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Improving your order-to-cash process

This information is provided by:Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVKNetherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK

You want customers to pay the invoices for your products or services promptly. A good order-to-cash process can help make this happen. These are the steps and actions that follow after your customer places an order. Find out how to improve your order-to-cash process.

What is order-to-cash?

Order-to-cash (O2C) are the steps required to process, fulfil and get paid for an order. The financial health of your business depends on a smooth O2C process. It ensures faster payments, and control of cash flows. It also saves you time and costs of having to chase your money. An O2C process consists of 3 stages:

  1. Making quotes and contracts
  2. Creating and sending invoices
  3. Debtor management and debt collection

1. Making quotes and contracts

A quote is a proposal to your customer. In your proposal, you describe the services or products you can offer for a certain price. And you specify your terms and conditions. At this stage of the O2C process, you can verify whether the customer is financially reliable. For more information, check out the checklist for making a quotation.

2. Drawing up and sending invoices

After you have delivered your services or products, it is time to send an invoice. You can send an invoice to consumers, other businesses, but also verenigingen (associations) and stichtingen (foundations). Your invoice to a business, digital or paper, must meet the same legal requirements as for consumers. Exceptions apply to some entrepreneurs. You must also keep your invoices for your records. Find out more about invoice requirements.

3. Debtor management and debt collection

After you have delivered your products and services, you also want to be paid as agreed. If this does not happen on time, investigate what is going on. For example, by checking whether the invoice and payment deadline are correct. You may have to send a reminder or use a debt collecting agency (incassobureau). In the end, you may even have to take legal action. For more information, check out the step-by-step plan: customer does not pay invoice.

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