Customer Satisfaction Shapes Accounts Receivable Transformation

One set of business process transformation (BPT) workshops within the Enterprise Project’s Finance realm is Accounts Receivable. Accounts Receivable encompasses a broad range of financial transactions that occur at Ohio State.

The guiding vision for Accounts Receivable is to adopt standard processes to streamline billing, cashiering and collections. This includes simplifying operations, improving service and enhancing business intelligence.

“Leveraging our commonalities to gain efficiencies is going to do a lot of great things," said University Bursar Tony Newland.

Newland helped lead the workshop participants in mapping the current state, brainstorming solutions and designing improved business processes. He felt that being part of the BPT workshops expanded his knowledge of university business in general, and presented an opportunity to build helpful relationships with others in similar roles. Bringing the participants together over multiple day-long workshops also eased them into thinking about the big picture – what is best for Ohio State overall.

"I think everyone going into it felt, 'My business is a little bit different, and I need to keep it exactly how I do things.' And one of the benefits I saw in the BPTs was that once people started giving and taking a little bit, and they saw other people doing that, they fed off it more,” said Newland.

Given the different types of transactions that take place at the university, the Accounts Receivable BPT was carved into three sections, encouraging participants to develop future state characteristics for each:

Master Data through Invoicing

Maintaining centralized and standardized data in one system, Workday, will increase visibility of transactions throughout the university, informing future customer interactions. Automating manual workflow activities will allow teams to spend more time on strategic initiatives.

Cashiering and Deposits

The future processes surrounding incoming payments to the university will champion a standard yet flexible payment solution aimed at elevating the customer experience and reducing time spent manually processing payments.

Collections

A dedicated effort to minimizing the debt funneling into collections and mitigating risk for certain populations is a key solution. Additionally, effectiveness dashboards will be used to gauge collections performance and manage workloads.

 

One possibility that generated excitement is a central website or e-Commerce solution for online payments. This would help streamline communications to customers while giving smaller units the ability to eliminate paper processes.

"I was really encouraged by the people who participated and the responses from some areas. People are hungry for that change,” said Newland. “They don't want to spend their time printing invoices out of Excel and sending them, and [Workday] is the tool that's going to come along and help with that."