OB10 and IARP, a not-for-profit guidance-setting association for the accounts receivable profession, conducted the survey of accounts receivable professionals designed to gauge current business practices and the outlook of organizations from an accounts receivable and collections perspective. Survey participants included presidents, CEOs, owners, CFOs, and A/R directors and managers from organizations across a range of industries and sizes.
"The results of the survey provide very strong insight into the current invoicing and collections practices of AR professionals and give a glimpse of where they are going to direct their efforts and resources in the future to ensure more predictable cash flow," said Thayer Stewart, vice president of marketing for OB10.
Although generally satisfied with their collections results, 41 percent of respondents have increased their collections efforts, and slightly more than half have been contacting their customers more frequently in order to receive payment, according to the survey results.
Furthermore, in light of the increased collections activities, 71 percent of respondents said they had received requests from their customers in 2009 to invoice them electronically, with 42 percent saying they had received more requests in 2009 than in previous years.
AR professionals view this positively, as 82 percent who received requests believe that submitting invoices electronically expedites the collections process.
The survey also asked AR professionals to indicate the average number of days it takes their customers to pay them once an invoice has been submitted. The result was an average days sales outstanding (DSO) of 36.1 days, with 69 percent of respondents citing that their invoices are paid between 26 and 50 days after submitted to their customers.
"Almost two-thirds of the A/R professionals we polled told us that 2009 was worse than or about the same as 2008 financially," said IARP CEO Tom Bohn. "However, the outlook going forward is increasingly positive, as almost 60 percent of respondents said they believe their businesses will do better financially in 2010 compared to 2009."
Bohn added that of those expressing optimism, 63 percent say they have a positive outlook because their companies have become more focused in their sales and marketing efforts, 61 percent said they have been more successful in reducing costs, and 58 percent say they expect the economy to rebound.
More information on the report is available at http://OB10.com/ARSurvey or http://www.theiarp.org/ViewItem-324.do? parentCatId=219.