Extend payables to hold cash longer.
It may seem counterintuitive to look for liquidity in the money flowing out of your business, but optimizing accounts payables offers an opportunity to unlock trapped cash. It’s easy to ignore accounts payables, but it’s just as vital as accounts receivables in managing your working capital.
Making the payment process more efficient is one of the keys to unlocking the working capital held in your accounts payables. Doing so is a balancing act between paying too soon and paying too late. Paying too soon can take capital out of your pocket that otherwise could be working for you in purchasing, payroll or debt reduction. It can result in losing out on potential discounts or even deplete funds to the point other vendors are paid too late. Paying too late can lead to penalties, disadvantageous payment terms or loss of supplier goodwill.
Develop an optimization culture.
Achieving optimal performance from your accounts payables requires a strategic approach, working in concert with the rest of the organization and crafting a culture of optimization throughout your business. Successfully doing so requires more than the basic nuts-and-bolts responsibility of accounts payables to process and manage incoming invoices — it’s a top-down approach to efficiently and effectively manage payables to produce the maximum possible working capital.
If accounts payables and purchasing are managed by two different people or departments, it is imperative those roles are closely tied together. The timing of purchases and purchasing arrangements will have a direct impact on the payment process and needs.
Craft your best practices.
Encouraging a culture of maximizing working capital is only the beginning, however. To achieve your goals, it’s vital to incorporate a set of best practices within your accounts payables and purchasing infrastructure. To determine those best practices, here are some strategies:
- Spend Analysis. On a periodic basis, review your payment strategy with your bank, and discuss with them how to optimize the methods and processes used.
- Supplier Segmentation. Identify some key vendors you always pay early or on time to take advantage of discounts or concessions. By segmenting your suppliers into strategic value categories, you can also identify the vendors that can be paid at the last minute or even late.
- Automation of Payment Methods. Do you know what the true cost of writing a check is for your business? It’s probably higher than you think. Moving manual, paper-based payments to automated electronic methods can help reduce cost, plus allows you to better control timing and gain visibility into the transaction for data management.
Streamlining your accounts payables to realize maximum working capital efficiency will require some time and effort, but it shouldn’t be overwhelming. Let the treasury and liquidity experts at Texas Capital Bank provide you with the working capital solutions you need to improve processes and streamline operations. It’s your money. Let us help you make the most of it.
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Texas Capital Bank will not be responsible for any consequence of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained herein nor for any omission. Neither Texas Capital Bank, nor any of its employees provide tax or legal advice to outside entities.