Order2Cash: Transforming Accounts Receivable for the Digital Era

Order2Cash: Transforming Accounts Receivable for the Digital Era

Frank Hoekstra, CEO, Order2CashFrank Hoekstra, CEO We sit down with Frank Hoekstra, CEO of Order2Cash, to discuss the critical need for businesses to embrace automation and the digital transformation of common AR practices, and to give some background and insight into this exciting company’s two decades of continued success at the forefront of the financial software industry.

Order2Cash is a global provider of Accounts Receivable Automation services and a market leader in the EMEA region. Its software solutions empower the work of Fortune 500 companies and large enterprises across the globe, enabling them to accelerate their complete order to cash (O2C) cycle and improve overall business performance. “We offer a single platform to manage the entire order to cash cycle, the first of its kind,” says Frank Hoekstra. “We are dedicated to making the management of the order to cash process, and all its components, as streamlined and efficient as possible.”

The company was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with offices across Europe and in the US. Its solutions are currently active in more than 150 countries, serving customers across four continents. “Order2Cash supports companies across multiple industries, all of which are continuously challenged to improve DSO and cash flow. We’ve been building intelligent software solutions that streamline complex business and financial processes for close to two decades now, and every ounce of the knowledge, experience and expertise we’ve gathered in that time has been poured into the Order2Cash platform.”

Order2Cash’s extensive software platform offers solutions that address a broad array of accounts receivable (AR) processes. The platform acts as a single supplier and workstation for credit risk and customer assessment, secure digital contract signing, e-Invoicing, online payments, cash allocation, credit management, including dispute and deduction management, debt collection and recovery. It provides a 24/7 online environment that helps finance workers to connect with customers, suppliers, colleagues and debtors.

“What differentiates us is that 90 per cent of our competitors are providing accounts payable solutions, we are among the very few that focus on accounts receivable,” says Hoekstra.

The need for AR automation

As a significant aspect in the fundamental analysis of a business, accounts receivable (AR) need to be recorded and processed accurately. However, currently, the AR space is fractured, owing to the fragmented processes that AR departments adopt. Organisations have segmented the order to cash cycle into sub-processes; wherein multiple teams within a finance department work on different areas like risk management, billing, collections and more. This is because it allows organisations with large volumes of invoices and open orders to segment workloads and activities for optimising the full order flow. In practice, this method creates a number of internal business/data silos. “What you have, in many cases, are different finance teams working with their own systems, workflows and measuring their own datasets; and yet they are all working on the same orders,” explains Hoekstra.

While efficiencies can be created within each area, it is nearly impossible for an organisation to gain an accurate, real-time, holistic analysis and clear insight into the actual status of their cash flow. It can also cause a lot of communication breakdowns and human-errors can be high. “We believe that the order to cash cycle is more than just a collection of business processes; it provides unparalleled insight into how, when and why customers conduct business with an organisation.

We want to make it possible for every finance worker and every receiver to be able to get access to the data they need, when they need it and to be able to perform their tasks and responsibilities in the most efficient manner possible

Optimizing the order to cash cycle is the key to unlocking greater customer satisfaction and to improve retention rates.”

Order2Cash has created its namesake platform to allow real-time order tracking from end to end. The platform automates clients' backend processes without customising or coding for the cloud. It gives users the chance to prevent unnecessary risk and to learn and adapt credit policies using customer behavioural analysis. Users can utilize the wealth of data Order2Cash curates to make optimized forecasting decisions. “We want to make it possible for every finance worker and every receiver to be able to get access to the data they need, when they need it and to be able to perform their tasks and responsibilities in the most efficient manner possible. By eliminating data silos and giving all users access to the information they need, in real-time, we give our customers the possibility to improve all communication flows, both within their organization and with their own customers.”

The full service AR platform.

The Order2Cash platform is offered in a modular fashion. This enables customers to scale up their platform as they see fit, tailoring a solution to cater to their current business needs. “We offer great flexibility and deliver the highest quality of service,” says Hoekstra.

By offering SaaS solutions, Order2Cash can ensure all customers benefit from continuous upgrades and always have access to the latest version of the software. The credit risk and customer assessment module enables users to pre-assess all customers and prospects to ensure maximum profitability. It also gives them the option to track customer creditworthiness. The platform’s secure digital contract signing tools eliminate the costly and time-consuming paper flows that hinder contract audits and signing processes, while its comprehensive e-Invoicing software delivers seamless, global outbound e-Invoicing anytime, anywhere through any channel and in any format.

Hertz, one of the world’s biggest car rental companies, is one such customer that uses the Order2Cash platform’s e-Invoicing solution. The client company wanted to make a shift from print to electronic invoicing. They selected Order2Cash, who designed a central web portal for all Hertz offices/ teams across Europe. The portal made it possible for each Hertz team member to log in and handle their client invoicing procedures, efficiently and rapidly. “Working with Order2Cash and building the central invoice portal has resulted in a range of benefits for our company. In the first year, we were able to realise a significant cost saving of 25 per cent. Our billing process is much swifter and more comprehensive than it used to be,” notes Carsten Muessig, Senior Project Leader I2C (Invoice to Cash) at Hertz.

Besides, the Order2Cash platform also offers flexible online and alternative payment solutions that make it easier to do business with customers and debtors by accommodating different payment methods and eliminating any unnecessary delays that block the receivables flow. The cash allocation features automate B2B payment processes, bank reconciliations and collections while the credit management software protects cash flow and reduces the risks incurred by unpaid receivables. Debt collection and recovery services also help to maximise recovery rates on bad commercial debt and enables active debt recovery.

Partnering with a Tech Giant to Gain Competitive Edge

Interestingly, Order2Cash has been selected by Accenture as their global partner for order to cash automation solutions.

Accenture, being a globally recognised and trusted brand in the areas of strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations for multinational companies, opened up a new sales channel for the company, making it easier to gain access to and strive within a very competitive market. “Gaining Accenture’s seal of approval and having them promote and sell our solutions as best in class to all of their clients is a real feather in our cap. Their recommendation is testament to the quality of service we deliver and the positive impact our solutions can bring,” explains Hoekstra. In fact, the partnership is already paying large dividends, the proof of which can be seen in Accenture’s F&A business, where Order2Cash holds a key role within that ecosystem, recently being rated at the top of HFS’ 2019 Top Ten Finance & Accounting Service Providers Report. “We are delighted to be working closely with them and look forward to continuing to develop our fruitful and rewarding partnership,” he adds.

Continuous Innovations for Growth

The company’s two decade journey has featured many changes and developments. The company was founded under the name of Anachron and in its early years firmly established itself as one of the global leaders in outbound e-Invoicing and presentment, creating custom, enterprise-level e-Invoicing solutions for large, multinational organisations. "We quickly grew to be one of the leading players in the European market and then attracted a range of international clients from the U.S. and elsewhere. Over time, our solution portfolio expanded to include a range of payment and credit management solutions," says Hoekstra. The extensive growth of its solution portfolio drove the company towards a new and exciting direction, in response to which, the company changed its name to Order2Cash in 2016 to immediately describe what they do in a straightforward and uncomplicated manner. "Since then, we have added a range of additional features and solutions; particularly in relation to credit risk and customer assessment and some powerful business intelligence reporting.

Order2Cash’s continuous approach to innovation and development is fuelled by a combination of in-house innovation, close interaction with knowledge partners and, crucially, according to Hoekstra, “a strong and ongoing feedback and communication loop with our customer base”. This three-pronged approach to development has the company to remain at the cutting-edge of software for so many years. Further, the company believes in quality over quantity. This is also the reason behind Order2Cash’s best-in-class solutions remaining ahead of the industry. “Our portfolio has evolved dramatically over time and will continue to do so. Our industry never stands still and nor do we. Our commitment to improving the order to cash cycle, in all aspects, drives our future innovation projects,” he says. With customer satisfaction at the core of Order2Cash, the company develops solutions based on client needs. “Potential customers need not ask Order2Cash about the quality of our work, we prefer that our customers tell you themselves,” he adds.

"What differentiates us is 90 per cent of our competitors are providing accounts payable solutions, we are among very few that focus on accounts receivable"

On the growth front, Order2Cash vests its focus on developments such as potential tech additions within the realms of insurance, the financial marketplace and supply chain financing, blockchain and alternative payments. Throwing light on its geographical footprint, the company has also expanded its Krakow office and has moved into its new larger headquarters in Amsterdam. “We’ve proven repeatedly that our solutions can deliver real value and help to eliminate many of the unnecessary delays that exist within the accounts receivable workflow. Order2Cash is dedicated to making the management of the order to cash process, and all its components as streamlined as efficient as possible. Our strong focus on delivering quality, backed by a no-nonsense, straightforward approach to conducting business has helped us to build and retain our reputation as a trusted partner to many of the world’s leading brands. The dedication we have to our cause and our constant search for improvement and innovation will ensure we can continue to build upon our two decades of success.” concludes Hoekstra.