The way in which remittance files are sent from an organizations customer are constantly changing. Previously, your customers would directly send you through the remittance in a PDF, EDI, Excel or email format. Once you got these files you could match them against your open invoices, cash on your bank statements and update your General Ledger (GL). Customer Portals are a new development, a lot of the large retailers such as Amazon now expect you to log-in to their customer portal, to retrieve and download that remittance file by yourself. They will upload the remittance files to a web portal, each customer will have a username and a password to get access, and download the remittance files for use.
The retrieval of these remittance files from your larger customers, requires your staff to log-in manually, locate the remittance files and download them to complete their daily financial processes. The retrieval of these remittance files has created another step for finance departments that did not previously exist. It can be a very time-consuming process, and it can be a significant issue especially if a lot of your customers have now moved to this method. Cashbook are seeing this as the standard now from these large retailers, we expect the other smaller retailers to follow their lead in the future as this becomes obligatory.
Cashbook have developed a way to automate the customer portal process for our clients, with our new customer portal automation tool. This customer portal automation tool is customized to retrieve the remittance data as soon as it becomes available from your customer. The tool will store all of your usernames and passwords for each individual customer portal. The retrieval usually happens overnight, the tool will go through the required steps to automatically log-in and retrieve the remittance file. It can search by specific date range and then download the file and import to Cashbook. A remittance batch will then be created, and this will be ready when your financial staff come to work. They can then use the remittance batch to automatically match against all of your open invoices for the specific companies, by using the reference ID’s for the remittance matching, and subsequently updating your GL.
This unique automation of customer portals will help save our clients a huge amount of hours, time that is spent logging into each customer portal individually and downloading the files. This can be a laborious job for your finance department, especially if a lot of your large customers have migrated to this method. The Cashbook portal automation tool helps to automate a process that staff do not like doing, it could also help to reduce staff turnover and increase staff morale. Another key advantage is better security, a portal can have lots of customers accessing it to get sensitive information, security can be a big problem. Especially for an organization such as a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm, which is obliged to store and secure all user names and passwords for multiple clients. Cashbook can provide added security, because users do not need to store this information in an unsecured manner any longer.