Monday, 28 November 2022

BlackLine unveils industry’s 1st accounts receivable automation capabilities

5 min read

Singapore – October 14, 2022 – BlackLine, Inc. (Nasdaq: BL) has unveiled Customer Attractiveness Scoring, new capabilities in its AR (accounts receivable) Intelligence solution designed to provide real-time insights into the risk profile and behavior of an organization’s customer base. 

Using behavioral insights gleaned in real time during the cash collection and management process, companies can better identify customers who are at risk of defaulting on and/or delaying payments and reduce the risk of debt going bad. BlackLine’s added capabilities also will help organizations to better identify customers whose credit risk is minimal, allowing companies to raise credit limits for those who demonstrate consistent payment behavior, thereby becoming a better partner to the business. 

As concerns over inflation and an impending economic recession persist, the ability to tap into powerful insights around payment behaviors could help to significantly improve an organization’s cash flow. Additionally, as the cost of borrowing continues to rise, companies are looking internally for ways to release working capital to invest elsewhere, without having to borrow from financial institutions. In fact, according to The Hackett Group’s report, “2022 Working Capital Survey”, the 1,000 largest public companies in the US had almost $1.7 trillion tied up in excess working capital in 2021. As a result, The Hackett Group recommends large companies review and fine tune their credit risk management and collections management processes to capture changing payment behaviors and minimize exposure to bad debt.

Unlike credit risk profiles provided by credit agencies, BlackLine’s Customer Attractiveness Scoring shows customer risk based on payment behavior as it’s happening, providing the most up-to-date assessment of risk, specific to the trading relationship, instantly to credit teams. Customer Attractiveness Scoring features the following capabilities:          

Aggregated Customer Benchmarking – that provides real-time comparative data of one’s entire customer portfolio to determine which customers to prioritize for either growth expansion or monitor for risk.

User Configurable Internal Credit Scores – that allow credit professionals to assess customers’ behavior on their own defined criteria which they deem to be most important instead of relying on generic third-party scoring.

‘What If’ Analysis Capabilities – that let organizations change their risk model internally to see what the impact of decisions might be and thus adapt to industry events or the general macro-economic climate.

“Given evolving global economic conditions, companies are under increasing pressure to maximize their cash positions, meaning they are spending more time scrutinizing cash flow metrics, such as credit risk management and collections management processes. In fact, we are now seeing executives being asked to report on cash flow and working capital as much as on earnings and revenues,” said Andy Lilley, managing director and head of Global AR at BlackLine. “With cash management more critical than ever, we are seeing more customers looking to BlackLine for intelligent insights, as businesses look to harness real-time data and powerful analytics to improve critical decision-making across the enterprise.”

The new Customer Attractiveness Scoring sits within BlackLine’s AR Intelligence solution, which enables customers to manage financial risks and opportunities by providing access to real-time, actionable data, which helps them understand their customers’ financial behaviors and use the information to impact strategic and operational decision-making. Customer Attractiveness Scoring is generally available now as part of BlackLine AR Intelligence at no additional charge.   

Kevin Permenter, research director, Financial Applications, IDC, added: “Navigating the current economic headwinds means looking for ways to free up working capital, and the best way to release working capital is to better manage cash. One of the best ways to do this is by accurately assessing credit risk in real time; after all, global economic uncertainty goes hand in hand with rapid and unexpected changes to business conditions. Therefore, the more information an organization has about customer behavior in a timely fashion, the better they can assess this risk and minimize exposure to bad debt. As such, BlackLine has developed a potentially impactful product feature with BlackLine’s Customer Attractiveness Scoring which is specifically designed to help companies better navigate a tough financial environment.”

 

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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