Billtrust / iController agreement to streamline AR

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In the grand scheme of things, when running a business, the prospect of “almost cash” is reminiscent of “near beer”. It is something – but not quite the real thing.

Credit and collections management – and the accounts receivable (AR) process in general – is an integral part of operations. Finance teams need to tackle invoices and manage their AR, while determining what can be collected and what needs to be collected.

Nothing is safe in the management of credit, because Billtrust President Steve pinado Karen Webster said. But advanced technologies can help businesses manage invoices more efficiently, which helps cement better buyer-supplier relationships, with a positive impact on cash flow.

The conversation took place against a backdrop in which Billtrust, a B2B AR automation and integrated payments company, said in a announcement Earlier this month, he bought iController, a B2B provider of collections management solutions, for $ 58 million in an all-cash transaction.

The marriage between automation and invoicing has accelerated significantly, said Pinado, where businesses are realizing the need to “chase after the long tail of accounts” so as to avoid inefficient manual processes.

“A greater sense of urgency”

With the pandemic and the pivot to working from home, finance teams are examining how to accelerate their own digital transformations.

PYMNTS’s own research has shown that a large majority of companies – 92% – are at least at some stage of modernizing their AR / Accounts Payable (AP) processes.

Read more: 92% of SMEs digitize accounts receivable / payable processes

“There is a greater sense of urgency,” said Pinado, and he noted that the sense of urgency, especially in Europe, is a bit in favor of mandates in Europe to steer businesses towards electronic invoicing.

There is still a lot to be done in the interactions between buyers and suppliers, especially giving suppliers a little more leverage to get paid based on their payment preferences, Pinado said.

“We’re only in the early days,” he said, “and recipients generally would like to be paid quickly, with quality remittances they can send at no cost. “

While there are still challenges with ACH and direct debit, payments are becoming more efficient and cost effective.

To really get there will require business model innovation in addition to payments innovation – where technology fuels the ability to capture the data that accompanies payments in an efficient manner (with the reduction of manual tasks as well), a- he declared.

In the announcement detailing the transaction, the companies said iController has more than 560 customers, while strengthening Billtrust’s European presence.

IController’s offerings span the gamut from payment reminders to factoring (done in collaboration between iController and KBC, a Belgian bank), and the company said its offerings are used in 35 countries.

Pinado explained that Billtrust will integrate iController into its platform, with the aim of enabling customers of both companies to achieve deeper integration around the use of data and information.

The deal, he said, is part of Billtrust’s overall growth strategy – where the acquired companies also grow organically, and the products and services allow for platform and geographic expansion.

The iController deal, he said, “ticked a lot of boxes.” He noted that Billtrust and iController already share some client overlap; taking iController into its fold increases the footprint of Billtrust’s collections in Europe and the UK – across multiple time zones – from the start.

“We now have offices in Ghent, Amsterdam and Belgium, which [is] useful in helping us not to have to do third teams “in the United States” in the United States, he said.

The connection between Billtrust and iController, he said, is part of a broader augmented reality automation with the goal of “applying cash correctly, whether it’s invoicing quickly and efficiently, whether it’s invoicing quickly and efficiently, it’s about raising remittances quickly and efficiently by turning “almost” money – things you’ve successfully sold. , the customers you have acquired – in real recognized income. “

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