When all is said and done, the success of one company, at the most basic level, depends on its ability to establish an uninterrupted cash flow. Sure, you may have the best idea, corporate culture, and business model in the world, but if you are unable to charge the products and services and reinvest funds in a timely manner, its operations will be brought to a grinding halt.
Keeping that in mind, it shouldn’t really be a surprise that, according to a recent survey, in 82% of the cases cash flow issues are seen as the main reason why businesses fail.
Fortunately, the business world is making big steps toward cutting this problem at its root. Let us then take a quick look at the most important, tech-focused trends setting new standards for billing and invoicing.
Automation taking over the sector
These days, digital technology is completely overhauling the entire finance sector with data analytics, blockchain, and AI being listed as some of the most noteworthy guiding forces. Still, if we take an honest look at the whole matter, we will see that a high level of automation may just as well be the most critical outcome of this far-reaching revolution.
To put it simply, automation makes tasks that once took tons of time and human resources simple, fast, and almost entirely error-free. These benefits are especially important in the case of invoicing where any delay or small mistake can have devastating consequences.
The growing relevance of e-invoicing
This rolling snowball will inevitably turn into a genuine avalanche reaching the point where e-invoices will finally become mandatory. And we can’t say we feel sorry for the decline of traditional invoices since this new form of billing simply offers too many benefits to allow us to ever go back.
Some of the most notable mentions include the likes of convenience, considerable money savings (the electronic invoices are up to 80% more affordable than the traditional ones), speed, accessibility, and simplicity of management. So, it should be clear why the paper invoices will gradually but most certainly die out.
Financing services are becoming more popular
The quick development of digital technologies made the present-day business world incredibly fast-paced and relentless. So much so that the traditional cash flow channels often can’t keep pace with the rest of the corporate landscape.
This situation gave birth to the tremendous popularity of services like debtor finance loans where companies are able to effectively sell the debt to third-party vendors and receive most of the funds that need to be collected upfront. Keeping in mind this process uses the latest-gen digital platforms and practices the process can be easily fitted into any workflow in existence.
Personalization becoming an increasingly important factor
This trend is the direct result of the developments in the marketing and CR sectors of the corporate arena. Namely, recent surveys indicate that 71% feel frustrated when their shopping experience is not personalized while 91% of them see that lack of personalization as a good reason to switch to another, more accommodating brand.
Well, since a higher level of personalization in the sales and CR sectors is slowly becoming a standard rather than a novelty, the companies are starting to look for new outlets where they can utilize these benefits, and invoicing only keeps getting greater momentum.
The marriage between invoicing and blockchain technology
To the casual observer, the mention of blockchain usually sparks the image of the technology that serves as an infrastructure for the development of digital currencies like Bitcoin. In reality, though, blockchain is a very promising technology that allows businesses to drastically streamline their resources without having to rely on the services of third-party vendors.
Since blockchain serves as a self-regulating and incredibly breach-proof system, businesses are capable of sending invoices and collecting funds in a very streamlined, safe, and simple manner that is still impervious to most financial child diseases.
Integration of resources and services
Last but not least, modern companies need to deal with countless different issues. On the one end, the owners need to take care of the most basic necessities like business financing. On the other hand, there are the more practical considerations like invoicing we have covered above.
One of the most important and far-reaching trends brought by the digitalization of the business arena comes in the form of the ability to give all these different facets and activities a common language they can use to build an integrated and automated workflow. The better integrated these tasks are, the stronger the overall results.
So, there you have it – the top six tech-focused trends that are currently changing the way we think about billing and invoicing. Granted, these issues may seem somewhat menial but only at first glance. The companies unable to effectively collect their revenue run a danger of completely bringing their cash flow to a stop.
Keep in mind then all the things brewing at the tech horizon. The present-day business world is incredibly fast-paced and competitive, and you should leave no issues left to chance – especially something as vital as billing.
By Mike Johnston