5 reasons why your Accounts Receivable team should be using a Collections Worklist within SAP FSCM

10 October 2010

Mark Chalfen

Mark Chalfen

Former SAP S/4HANA Global Lead

The Collections Worklist can only be found within SAP FSCM and is part of the Collections Management module of SAP FSCM.  This is the tool SAP has provided to the Accounts Receivable team to assist them to perform their daily duties of collecting cash. The Collections Worklist provides a priorities list of customers for the Accounts Receivable team to contact. The Worklist can be priorities according to client’s unique requirements with the highest ranking customers appearing at the top of the worklist and the lower priority at the bottom of the worklist.

The real benefits of a Collections Worklist are around a single system and process where there is full visibility of actions that have occurred whilst contacting a customer. To achieve some of these without SAP FSCM could only be achieved by either using a third party software provider or my bespoking your current SAP Accounts Receivables solution to align to your own requirements.

Below are my top 5 reasons why your SAP Accounts Receivable team should be using the functionality with SAP FSCM:

1. Uniformity of process

Within SAP Collections Management there is a clear Organisational structure that enables you to group customers into different segments and groups. These normally align to legal entities and teams within an Accounts Receivable team. A Collections Worklist is easy to use and if a member of the Accounts Receivables team was on holiday or off sick a different team member could pick up another Worklist without needing a formal handover.

2. Prioritisation of accounts

One of main benefits of the prioritized Worklist is that the team member does not have to work out which customers to contact on a specific day, it is done for them. This will stop low risk customers being contacted, and enforce more effort being driven towards higher risk customers. The true benefit of this is that the prioritization is fully customisable allowing a client to make its own rules up. This is a massive benefit when comparing it to a standard Aged debt report in SAP Accounts Receivable which can only be sorted by Name of Customer, or amount of outstanding debt.

3. Performance management

It is one thing providing your Accounts Receivable team a new tool to help collect cash but to see the true worth of the change of process and solution you need to report on the benefit. With SAP Collections Management you have the ability to record the number of customers contacted by an Accounts Receivable team member over a period of time. You can then use this data to compare that team member against their peers. This will allow the Accounts Receivable Manager to track the performance of the team members and make informed decisions based on those findings.

4. Ability to record and report on notes made

One of the biggest gripes regarding the existing SAP Accounts Receivable solution related to the notes that a team member would make. Some used to print of reams of Aged Debt, and make hand written notes regarding the customer contact. This is OK for the team member, but it does not help the Manager or a replacement who is thinking about contacting a customer. By having the ability within the Collections Worklist to record, and therefore report on the notes made by the Accounts Receivable team member provides a single reference point, which can be easily accessed by any authorized user.

5. Integration to Dispute and Credit Management with SAP FSCM

Collections Management has been built so it easily integrated with the other modules of SAP FSCM. From the Collections Worklist, a user can raise, change and display customer Disputes that may have been raised. On the front screen of the Worklist there is a specific column to detail the value of outstanding debt currently under “Dispute”. This is used to inform the team member that whilst a customer might have $300,000 of outstanding debt, if they have say $50,000 in dispute, then the amount to collect will be $250,000. Please note standard Accounts Receivable has not notion at all regarding customer disputes, so this is a massive step forward.

Further to the integration with SAP Dispute Management, is the integration with SAP Credit Management within SAP FSCM. Within SAP FSCM Credit Management is the ability to calculate a “credit score” against a customer. This in turn can influence the “risk class” of the customer. What makes SAP FSCM Credit Management a better proposition that its standard relation in core SAP Accounts Receivables is the benefit of using actual SAP data to “score” a customer. The traditional method as standard was to either use offline methods, or third party scoring.

The Collections Worklist can be prioritized by a number of different criteria, including the value of customer disputes and the risk class that is derived from SAP FSCM Credit Management.


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About the author

Mark Chalfen

Former SAP S/4HANA Global Lead

Mark tells it straight - as an ex-boxer, what else would you expect?  Both his knowledge and experience of SAP products allow him to cut to the chase dispelling myths and hearsay.

As a result of working closely with various SAP Finance Product Management teams on product development, Mark understands these products inside out. This depth of understanding has led to him become a ‘thought leader’ in his field; after all, it is not often SAP consultants have helped shape and develop the very product they are selling.

Having such a strong relationship with SAP alongside being an SAP Mentor and Moderator means that Mark has an extensive network within SAP. For clients, this relationship proves to be a huge advantage and leads to configuration issues being resolved rapidly.

Mark has worked on short proof of concepts through to year-long multi-million pound global roll-outs. However, no matter how large or small the project, the true value Mark brings to his work is in the guidance he provides to senior stakeholders. In essence, he assists them to implement more effective processes and drive better behaviours within their finance teams.

Helping organisations transform their business with SAP S/4HANA is Mark’s current focus. The benefits of S/4HANA are numerous, including the simplification of tasks, embedded analytics and improved user engagement. Whilst the eventual move from SAP Business Suite into S/4HANA is inevitable, the journey to it is not always clear. Mark’s ability to understand an organisation’s needs coupled with his deep understanding of S/4HANA provides clarity and eases their transition.

Bluefin and SAP S/4HANA - welcome to the one horse race

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