The Business Advisory Blog

The Business Advisory Blog

Insight, news and updates from Alliott NZ Chartered Accountants, Auckland New Zealand. The views expressed here are the views of the author and should be discussed in further detail should an article be relevant to your individual circumstances.

While every effort has been made to provide valuable, useful information in this publication, this firm and any related suppliers or associated companies accept no responsibility or any form of liability from reliance upon or use of its contents. Any suggestions should be considered carefully within your own particular circumstances, as they are intended as general information only.

Greg Millar
Published on

6 Ways to Improve Cash Flow by Managing Receivables

Need to forecast and improve your cash flow? All businesses should carefully monitor their cash position.  

Healthy cash reserves enable investment in growth, allow distributions to owners or - for some businesses - can be a matter of survival. In any case, cash management is critical.

One way to improve the cash position is to carefully manage Accounts Receivable (or collections). Here are some Best Practices which can positively impact the cash position.  

1. Set weekly cash collection targets

Accounts Receivable (AR) management is an important business process and clear targets should be set. Short-term targets help you chip away at the larger AR balance. These targets can be increased or decreased depending on your cash requirements and the total AR balance at any time.

2. Improve the invoicing process

It’s difficult to maintain a low AR balance when invoices are sent late or contain errors. Also, an overdue invoice should immediately trigger follow-up actions, signalling to your customer that you are serious about collecting your cash on time. 

3. Make getting paid easy!

Give multiple payment options and make payment as convenient as possible so there can be no excuses. Online payment options are increasingly popular in most industries.

4. Offer discounts for quick payments

This lets the customer know that you value getting your cash on time and offers an incentive for them to pay you fast.

5. Stay in touch with customers (especially regarding the state of their business)

Business conditions are always changing. Hopefully, things improve… but some customers will encounter difficulties which compromise their ability to pay you. Early warnings help you take appropriate action, but this requires you to stay in touch with customers.

6. Prioritise customers with large AR balances

Your Accounts Receivable process should prioritise customers where returns will be greatest. That doesn’t mean you neglect the others… but recovering a large debt will have the biggest impact on cash AND increase team morale!

Success in Accounts Receivable management comes from building systems and implementing them consistently. That’s better than waiting for the AR balance to spiral out of control… and then trying to fix things. A few small steps can make a big difference to cash… so why not get started? 

Need to forecast and improve your cash flow? Positioning for growth requires a clear vision of the future, a start and end point and the ability to track your progress and alter course along the way. At Alliott NZ we understand that you might not have the knowledge or expertise to achieve this, but we do. We also have an extensive range of tools available to help you successfully grow your business. Contact our award-winning team in Auckland on 09 520 9200.

Topics: cash flow customer experience debt debtor days discounting Forecasts invoices Payment methods small business