Jared King, CEO and Founder at Invoiced, an accounts receivable provider joins us in this chat to discuss his thoughts on emerging trends in fintech while tapping into the latest developments in B2B Accounts Receivables. Catch the complete conversation:
Can you tell us a little about yourself Jared and the story behind Invoiced? How has the Invoiced platform evolved over the years- can you talk about some upcoming product innovations in the loop?
Earlier in my career, I was doing contract web development, and found myself building invoicing solutions for clients over and over again. I realized that I needed to build these solutions from scratch each time because there were so few solutions that were both capable enough and affordable enough for customers with this need.
The initial product was nothing more than a simple invoice generator. You could enter some information into a form and the web app would produce a downloadable PDF. One of the key features of that tool was a simple comment box that asked for input on what changes or features might make it more valuable.
That led to adding more and more new capabilities, and, at some point, Invoiced reached the tipping point of being a more comprehensive platform for the complete invoice-to-cash lifecycle. We’re now the category-leading solution according to G2, for the third quarter running and we have thousands of customers in 92 countries using Invoiced to process more than $2 billion in receivables each month.
As far as upcoming innovations go, we are always looking for new ways to automate A/R related workflows that take up a lot of time for accounting teams. We’re increasingly using predictive analytics and AI to make difficult, time-consuming decisions and calculations effortless for clients. We also enjoy the challenge of connecting stubbornly offline touchpoints with digital A/R. Examples of this would include a print-and-mail integration we built that automatically sends letters through the mail; or our virtual lockbox capability that enables checks to be scanned, codified and presented with in Invoiced alongside digital transactions.
When it comes to Accounts Receivables and optimizing the whole collections process, what tips do you have for businesses, especially first-adopters of new technologies in this area?
First, the most important suggestion is to start simple and prioritize. It’s important for businesses to take stock of their biggest pain points along the invoice-to-cash continuum and focus your A/R automation requirements and vendor decision criteria on where you can take the biggest leap forward. That might be more than one pain point, but don’t try to boil the ocean.
Second, you’ll also want to think about the customer experience. While it would be great to automate all of your A/R processes, it’s important to consider the implications for customers. Will they interact with the business on billing, collection and payment matters in the same ways? Or will something for them change? If there will be some meaningful change how will you prepare them? How can make that customer experience even better or more streamlined?
And lastly, don’t limit your thinking to automating only what you’re already doing. Are there new capabilities you can add in with little effort, as long as you already have the patient on the table? As an example, it would be good to automate the cash application process for ACH payments – but it might be great to also get ACH customers on AutoPay, getting you paid even faster, more consistently and with better forecast visibility.
As technologies that aid collections and debt mature in the market; how do you feel these solutions will evolve in future?
One important way these systems will evolve is by being more open. What we see is that CFOs, controllers and other purchase decision makers in this market want to have all of their systems working together seamlessly and staying in sync. So the solutions that are able to best connect with others in the tech stack are the ones best poised for adoption. We also, of course, see more opportunity for utilizing AI and predictive analytics to further streamline processes that are already digitally enabled.
In what ways are you seeing emerging technologies like AI / ML influence these solutions?
AI and ML have great potential for aiding finance and accounting professionals with making decisions or predicting what will happen. As examples, we currently use AI to match unapplied payments with open invoices and balances. We also see many opportunities to use AI and/or machine learning for predicting customer payment behavior as well as credit risk.
As the payments and accounts management ecosystem becomes more centralized and sophisticated, how do you feel businesses demand toward finance technologies will change?
I think sometime in the not too distant future, much of what we’re talking about will be something that not only digital forward businesses adopt, but it will be a given. So the decisions will increasingly move away from should vs shouldn’t and towards which one should be prioritized first.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the fintech startup marketplace, can you talk about some of the game-changing innovations / global fintech startups you’ve come across?
FinTech is obviously thriving right now, so we’re happy to see that. But we don’t necessarily see any one individual company moving the entire industry forward. We also don’t see FinTech as a monolithic category because it includes everything from B2B accounting-related software like Invoiced to consumer investing platforms which have very little to do with each other. But what we do see is a rapidly evolving finance and accounting tech stack – it’s moving in a direction that helps CFOs move further and faster with less time and expense. So we see startups playing into those trends with uniquely innovative solutions as the ones best poised for growth.
As global fintech trends change and the market shifts due to business environments (and also Covid-19), what are your comments on the state of fintech in 2021 and beyond?
The pandemic has rapidly and irreversibly changed how business is done. Whether it’s working remotely, digitizing transactions or migrating to the cloud, all the rules of doing business, regardless of industry, have essentially been rewritten overnight. So the future of FinTech this year has actually been delivered right to our doorsteps today. For 2021 and the years to follow, we will continue to see technology providers and businesses coping with a catching up to the sudden, dramatic change that’s been foisted on everyone.
Before we wrap up, what are the biggest learnings / tips you’d share with fintech innovators and founders?
Expect the unexpected, get comfortable being uncomfortable, and don’t underestimate the enormous amount of effort and care needed to make the transition from a product to a company.
Invoiced is an award-winning platform for helping businesses get paid faster, stop wasting time on collections and provide a better payment experience for customers. With thousands of customers in 92 countries and nearly $50 billion in receivables processed, Invoiced is pioneering the field of accounts receivable automation.
Jared King is Co-Founder & CEO of Invoiced, the category defining company in the field of A/R automation. Jared built Invoiced from a small bootstrapped startup to a thriving global platform that now serves the billing and collections needs of more than 20,000 businesses in 92 countries and processes more than $2 billion in client receivables every month. Because of Invoiced’s scale and success, Jared has a uniquely valuable vantage point for how cash management, business process improvement and technology come together to help companies get paid faster, waste less time on collections and provide better payment experiences for their customers.
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