Treasurers who do business in Europe must be aware that the deadline for compliance with Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) regulations is fast approaching. What may be less obvious, however, is that the changes SEPA requires in a company's handling of credit transfers and direct debits present an excellent opportunity to improve processes throughout the accounts receivable (A/R) function. Some Eurozone businesses that handle a large number of transactions are leveraging SEPA compliance activities to achieve big boosts in efficiency.

One company taking this approach is Carphone Warehouse, Europe's largest mobile phone retailer, which has more than 2,000 stores and millions of mobile service subscribers. As part of its SEPA compliance activities, Carphone Warehouse has completely automated direct-debit management and streamlined much of the back-end processing of information going into and coming out of its core enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Treasury & Risk spoke with Kerry Lebel, senior director of product marketing for Automic, who helped the mobile phone retailer automate its payment-collection processes.

T&R:  What challenges was Carphone Warehouse addressing when the company undertook its A/R automation project?

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