The Ultimate Guide to Managed Accounts Receivable (A/R) Services: Streamlining Collections, Maximizing Cash Flow, and Enhancing Financial Performance

The Ultimate Guide to Managed Accounts Receivable (A/R) Services: Streamlining Collections, Maximizing Cash Flow, and Enhancing Financial Performance

Effective accounts receivable (A/R) management is crucial for a business's financial health and stability. It helps with many things, from cash flow optimization to minimizing bad debt and credit risks. It also improves customer Relationships.

Little wonder that Ladipo Lawani had this to say after using us for 5 months.

“Bridger gives us a helicopter view of accounts receivable across our operating companies. They are adding valuable new features all the time and we make a lot of key business decisions with the platform”


But how does it do this, you ask?

It gives your business the necessary expertise, efficiency, and scalability to optimize accounts receivable management. By leveraging these services, you can enhance cash flow, reduce credit risks, improve customer relationships, and achieve greater operational efficiency business-wise.

So if you’re curious about how X did this in X months, this guide is for you. You’ll learn all about account receivable management, maximizing cash flow for your business, and boosting financial performance. 

Let’s journey together. 

Definition and Components of A/R

   Accounts Receivable (A/R) refers to the money owed to a company by its customers for the sale of goods or services on credit. It represents the short-term credit extended to customers and is considered an asset on the company's balance sheet.

 The components of A/R include:

   1. Invoices: The documentation provided to customers detailing the amount owed, payment terms, and due dates

   2. Payment Terms: The agreed-upon terms for the customer to pay the outstanding balance, such as net 30 days or 60 days.

   3. Customer Balances: The individual amounts owed by each customer, which can vary based on sales volume, credit limits, and payment history.

 5 Key Metrics and Performance Indicators

   Monitoring and managing A/R effectively involves tracking various metrics and performance indicators, including:

   1. Days Sales Outstanding (DSO): Calculates the average number of days it takes for a company to collect payment after a sale. A lower DSO indicates faster cash flow.

   2. A/R Turnover Ratio: Measures the number of times A/R is collected and replaced within a specific period. A higher ratio indicates efficient collection.

   3. Aging Schedule: Segments A/R based on the number of days outstanding to identify overdue or delinquent accounts.

   4. Bad Debt Expense: This represents the estimated amount of uncollectible accounts, which affects the accuracy of financial statements and profitability.

   5. Collection Effectiveness Index (CEI): Measures the effectiveness of the collection process, usually as a percentage. A higher CEI indicates better collection performance.

Challenges in Traditional A/R Management:

   Traditional A/R management can present several challenges for businesses, including:

   1. Delayed Payments: Customers may delay payments, leading to cash flow constraints and affecting their ability to meet financial obligations.

   2. Inefficient Collection Processes: Manual or outdated collection processes can result in delays, errors, and increased administrative costs.

   3. Disputes and Discrepancies: Inaccurate invoices, pricing disputes, or delivery issues can lead to payment delays or disputes that require resolution.

   4. Credit Risk and Bad Debt: Extending credit to customers carries the risk of non-payment or default, potentially resulting in bad debt write-offs.

   5. Lack of Visibility and Reporting: Inadequate systems and processes may hinder real-time visibility into A/R balances, aging, and collection performance.

The Benefits of Managed A/R Services:

  1. Streamlining Collections Process

   Managed A/R services offer various benefits in streamlining the collections process, including:

  •    Automation: Utilizing technology and software solutions to automate routine tasks such as generating invoices, sending reminders, and tracking payments.

  •    Professional Expertise: Leveraging the expertise of professionals specialized in A/R management to handle collections, resolve disputes, and follow up on overdue payments.

  •    Standardized Processes: Implementing standardized collection processes and workflows to ensure consistency and efficiency in handling A/R.

  •    Customer Communication: Regular and systematic communication with customers to address queries, provide payment reminders, and resolve issues promptly.

  1. Maximizing Cash Flow and Working Capital


Managed A/R services can significantly impact cash flow and working capital management by:

  •    Accelerating Collections: Employ proactive collection strategies and techniques to expedite customer payment, reducing the collection cycle and improving cash flow.

  •    Cash Flow Forecasting: Leveraging historical data and analytics to forecast cash flow and make informed decisions on financing, investments, and operational expenses.

  •    Early Payment Programs: Offering incentives or discounts to customers for early payment encourages quicker settlement and improves cash flow.

  •    Optimizing Credit Terms: Analyzing customer payment behavior and adjusting credit terms to balance cash flow and customer relationships.

  1. Enhancing Financial Performance and Profitability


  Managed A/R services can have a positive impact on financial performance and profitability through:


  • Reduction in Bad Debt Expense: Implementing robust credit assessment processes, monitoring credit limits, and proactively managing delinquent accounts to minimize bad debt write-offs.

  •   Improved Financial Reporting: Accurate and timely reporting of A/R data, including aging schedules, collections performance, and customer payment trends, providing insights for better financial decision-making.

  •   Focus on Core Competencies: Outsourcing A/R management allows businesses to focus on their core competencies, such as sales and operations, while leaving the specialized collections task to experts.

  •   Scalability and Flexibility: Managed A/R services can adapt to changing business needs, scaling resources as required and providing the flexibility to handle increased volumes during growth periods.


6 Steps to Choose the Right Managed A/R Service Provider


  1. Identifying Your Business Requirements


  •  Assess your current A/R management challenges and pain points, such as slow collections, lack of automation, or limited resources.
  •    Determine your goals and objectives, whether improving cash flow, reducing bad debt, or enhancing overall A/R performance.

  • Consider the volume and complexity of your A/R operations, including the number of customers, invoice frequency, and industry-specific requirements.

  •  Identify unique needs or preferences, such as integrating existing systems, customized reporting, or multilingual support.

  1. Evaluating Provider Capabilities and Expertise

  •    Determine if the provider specializes in A/R management and has a proven track record of delivering results in your industry.

  •   Assess their technology infrastructure, including software, automation capabilities, and data security measures.

  •   Evaluate their expertise in collections strategies, dispute resolution, customer communication, and credit risk management.

  •  Consider their ability to handle your requirements, such as international collections, complex invoicing, or industry-specific compliance.

  1. Cost and Pricing Structure

Understand the provider's pricing model, including any setup fees, transaction fees, or commission-based charges, and ensure it aligns with your budget and expected ROI. Factors to Consider When Selecting a Provider:

  1. Data Security and Compliance

 Ensure the provider has robust data security measures, adheres to relevant compliance regulations, and protects sensitive customer and financial information.

  1. Flexibility and Scalability

Assess the provider's ability to scale their services based on your business growth and their flexibility to accommodate any changing needs or requirements.

  1. Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Review the SLAs offered by the provider, including response times, resolution of disputes, and reporting frequency.1. Reputation and Experience: Research the provider's reputation, industry standing, and client testimonials to gauge their credibility and reliability.

 Key Features and Solutions Provided by Bridger

At Bridger, we offer comprehensive managed A/R services designed to optimize the collections process and improve cash flow management for you. Our services include:

   1. End-to-End A/R Management: We handle the entire A/R process for your business. From generating invoices and sending payment reminders to tracking and reconciling customer payments. We make the 

experience seamless.

Invoice sharing options on Bridger

   2. Credit Assessment and Risk Management: Bridger conducts thorough credit assessments to mitigate risk, set appropriate credit limits, and ensure customers' creditworthiness.

   3. Customer Communication:  We maintain regular and proactive communication with customers to address inquiries, resolve disputes, and provide timely payment reminders.

   4. Dispute Resolution: Employing tailored strategies and expert negotiation to resolve disputes and delinquent accounts is key for us. This reduces payment delays and improves collections.

   5. Cash Application and Reconciliation: Bridger streamlines the cash application process, ensuring accurate and timely allocation of customer payments and seamless reconciliation.   

6. Real-time Reporting: Our reporting tools are top-notch. We provide real-time visibility into A/R performance, aging schedules, collection effectiveness, and customer payment trends.

   7. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Bridger tracks and analyzes key metrics such as DSO, A/R turnover, and CEI to measure and monitor A/R performance.

   8. Data Analytics: We utilize data analytics to identify trends, forecast cash flow, and optimize credit management strategies. This helps us give you suggestions on how best to manage your cash flow.

   9. Online Customer Portals: Bridger provides online portals where customers can view invoices, make payments, and access account information, enhancing self-service capabilities.

Yvonne Tom says, “Bridger allows us manage our receivables and nurture positive client relationships – building deeper customer relationships and improving cash flow.”

3 Best Practices for Implementing Managed A/R Services

  1. Pre-Implementation Planning and Strategy

  •   Assess Current Processes: Conduct a thorough assessment of your current A/R processes, identifying pain points, bottlenecks, and areas for improvement.

  •   Set Clear Objectives: Define specific goals and objectives for implementing managed A/R services, such as improving cash flow, reducing DSO, or enhancing customer satisfaction.

  •   Select the Right Provider: Choose a managed A/R service provider that aligns with your business needs, possesses the required expertise, and offers the necessary technology solutions.

  •    Develop an Implementation Plan: Create a detailed plan outlining timelines, responsibilities, and key milestones to ensure a smooth transition.

  1. Change Management and Training

  •  Communicate the Benefits: Communicate the benefits of implementing managed A/R services to stakeholders, including employees, customers, and management, to gain their support.

  •   Train Employees: Provide comprehensive training to employees involved in A/R management, ensuring they understand the new processes, tools, roles, and responsibilities.

  •  Address Resistance to Change: Anticipate and address any resistance to change by actively involving employees in the implementation process, addressing their concerns, and providing support throughout the transition.

  1. Continuous Improvement and Optimization

  •   Monitor and Evaluate Performance: Continuously monitor and evaluate the performance of managed A/R services against defined objectives and key metrics, such as DSO, collection effectiveness, and customer satisfaction.

  •   Collect Feedback: Seek feedback from employees, customers, and other stakeholders to identify areas for improvement and address any challenges or issues.

  •   Regular Review Meetings: Conduct regular review meetings with the managed A/R service provider to discuss performance, address any concerns, and identify opportunities for optimization.

  •   Collaborate for Process Enhancements: Collaborate with the managed A/R service provider to identify and implement process enhancements, automation opportunities, and technology upgrades to optimize A/R management.

Future Trends and Innovations in Managed A/R Services

  1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Applications

   Some potential applications include

  •    Intelligent Invoice Processing: AI-powered systems can extract relevant data from invoices, automate data entry, and identify discrepancies or errors.

  •    Predictive Customer Behavior Analysis: ML algorithms can analyze customer payment patterns, identify potential payment delays or defaults, and help businesses prioritize collection efforts.

  •    Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants can handle customer inquiries, provide payment reminders, and assist with basic A/R tasks, enhancing customer service and self-service capabilities.

  1. Blockchain Technology for Secure Transactions

   Blockchain technology offers enhanced security, transparency, and trust in financial transactions. In managed A/R services, blockchain can be leveraged to:

  •   Secure Payment Transactions: Blockchain can facilitate the secure and immutable recording of payment transactions, reducing the risk of fraud or tampering.

  •   Smart Contracts: Smart contracts executed on a blockchain can automate payment terms and conditions, ensuring timely and accurate payments based on predefined rules.

  •   Supply Chain Integration: Blockchain can enable seamless integration between A/R processes and supply chain management, ensuring transparency and traceability of transactions.

  1. Predictive Analytics and Advanced Forecasting

   Predictive analytics and advanced forecasting techniques can provide valuable insights into future cash flow, customer payment behavior, and A/R performance. Some potential applications include:

  •   Cash Flow Forecasting: By analyzing historical data and patterns, predictive analytics can forecast future cash flow, allowing businesses to plan and allocate resources more effectively.

  •   Customer Risk Assessment: Advanced analytics can help assess customer creditworthiness, identify high-risk customers, and prioritize collections efforts accordingly.

  •   Dynamic Discounting: Predictive models can optimize dynamic discounting programs by identifying customers likely to take advantage of early payment discounts, improving cash flow and customer relationships.



Managed A/R services offer expertise in credit analysis, collections, and dispute resolution, efficiently improving cash flow. They provide scalability and cost savings and allow businesses to focus on core competencies.

 At Bridger, we are committed to delivering excellence in accounts receivable management. Our expertise in A/R processes, industry knowledge, and advanced technology enable us to provide tailored solutions that meet your business needs. We're the best for you, from ensuring your data is safe to efficient collections and dispute resolutions.

Partnering with Bridger can transform your A/R management, enhance your cash flow, and allow you to focus on your core business.

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