Many professionals outside of the AR department, and maybe those who are active in AR, feel as though asking or demanding payment from customers will negatively affect your customer relationships. Fortunately, this widely held belief is just not true. Your customers will not get upset of leave your company because you asked for payment for products/services provided, they know they owe you. In fact, better accounts receivable management can significantly improve customer satisfaction and retention. If your customers are leaving you, it’s not because you’re asking them to pay their bills, but it may have something to do with the way you go about collecting invoices. By implementing proven credit collection best practices, you can not only provide better customer service and increase their satisfaction, you can increase your cash flow and grow your business too.
Most companies struggle with outstanding A/R for many reasons:
- Maybe they don’t have a dedicated A/R employee
- lack standardized collection procedures
- fail to get invoices to customers quickly
- send incorrect invoices
- and many others.
Collecting outstanding accounts receivable is hard, but it doesn’t have to be when you have the right tools, information, processes, and people in place. Debt collection software helps companies pull those elements together to address the above issues and help you get paid faster. With the inclusion of debt collections software into your business strategy, you’re going to see some pretty amazing things happen, some of which include:
As a business professional, you understand how important working capital is to your company’s financial health and growth strategies. But let me ask you this; How important is your accounts receivable? Hopefully your answer is “very important” because accounts receivable is one of the best and most accessible sources of working capital a company has; you’ve already earned it, all you need to do is collect it! For many companies though, collecting invoices is easier said than done but by implementing best practices in working capital management, you can quickly and easily turn those outstanding invoices into the capital you need to grow. Continue reading
There are many accounts receivable best practices, but without an all-star team to carry them out, you’re back at square one. You assign resources to sales, marketing, preventative maintenance, customer service, and virtually every aspect of your business, but who is responsible for managing your accounts receivable? In most businesses, it’s a part-time, untrained bookkeeper or junior accounts receivable clerk. Considering that accounts receivable is such as vital part of your cash flow – does this sound appropriate? Probably not. Let’s discuss the steps to defining your accounts receivable management team.
For large law firms and small law offices, collecting outstanding accounts receivable is a challenge for many reasons; but time is usually the biggest issue. Because attorneys make their money on billable hours, getting them to take care of administrative duties, like chasing down late invoices, can be nearly impossible. Legal debt collection software can help.
Many firms rely on low-tech, manual tools to manage and track their invoices; usually a combination of spreadsheets and reports from their accounting system. While spreadsheets and aging reports are good for some things, they are not sophisticated enough to track an important and dynamic asset like accounts receivable. Continue reading
We know you’re busy and no matter how important improving your accounts receivable is, it can be hard to find the time and, let’s face it, the energy, to sit down and sift through the countless articles and resources about best practices in accounts receivable collection. To make your life a little easier, we’ve compiled our top 5 most downloaded accounts receivable white papers to help you speed up the research process so you can put these best practices into place and start seeing results. Continue reading
How many times do you communicate with customers regarding past due invoices? This is an important metric to understand because studies show that companies who spend more time communicating with customers have, on average, have much healthier receivables, lower DSO, and less bad-debt. Email is a simple way to get in front of your customers regularly and provide them with all of the information they need to submit payment, but the timing of those emails and the language used will impact if and when they pay you. Email, like all tools, when not used correctly will not work. Below are a few accounts receviable email templates and a brief explanation of the different types of emails you should be sending to customers. Continue reading
Sure, your QuickBooks system gives you a place to manage the financials, but it does not help you with the real problem- there is never enough time to get everything done! When you rely solely on your QuickBooks system and manual accounts receivable management, there are many challenges; it’s a productivity killer, riddled with errors, data is never real-time, contact and account information is buried deep in independent email accounts, invoicing takes too long, and its costly to pay for the manpower you need to manage it all.
If you utilize an accounts receivable management system to help you automate some of those tasks above, your collectors will finally be able to spend most of their day actually talking to customers and dealing with issues; not digging through emails, updating spreadsheets, or prepping for a phone call.
In a high growth industry like digital advertising, access to capital is essential to successful growth and profitability. A 2013 industry report analyzed the payment practices and average length of payment terms in the digital advertising industry; the results illustrate that delayed payment is something digital ad agencies must focus on in 2014 to improve cash flow, accelerate growth, and make the investments they need to remain competitive in an quickly growing industry. Continue reading
There are many steps that go into finalizing the sale of a product or service; there is pricing, then quote creation, negotiation, approvals, and contract and order management. Once all of the work is done to complete each of those steps, the sale is complete… at least as far as your sales team is concerned. But what about the rest of the process? What about the part where you actually get paid?
Once the order is made, an invoice must be sent and payment must be collected; otherwise it’s like the sale never actually happened. It sounds simple enough, but the final two steps of the quote to cash process, invoicing and collection, are where many fall short of the completing the cycle. Below are a few tips to help you work through the final steps to quickly complete the quote to cash process.
May 27, 2014, Chardon, OH –
e2b teknologies, publishers of Anytime Commerce B2B ecommerce software, today announced a new Parts Assembly Explorer application developed exclusively for Microsoft Windows 8.1. The free Parts Assembly Explorer application will be launched this summer for dealers, distributors, and manufacturers of capital equipment and complex products to help their dealers and customers to locate parts within complex product assemblies so they can easily order products online. Continue reading
Conversations about money owed to your company by a customer should always be handled with care. If you are sending reminder letters and collection letters (or emails) to your customers, it is critical to make sure you are sending the right message. Your goal is to send a message that will result in payment without damaging your relationship with the customer. to do that, you must find the right balance between firm urgency and friendly information- and that can be tough. Below is a credit collection letter template and sample of a reminder letter to help you craft the critical communications that will preserve customer goodwill while also helping you get paid faster. Continue reading
Our company works with all kinds of organizations who operate across various industries, from small companies to multimillion dollar enterprises. In our experience working with so many different kinds of companies and learning how they manage accounts receivable, we have come to a realization: No matter which industry a company is in or what kind of accounting system the use, they all struggle with the same thing, effectively managing accounts receivable.
Companies of all shapes and sizes spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on capital equipment and implement expensive ERP and CRM software for their general business and sales operations, but they do not have the same systems in place to automate or manage accounts receivable workflow. Instead they use the following strategies to attempt to manage accounts receivable, potentially losing thousands of dollars a year on bad-debt write-offs, financing costs, and related costs of delayed or denied payment. Continue reading
There are many benefits found by those who use debt collection software to automate accounts receivable, one of the biggest though is the time savings it provides. There are a vast number of daily clerical duties that go into accounts receivable management; and while they are critical to the job, they are time-consuming, redundant, and open to human errors that cause payment delays and disputes.
Some of these daily activities include reviewing aging reports, updating spreadsheets, prioritizing contacts and putting together daily to-do lists, researching accounts to prepare for calls, taking notes, etc. all of the activities can be considered non-value added and are a drain on collector productivity and efficiency. With all of that to be done, there is little time left for what really matters- collecting invoices, dealing with disputes, and communicating with customers.
Extending credit to customers is risky and it can be costly; but it is also a part of doing business in today’s world. Just because is it common though, does not mean you should take it at fave value, it is extremely important to fully understand the cost of extending credit and the consequences of doing so. From there, take the necessary steps to reduce the overall expense of extending credit and work to better manage the entire process, therefore reducing the risk and cost while developing long-term, positive relationships with customers. So, when you extend credit to customers, keep the following in mind. Continue reading