Treasury departments where manual processes are still prevalent are struggling with getting timely information on accounts receivable, according to a recent report from Boston consultancy Aite Group. That slow stream of data on payments impedes a company's ability to accurately forecast cash flows, which has become critical in uncertain economic times.
For example, paper checks that are not accompanied by remittance stubs must be handled individually to match them up with their invoices, says analyst Judson Murchie, one of the report's authors. "Until that's applied, companies can't count this income as liquidity," says Murchie. "Someone may have underpaid or overpaid, and they need to figure this out."