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Collection process automation: Touchless email reminders to customer and Automatic collection task creation

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Hitachi Solutions > Blog > 2021 > 03 > Collection process automation: Touchless email reminders to customer and Automatic collection task creation - Part 1

With the current release from Microsoft, customers now have access to a suite of Collection process automation features aimed at increasing collections agent’s productivity, through eliminating time previously spent researching customer aged balances, open customer invoices and customer accounts. The collection manager can define a standardised workflow for agents and automatically create their tasks.

This new feature has been available for download starting from November 6th 2020.

Enabling collection process automation feature

By default, new features such as the collection process automation feature, are turned off. However, they can be turned on through the Feature management workspace.

The collection process automation feature is available in any version from 10.1.14 in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. On the Feature Management workspace, this feature can be easily identified through filtering the available features by the module Credit and Collections. Furthermore, to enable the said feature, the “Enable Now” button that appears in the details pane should be selected.

Once enabled users will have available in the Credit and Collections module two new tabs “Collections process setup” and “Process automation”.

Parameters

Accounts Receivable > Setup > Accounts Receivable

The parameters configuration of the Collection process automation functionality can be accessed by navigating through the mentioned path and accessing the collection process automation Tab. Below, the two most relevant collections process automation parameters are highlighted.

  • Percentage of customers per batch task defines the percentage of customers to be processed per batch task, meaning that when running the process automation and if the customer percentage is set to 10 percent, each batch task will only contain 10 percent of the total number of customers to send emails.
  • Post collection letters automatically allow automatic posting to the Ledger of the collection letter generated through the automatic collection process.
  • Create activities for automation option, allows for the creation (and automatic closing) of collection activities for the ‘Email’ and ‘Collection letter’ action types, allowing for the tracking of all collection process activities of customers.
  • Days to keep collections process automation history defines the number of days the system will maintain the historical records of the created activities.
  • Exclude invoice after activating last process step determines that if the process automation will stop after an invoice reaches the last step of the process or, alternatively, if process automation steps will continue to run for the next oldest invoice.

Collections process setup

Credit and collections > Setup > Collections process setup

  1. Process hierarchy

The collections process hierarchy determines which process will be used for the company’s different customers.

When setting up the collections process hierarchy, a customer pool needs to be assigned to a collections process name. Customer pools define a group of customer records as queries that can be displayed and managed for collections or ageing processes, segregating customers, for example, by size, region, name or even agent pools. As such, customer pools are a mandatory requirement for collection process automation and can be configured, following the path:

Credit and collections > Setup > Customer pools

Additionally, the different collections processes are assigned to a specific rank in the process hierarchy, so that if customers are to fall into multiple pools (and consequently multiple collection processes), whichever collection process has the higher rank in the hierarchy will be the one applicable to said customer.

On the process hierarchy, it can also be defined as the number of quiet days of the process and exclude customers or invoices from the collection process:  

  • The Quiet days' field acts as a cooldown, defining the number of days between two different actions.
  • The Exclude from process and Amount fields allow the user to determine which criteria will be applied as a filter to the selected customer pool: the user must select if the Customer pool will be filtered at all (None) or if a threshold based on the Amount field will be established for the Customer ageing balance (Customer ageing balance less than) or for the Invoice amount (Invoice amount less than).

For example, if a threshold of 2,000.00 USD is established for Customer ageing balances, all customers that have an ageing balance lower than 2,000.00 USD will be excluded from the collection process automation.

Thank you for taking the time to read this first of the two parts that compose this blog. We hope you found it useful.

In Part 2 we will review the remaining essential details to set up the automation process.

Get in touch with our experts today 

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Rute Cardoso

Rute Cardoso works as a Functional consultant of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Application. Graduated from Nova School of Business and Economics with a bachelor’s degree in Economics, after which she worked as a financial auditor for 2 years. Rute joined Hitachi Solutions Europe in September 2020 and works from the Portuguese office located in Porto.

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Author Spotlight

Rute Cardoso

Rute Cardoso works as a Functional consultant of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Application. Graduated from Nova School of Business and Economics with a bachelor’s degree in Economics, after which she worked as a financial auditor for 2 years. Rute joined Hitachi Solutions Europe in September 2020 and works from the Portuguese office located in Porto.

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