A/R Is All About Building Relationships
Join us for a special series of A/R leaders, where we hear about best practices, tips, and more from Accounts Receivable leaders!
And today we are featuring...
Parul Sharma, A/R FinOps Manager at Amazon.
Parul is a credit controller and order-to-cash specialist with expertise in collections and customer management. She has vast experience across billings and collections and managing accounts receivable teams. At Amazon, Parul heads up the Collections Team, made up of six employees who each manages individual portfolios and ensures Amazon is paid on time. Parul drives relationships with key stakeholders internally and externally, including the sales departments and customers.
"I’m a people person, so it’s important for me to help customers and find solutions to their problems."
Does your team set goals or KPIs? Yes. I always establish smart, measurable goals and ensure my team works according to them. We work out what we can expect to collect by the end of the month and work towards that.
KPIs are also set to ensure any invoice beyond 30 days past due is managed. If invoices are not getting paid, we have internal processes that help us explain the reason and find creative solutions.
What are the top areas you focus on as an A/R manager? From my experience, an A/R manager should prioritize three main areas:
Motivating the A/R team ‒ A/R employees are part of the core of the finance team. Their work combines manual tasks requiring precision and attention with reaching targets and important KPIs, and reporting on those at the end of every week/month/quarter/year. I’m always working on my relationship with my team, so that I can listen to their problems and motivate them personally and professionally.
Building relations ‒ besides building connections with the team, the most challenging part of the job is the money collection aspect. It’s essential to connect to your customers and build relationships with them, to make this part easier. Be highly approachable to customers to reach out to you.
Keeping on top of numbers ‒ I always look at the portfolio at the beginning of the month and ensure I have measurable goals. Then, I confirm that my team is aware of them, and I get a view of what to expect to collect by the end of the month.
"I feel connected to this role because I am up for the challenges that come with it; there is always a new problem to resolve and payment to collect."
Do you have any tips for A/R managers? Collections is a stressful, demanding job, so take care of your team and make sure they are motivated and up for challenges. To be sure that your team knows what they are doing, make sure you meet every member at least once a week, go over their portfolio and open A/R, and ask them:
What were your successes last week?
What are your pain points?
Do you need any help?
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