If you offer credit terms then you probably have an accounts receivable collections problem and you may not even realize the negative impact that it’s having on your bottom line and your cash flow. Most companies sell on 30 day credit terms, yet most companies take between 45-60 days to collect on invoices. How long is it taking you? and how much money are you spending trying to collect it?
Typically companies don’t even focus their time and energy on collecting until a cash flow problem arises or they are looking invoices grossly past due with huge balances. Sound familiar?
James Mallory Google+
James Mallory is Director of Marketing for e2b teknologies, an enterprise business application provider. Career experience includes journalism, public relations, product marketing, product management, and channel management with success using traditional marketing and new inbound marketing strategies such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media, calls to action. James has authored and published hundreds of articles, white papers, videos, and webinars published in major consumer and business trade media. James specializes in premise and cloud SaaS business applications for supply chain management, accounts receivable credit and collections, business to business ecommerce, enterprise resource planning (ERP), and customer relationship management (CRM).
He is a former board member for the APICS Cleveland Chapter and volunteers with Little League Baseball and the Boy Scouts of America. James enjoys hiking, camping, bicycling, and spending time with his family. A right-leaning Libertarian Quaker, he is passionate in life and love, and believes in doing the right thing to make the world a better place for everyone he touches in life. You can find him on Google+ and LinkedIn.
Anytime Collect continues to evolve as the leading credit and collections management (CCM) business software for the SMB and SME market. Watch the recorded webinar from January 2, 2013 to learn more about exciting new features including: Continue reading
Some companies attempt to use their existing CRM software to manage the credit and collections process. Although some of the functionality of credit and collection automation products like Anytime Collect overlaps with CRM solutions, CRM alone provides an incomplete and potentially more expensive solution. Continue reading
Anytime Collect Accounts Receivable Executive Dashboard for Windows 8
December 19, 2012, Chardon, Ohio- Today, e2b teknologies and Microsoft announced a native Windows 8 Executive Dashboard for e2b’s flagship Anytime Collect accounts receivable credit and collections management software.
- January 2, 2013
- 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM EST
Come see the brand new Anytime Collect Dashboard, Customer Portal, Automated Reports, and other new features to improve your business to business (B2B) accounts receivable management and credit and collections workflow. The new dashboard and portal were completely rewritten and redesigned in HTML and replaces the previous SilverLight technologies that only supported Microsoft Internet Explorer. Highlights for the new release include: Continue reading
As we all know, cash flow is the lifeblood of every business. Having sufficient cash can be the difference between success and failure and it is a concern that keeps many small business owners up at night. Accounts Receivable is the largest or second-largest asset of most businesses and reducing the amount of cash tied up in those outstanding receivables — and the associated cost of financing them – will have a positive impact on a company’s cash flow. Continue reading
6 Tips for Getting Paid Faster & Avoiding Payment Objections
In most small businesses the person who is responsible for making collection calls is not a full-time professional collector but is someone with other significant responsibilities – a bookkeeper, salesperson or even the business owner. Here are some tips for making effective collection calls while maintaining good customer relationships. Continue reading
You sent your customer an invoice. The due date has come and gone but you haven’t been paid. What you do next depends on the reason you never received payment. It is important to have a standard process for collections, but different situations call for different tactics. Here are a few general types of non-paying customers that need to be handled differently Continue reading
Cash flow is the lifeblood of every business and slow paying customers can seriously affect it. There are four fundamental best practices that every business should implement to expedite collections of past due accounts receivable.
1. Send the invoice in a timely manner. If your customer doesn’t have the invoice it can’t get paid. Further, invoices that come months after the fact can cause confusion if the customer can’t remember the transaction.
2. Be sure the invoice is clear and complete. The invoice should state what the billing is for – what products or services were delivered and when. Provide as much detail as practical so the customer knows they are paying for. This should go without saying but make sure the invoice is readable and professional looking – not handwritten or badly formatted. Standard accounting software like QuickBooks can help you generate good looking and effective invoices. Continue reading
Obtaining a signed credit application should be an integral part of the process of extending credit to a customer. The application provides information necessary to determining the risk of not being paid in a timely manner (if at all) and to establish a credit limit. More importantly, it gives you permission to contact bank and trade references and agrees to your terms of sale. We discussed the credit review process at length in a previous article but wanted to provide more detail on the content of a credit application.
A credit application should contain the following information. A template application is available as a Word document Sample Credit Application. You can tailor it to your company’s requirements as necessary.
• Customer Information
• Legal name of business
• Business address
• Billing address (if different)
• Business phone, fax and email
• Incorporation date and length of time in business
• Owner name(s)
• Customer financial information
• Amount of credit requested
• Annual sales
• Most recent full year financials or tax returns available?
• Bank information
• Bank name and branch address
• Account number
• Bank contact name, phone & fax numbers
• Trade references (ask for three)
• Name, address, phone and fax numbers
• Signature block and legal notice
• Owner or authorized party must sign and date application
• Language to certify that signer:
• Declares information provided is correct
• Authorizes contact of references
• Accepts any terms & conditions pertaining to the sale such as late charges)
You may want to go even deeper in some cases and ask for information such as Tax ID, state of incorporation or SIC Code but the primary purpose of a credit application is to get permission to contact references.
Once you have permission to contact references you need to do so. We recommend you call the bank reference since a company’s banker should be in the best position to give you an overview of the health of your prospective customer. Trade references are often contacted by fax, with their responses returned the same way. A trade reference request should include the following items.
• Date account opened
• Credit Terms
• High credit
• Current balance
• Amount past due
• Average days to pay
• Date of last order
• Additional comments or information
• Signature and date
Again, a template request form is available as a Word document:
Sample Reference Request http://collectionsinsights.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/sample-reference-request.doc
Please keep one thing in mind. You need to independently verify the existence of the customer. A completed application could still contain fraudulent or misleading information and references are chosen with intent. Google is your friend. Search for and confirm the customers address and phone number. Call the number if you have any concerns and tell the person who answers that you are calling to verify the billing address for a new customer.
Two things are true for most businesses:
1) a significant percentage of sales (and therefore receivables) are concentrated in a small percentage of customers
2) they have insufficient staff resources to contact every customer about past due payments.
Suggestion: adopting a collection strategy that identifies priority accounts for ongoing personal attention and uses efficient automated processes to contact the others. Continue reading
Anytime Commerce, a product of e2b teknologies, is a business to business (b2b) and business to consumer (b2c) ecommerce storefront. Anytime Commerce integrates with virtually any commercially available ERP or accounting system, while online orders flow seamlessly to your backoffice order entry system for fulfillment. The advanced order management system provides secure, online credit card payments, UPS and shipping integration, and sales tax calculations. Additionally, with the unique flexibility of Anytime Commerce, users can customize their ecommerce site to match their company website; leaving the user in control of the layout, color sceme, graphics, and various elements of the storefront.
HosePower USA provides hoses and hose assemblies to mining companies and manufacturers of cranes, trucks, sanitation equipment, pressure washers, pumps and other items with integrated hoses. These hoses must meet strict tolerances set forth by design engineers. HosePower operates three OEM Centers that are expressly equipped to assemble, test, clean and distribute hoses to meet the exact needs and scheduling requirements of their busy customers. Continue reading