Are You Ready to Collect More of Your Money?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations offers a robust credit and collections management functionality that enables you to manage the entire collection process – right from generating customer account statements, to being informed of balances as and when due, getting notifications on when collection letters should be sent to customers, and knowing when bad debts need to be written off.

For the time being, we are focusing on the process of overdue invoice collection.

But let me first briefly explain what the process of overdue invoice recovery looks like. If a customer does not pay invoices within the terms initially granted, it is usually necessary to obtain the corresponding payment without delay, to remind the customer of the dates, amounts, and origin of his debt. For this purpose, a collection letter is a commonly used amicable procedure for dealing with overdue customers. If the expected payments are not settled quickly by the debtors after receiving these reminders, their files are usually sent for collection.

In the collection process, you will sooner than later have to face your customer, where you will need to create a collection letter note from D365 FO and send it to the customer. To ensure that the customer receives all information regarding the collection and can pay the debt immediately, we need to send a personalized e-mail with all relevant overdue documents, in this case, overdue invoices.

Can we achieve this goal with the built-in functionality in D365FO?

Unfortunately, no. But let us show you how the built-in functionality can be extended to support the above described scenario.

Remember that a collection letter can be generated from invoices of different types, which are not located in the same journal table (e.g. free text, customer or project invoices). This makes attaching of the corresponding overdue invoices to a collection letter email even more complex.

How does emailing of collection letters look like in D365FO

To show you the difference, we will start with the existing functionality in D365FO. If you need to create a collection letter, you can do so from the D365FO forms: Review and process collection letters or Collection letter journal. Let us use the form Collection letter journal for demonstration purposes.

As you can see, when you print the collection letter note, you have no way to define how the e-mail subject and body should be generated. You can only specify a fixed text for the e-mail subject. There is also no possibility to attach related overdue documents to the outgoing e-mail.

Note that D365FO generates outgoing e-mail without an e-mail body. In addition, you do not have the ability to dynamically specify the subject, body, or attachment of an e-mail. This will undoubtedly spoil the e-mails, Spam Score, and your e-mails will most likely not reach your customers. You can learn more about this topic in one of our previous articles here.

How can Docentric now come to the rescue

For this article, we have created a POC project that extends the existing menu item Print in D365FO. When we click on the menu item Print with attachments, an extended print dialog form is displayed, where you have the possibility to enable attaching overdue invoices. After enabling the Attach overdue invoices option, the source location can be specified from which invoices already created are attached to the outgoing e-mail.

You can also specify how to attach invoices as Separate Files, Merged PDF or ZIP File. Since the POC project assumes that overdue invoices are already generated as e-invoice attachments in Invoice Journal or Print Archive, there is a possibility that PDF documents are missing, so you can prevent e-mails from being sent from D365FO as additional validation.

This POC project was done with Docentric Free Edition, so you can use it entirely for free.

The POC project currently fully supports emailing collection letters with the overdue invoices. For any print destination other than Email, the overdue invoices will be downloaded in the browser (if the report is not executed in batch). For example, if you select the Screen print destination and turn on the Attach overdue invoices option, a ZIP file with the corresponding documents is downloaded after the collection letter is shown on the screen.

It is always easier to see the difference in a video, so here is the solution in action.

How does the resulting outgoing e-mail look like

As we can see from the images below, the e-mail looks savvy 😊, subject and body of the e-mail are generated from the data source used to fill in the collection letter at the time of the report generation, and as such is a kind of a personalized e-mail sent to the customer with all the information he needs to pay the amounts due.

⇨ An e-mail with separate files containing overdue invoices

⇨ An e-mail with a merged PDF file containing overdue invoices

⇨ An e-mail with a ZIP file containing overdue invoices

You can learn more about how to design outgoing e-mails with Docentric AX here.

Conclusion

Every business strives to have virtually no debtors, but if you are one of those who have them, D365FO with Docentric AX can help you automate the creation and dispatching of collection letters to customers, and thus collect more money from your debtors.

In the following article, we explained how the POC project was implemented and also made it available for download.

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