kevin Kimber, Chief Executive Officer, Rimilia 

In summary…

Artificial intelligence has and will continue to change our world both inside and outside the workplace. Instead of focusing on the fear surrounding automation, businesses need to embrace these new technologies to ensure they implement the most effective AI systems to enhance and compliment the role humans have to play.   

Top Tip: Identify the Problems You Want AI To Solve

Once you’re up to speed on the basics, the next step for any business is to begin exploring different ideas. Think about how you can add AI capabilities to your existing products and services. More importantly, your company should have in mind specific use cases in which AI could solve business problems or provide demonstrable value.