Accounts receivable (A/R) at Microsoft is massive. The company’s Global Treasury & Financial Services (GTFS) group is responsible for A/R for almost every business unit throughout the global organization. That means the team handles receivables on millions of invoices, for thousands of customers, each month—and those numbers continue to grow. In fact, as Microsoft Azure and other innovative lines of business have taken off over the past five years, the company’s A/R volume has nearly doubled, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

The GTFS group outsources collections for all those receivables to Accenture. A couple of years ago, members of the Accenture team were preparing receivables forecasts using manual processes that were not sustainable considering Microsoft’s growth trajectory.

“The collectors were all managing their own forecasts in Excel, so it involved a lot of people and took away time from core collection activities,” explains Apra Bothra, senior finance program manager in Microsoft’s GTFS group. Each collector was assigned specific accounts. “They would go through their accounts on a weekly basis to determine which receivables were forecasted to come in and which of those were at risk. Then they would look at how their at-risk receivables might affect the ledgers, and they would prioritize accounts for their collection activities.”


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Meg Waters

Meg Waters is the editor in chief of Treasury & Risk. She is the former editor in chief of BPM Magazine and the former managing editor of Business Finance.

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