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Accountants have a significant position in maximising the benefits from the transformed order to cash process in business organisation. The order-to-cash is a business process that has multiple business activities involved between finance department and sales department. The benefits of the order-to cash process are the cash to cash cycle time reduction, efficient performance in working capital and revenue leakage reduction() that lead the business to positive position in the business market. However, the process has complex integrated corporate functions, which cause errors, miscommunication, and loss generation in the company. Due to these facts, accountants must monitor the order-to-cash process to mitigate the disadvantages and increase the benefits to the organisation. In my opinion, I strongly agree that accountants are in the important position that maximise the advantages from the transformed the order-to-cash process. This paper will argue that accountants have adequate skills, which are divided into two factors; information analysis for decision makers, account receivable management so that business can have the maximised benefits or advantages from the transformed order-to-cash process through accountants.
It is believed that understanding information in the order-to-cash process is a critical factor in business that impacts in organisation's future. The order-to-cash process links multiple departments to integrated information stored in organisation. This integrated information is used when the organisation needs to decide a certain way that leads the organisation in a good position. Accountant have abilities to analyse the information so that the decision makers can understand the current financial positions in the market. Accountants have acquired the analysis skills through financial statements comprehension. For example, Inventory turnover ratio is to determine how effectively inventory is managed over the cost of good sold. Bjork(2000) reports, "If inventory is properly managed, working capital requirements are reduced and cash flow is increased, enhancing the organisation's chances to prosper and grow"(p42). In order-to-cash process, Accountants can monitor the inventory turnover by checking the stock quantity and the cost of good sold. A low inventory turnover shows weak sales, therefore, accountants can suggest opinions to the decision makers to promote various sales or discount the price, which increases its cash flow. Increasing cash flow indicates a positive sign in business that can increase returns to shareholders and opportunities in reinvestment. In addition to this, accountants have an ability to analyse a trade credit limit of different companies through the order-to-cash process. A trade credit limit determination is the one of accountant responsibilities in business. An organisation has a potential growth that may be lead to high sales revenue by using an appropriate trade credit limit policy. A trade credit limit policy is an agreement that a limited credit amount of fund is set to customer with deferred payment options. By conducting account receivable turnover ratio using the information obtained from the transformed order-to-cash, accountants can understand the customers' credibility so that the company increases or decreases credit coverage to customer for maximising potential profit. For example, accountants analyse potential customer's background payment history using the information from the order-to-cash process. This customer has a low credibility based on the background payment history. The accountants reveal the company is formed relatively recent as a startup and has a potential growth in future. The accountants suggest the decision makers approve the company with low credit limit. There is a risk in the startup. However, a low credit limit approval protects the risk and shows a friendly sign to the startup has a potential growth in future. Eventually, the company has increased sales as well as built a strong relationship with the startup by allowing a low credit limit. The accumulated information through the order-to-cash process provides accountants clear vision of the customer's payment history so that the accountants equipped with hard skills and soft skills such as precise financial analysis skills and leadership skills advise a credit limits and terms to the decision makers, the credit manager, or CFO for minimising revenue leakage or maximising company's wealth.
A purpose of a firm is to generate profit and maximise the shareholders' wealth. Receiving a payment on account in a given time increases cash amount. Cash is known as the highest liquidity asset in finance. To have liquidity asset, cash, any firm must have a low account receivable turnover rate. Low Account receivable days in an organisation can encourage the investors to invest more in the business. The days in account receivable show the number of days to clear the account receivable. Low account receivable days reflects a positive cash flow with a strong number of working capital. To have a positive cash flow, accountants need to collect the debt from the customers on time or earlier. Accountants can monitor the customers' payment leverage through the order-to-cash process. The purpose of monitoring is to give an alert signal to the organisation. Overdue payments are assumed that the customers have difficulties in payments. Thus, the accountants need to act for preventing bad debt loss from the customers. This action can be done by offering discount payments for early payments. Charing the customer high interest has adverse effect on business relationship. For example, accountants keep charging on the customer's account receivable. The customers possibly end up in bankruptcy and there is no way to receive the account receivable. Instead of charging on the payment, ING (2010) states early payment discount options attract the customers to pay in advance so that the customers can improve their cash flow by the amount discounted. Not only that, if the customers clear the balance in advance, the lender company also has a positive signal in their cash flow. Additionally, the order-to-cash enhances accountants manage the account effectively with massive data, transactions and information. The order-to-cash process has all the information from ordering to customer satisfaction. Accountants execute accountant' duties in payment correspondently from quotation to payment. Appropriate payment excavation in the order to cash process can bring a better control over cash. For example, accountants manage account receivable on time, the organisation can possess a huge amount of cash on hand without revenue leakage. High cash possession indicate company is healthy. Global Finance (2012) indicated that the importance of financial physical has been influenced by the financial crisis between 2008 and 2009. However, high cash possession can reflect that the company invests the asset ineffectively and is unattractive to the investors. Therefore, accountants have significant roles in account receivable process of the order to process.
In conclusion, accountants are in the important position that they bring the benefits to the organisation in the order to cash process. They can prevent revenue leakage by collecting the account receivable on time and analyse customers precisely so that they can suggest optimal opinions to the final decision makers. Respectively, accountants need to have hard and soft skills to analyse the information correctly. Hard skills are up-to-dated information and abundant calculation skills depending on the circumstances. Soft skills are communication skills between customers and decision makers and management skills. With the integration of hard and soft skills, accountants are more important in the transformed order to cash process and maximise the benefits of the process.
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