Working in credit control can sometimes see you banging your head against a brick wall. You’ve probably heard all the excuses in the book as to why customers can’t pay their invoices- my dog chewed my bank card, the boss has had a breakdown, we didn’t receive your invoice, there was a mistake on the invoice, etc. So going into 2017, what can you do to make collecting payment from customers easier? We have come up with three core New Year’s resolutions that you should stick to, aimed to make your year easier! Check them out below!
In bigger companies, there are usually a whole team dedicated to due diligence before accepting new business, and smaller companies should follow the same guidelines; especially as they are more likely to be seriously damaged if one or two payments don’t come in. Due diligence in finance is where you check a company is creditworthy before you do business with them. In this case, it would be to check they are able to pay their bills on time. Company credit checking is key to this, and Creditsafe’s company credit reports can show you all key financials, the amount of time it takes a company to pay their bills and how good a payer they are. These key factors can help you decide whether or not to do business with a company and what to set your payment terms at. If a big customer misses a payment to you as a SME, it could totally disrupt your cashflow; so always go into business guarded with the tools you need to ensure a successful business relationship and avoid bad debt.
A lot of companies underestimate the importance of monitoring throughout a corporate business relationship, with many believing that once they have credit checked a company they don’t need to do it again. Unfortunately, things change in business at the speed of light, and if a company takes a big hit on a customer acquiring a bad debt or CCJ and unable to pay them, it could end in them becoming insolvent. Similarly, if a company is starting to struggle paying its bills, it could be an indication that the business is slipping. By monitoring your customers and suppliers, you are able to see any changes made on their company credit report and pre-empt a late payment or insolvency. Creditsafe offer Risk Tracker; a monitoring tool that will alert you by email if anything changes on a company credit report that you are monitoring. For example, if the company credit score drops, you will get alerted. This will prompt you to look at the report and investigate why the company has dropped in creditworthiness. If they are getting slower at paying their bills and their Days Beyond Terms (DBT) to pay invoices has risen, you are able to amend your own payment terms with them to make sure that you are paid on time. By keeping a constant eye on customers and suppliers you are one step ahead and ensuring the safety of your cashflow.
Chase loose ends
Chasing loose ends can be time consuming and expensive but one of the daily tasks of a credit controller. If the phone calls and emails aren’t working, equip yourself with the correct tools to get payment in sooner. Creditsafe offer a letter sending service that you can control called Debt Chaser. You can choose the template and how often the letters get sent out, and we will send them out on your behalf, endorsed by us. By using a facility such as Debt Chaser, there is less room for human error and it frees yourself and your staff to do other activities. It can also help you along the way of recovering your money before you have to go to the expense of getting a legal firm involved.
So there are our top three New Year’s resolutions for credit controllers!
Do you have any others? Tell us yours in the comments below!