The definitive guide to Sage Intacct invoicing

Aug 24, 2021 by Mark Fisher

Today’s business leaders face one of the fastest, most competitive commercial landscapes in history. Both technology and consumer expectations are accelerating at a phenomenal pace and, as a result, the organizations that can get operational structures such as accounting and invoicing systems more streamlined and as efficient as possible will have a significant competitive advantage.

Invoicing and collections are some of the most basic facets of business, and yet, conventional processes can be extremely complicated and costly. Paystand, a blockchain-enabled B2B payments platform, has recently partnered with Sage, a provider of cloud business management solutions, to create a “Venmo-for-business” offering that will help alleviate part of this challenge for customers.

Common problems with B2B invoicing

Although correct and expedient invoicing is foundational to any successful business, many common problems exist today in just about every industry. Here are some popular challenges:

  • Antiquated paper invoicing systems create errors: According to Digital Transactions, “The B2B market is still years behind consumer markets in terms of digital payments,” and only “one-third of B2B spend globally is processed electronically.” That means that the majority of invoices are still paper-based, either requiring manual entry or scanning to be entered into a company’s electronic system. Procurify reports that the human error rate in processing manual invoices is between 12% and 15%, which represents additional costs for businesses to resolve these errors.
  • Matching invoices to orders can be a cumbersome process: Because many vendors have their own accounting systems and nomenclature, descriptions, numbering systems, or reference information can vary greatly and cause difficulty when it comes time to matching purchase orders to invoices. Partial orders, price changes, new discount negotiations, or cancellations cause even more difficulties. The manual effort required to reconcile this problem can be extensive.
  • Lack of transparency hides invoice status: Siloed legacy systems may not communicate well with one another, resulting in data silos and difficulty in accessing whether the invoice has been received, approved, posted, or paid. This lack of transparency means that when any party inquires about invoice status, the answer is unclear and may result in lengthy resolutions, disputes between partners, or duplicate questions when the answer cannot be immediately found.
  • Payment options are unclear and complex: When paper invoices are sent and payments must be made by check, credit card, or other transfer options, the recipient must initiate that payment option often manually or through another payment portal, which can take additional time and introduce errors into the invoicing process.

How the Paystand Sage integration works

Current Sage Intacct customers now have the integration and power of Paystand behind their existing platform, resulting in more efficient daily accounts receivable (AR) and payment operations. Here are some of the nuts and bolts of how the integration works:

Payment processing fees eliminated or minimized

About 66% of businesses prefer using credit cards to accept payments once invoices are received. Although it’s understandable that businesses prefer the convenience of credit cards to other forms of payment, the typical 3% fee per transaction can quickly add up. Consider the fact that a business with annual revenue of $1 million will end up losing $30,000 just in credit card fees alone. Any additional late payments or penalty fees can be even higher on top of interest accrued if credit cards are used for borrowing.

Once invoices are sent, the Paystand Sage integration allows businesses to accept zero-fee direct-bank payments over the Paystand Bank Network. Other payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards, and ACH are available at wholesale rates, but the solution encourages direct bank payments by shifting credit card fees to the payer through a convenience fee.

Faster collections and reduced DSO

Getting the payments that are due to your business for goods and services as quickly as possible is key to cash flow and, sometimes, the key to business viability. The higher the number of days outstanding (DSO), the larger the cash flow struggle can be. More than 90% of U.S. businesses report late payments from their B2B clients.

The Paystand Sage integration helps make this process easier with clear payment links and “pay now” buttons on electronic invoices. These, in combination with billing reminders, make it simple for customers to pay invoices. A self-service option for Sage Intacct customers allows the selection and payment of invoices as well. Virtual terminals are available to process payments on behalf of customers in the Paystand system.

Besides helping to maintain a healthy cash flow, faster invoicing and payments also minimize human errors that are common in manual invoicing systems.

Immediate payment reconciliation

Once invoices are received, processed, and paid, reconciliation within the accounting system must take place. Often, finance team members are still manually shifting between unintegrated systems and spreadsheets to perform this necessary accounting task.

The Paystand Sage integration helps customers reconcile payments and daily bank transfers immediately, including dealing with things like partial payments and cancellations. Because the system gets automatic transfer reports and ledger updates, it can immediately reflect deposit details, refunds, disputes, affected sales orders, fees, discounts, and adjustments.

As a result, Sage Intacct reports contain real-time information, which means business decisions are based on more accurate information. Customers can see invoices, collection data, and pending receivables by status or type. Follow-up and additional action items can then be scheduled accordingly.

Security and compliance

The Paystand Sage integration employs reliable data governance and security components with a PCI DSS Level-1 certified payment processor, two-factor authentication, and role-level access. The system securely stores customer payment data with Fund-on-File tokenization. These protections offer customers peace of mind.

How invoicing and payment works

By using a direct plugin, Paystand connects to Sage Intacct, providing a robust payment arm to complement Sage Intacct’s invoicing capability within the ERP. Multi-currency billing support is also available. Here’s how it works:

  1. Issue an invoice to your customer from the Sage Intacct system, which now has an embedded Paystand “pay now” button.
  2. When payers want to pay the invoice, they are sent to a privately labeled portal where they can choose a payment method. Credit card options include a 3% convenience fee, but customers can pay invoices through the system’s zero-fee bank-to-bank network, ACH, or other methods.
  3. Customers are encouraged to pay invoices using the free bank-to-bank method, which avoids credit card fees, postal time, lockboxes, and manual entries for both parties. Since the payment portal is integrated into the Sage Intacct system, all transactions are reconciled immediately.
  4. This invoice and payment data can be viewed in any Sage Intacct report or dashboard.

In addition, the solution allows customers to easily schedule payments, set automatic alerts, and initiate autopay and recurring billing as well as subscription-based invoices.

Why improving B2B invoicing can save time and money

The best way to improve B2B invoicing is to implement an end-to-end digital system that can easily shepherd a purchase from order through the invoicing process to final payment. Although such a system requires some initial investment, it will inevitably save businesses time and money in the long run. Here are some of the best reasons to boost your B2B invoicing game:

  • Collect payments faster: Cash flow and how quickly invoices are paid can significantly affect a business’s ability to invest in new ideas, products, and strategies. By digitizing B2B invoicing, it’s very likely that you’ll be able to shorten this period of time. Conventional, manual-based invoicing processes may take 30 to 60 days to complete, which means months pass between delivering your product or service and the time you receive the actual payment. Technology makes it possible to embed a “pay now” button within digital invoices, making it easy for customers to pay immediately.
  • Minimize forgotten or unpaid invoices: Paper invoices are easy for customers to file and abandon until they get the final deadline or the reminder notification. During this process, they can be lost or forgotten, or funds may be diverted elsewhere for more pressing expenses. The result is that you don’t get paid quickly, or sometimes, at all. Digitized invoices with embedded and easy-to-use payment options can alleviate some of this procrastination, bumping your invoices higher on the priority list.
  • Gain efficiency for your accounting team: With the technology available today, there’s no reason for your finance and accounting team to be spending valuable time and resources shuffling and dealing with paper invoices, checks, and reports. An online invoicing and payment system is simple and affordable to set up and will free your staff for more high-level tasks that can add value to your company’s bottom line.
  • Streamlining the process for customers: Although some customers may prefer the longer payment periods, many appreciate the efficiency of digitized B2B systems because their payments can be easily tracked by bank transfers or credit card statements. In addition, subscription-based services can be automatically paid on a monthly basis, reducing the work involved in the billing and invoicing process even further.

Final thoughts

Too many businesses today are dealing with antiquated infrastructure and monopolistic banking practices that negatively affect their bottom line and ability to compete. The integration between Paystand and Sage means easier, streamlined invoicing and payment processes, which often results in better cash flow and additional revenue generation. Find out more about this invoicing and payment system for yourself by scheduling a free demo today.