Top ten tips for improving your debtors – Tip six

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Top ten tips for improving your debtors

In many businesses, the ability to manage cash flow is crucial to success and as a result of manual and repetitive processes, management of the debtors is often a ‘painful’ task.

The recent turbulent economic environment only adds to the headaches of a credit control team and the introduction of effective tools to improve the collections process is arguably more important today than at any time in recent history.

Effective credit control and query management should enable your business to;

  • Improve cash flow
  • Reduce debtor days
  • Increase customer service
  • Cut the cost of cash collection
  • Eliminate manual processes
  • Speed up the query resolution process

Query Management and Analysis

An often overlooked benefit of effective credit control is the potential to impact on customer service.  A happy customer is far more likely to pay invoices to term and credit control is normally the first point at which a dis-satisfied customer is identified, typically not paying a given invoice for some reason.  It is in the interest of the credit controller to ensure the query is resolved as quickly as possible and to the customers satisfaction, hence having the tools to enable this is paramount.

Upon identifying that a number of invoices are being queried by the customer, the credit controller may create a query event and link the associated transactions to it.  They may then select from user definable reason codes to summarise the reasons for the non-payment as well as entering any relevant narrative and highlighting the name of the colleague most likely to resolve the issue.  In identifying the individual best placed to resolve the query, an automated email alert may be generated for them, providing a summary of the problem and prompting them to assist.  As with all other events, escalation is in place if the query is not resolved in an acceptable time frame.

By accurately recording details of all queries, analysis may be performed to identify the quantity and value of queries by credit controller, by query category or by the person dealing with the query provide invaluable customer service information.

You may also extend the reach of the query management processes to a wider audience via the web portal. This browser based interface provides enquiry, reporting and query management functionality to any number of users throughout the business and beyond to their customers. Via a secure user name and password based access, your customer may access e-statements, transactional details, copy invoices and other supporting documents in addition to raising queries and providing promises to pay. This extension of access and processing capabilities is seen as a key tool in improving the effectiveness of credit control functions.

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