Often times it can feel like the accounts receivable department is living on an island. You’re going through your daily routines of calling customers, sending out emails and managing prioritization of accounts, you don’t interact much with the other areas of the business. However, collaboration with the rest of the company in accounts receivable is extremely important. Accounts receivable is one of the most important departments in a company, it brings in the cash flow needed to continue running all operations. For this reason, it’s especially important to have collaboration between executives of the company and the accounts receivable department.

When it comes to developing an accounts receivable strategy, having input from executives can help to develop an overarching goal that supports the rest of the business.

MEETING BUSINESS OBJECTIVES

Every year, your executives come up with overall objectives to hit for the year. Often times, these are broad goals for growing the business and every department plays a role in helping meet those objectives by the end of the year. Marketing helps to gain more leads, sales helps to sell more deals and accounts receivable helps to collect cash – all to support the objective of growing the business by 10% over the next 12 months. Your executive team should be actively collaborating with you to create an accounts receivable strategy that will help them reach those goals, whether it has to do with credit limits, escalation of invoice disputes or general collection efforts, their input can help the business as a whole.

ESTABLISHING REPORTING METRICS

There really is not point in making changes to your process or creating a strategy if you’re not going to measure how these make a difference in your collection efforts. Working with the executives in your company can help you to decide what metrics are most important to your business. There are always metrics that you can use for your own purposes, such as looking at each collector’s collection call success or collection effectiveness index, however, your executives may not want all that detail. They probably just want to see the effectiveness index of the department as a whole, and this can be determined through collaboration.

SETTING BRAND EXPECTATIONS

Isn’t brand expectations something the marketing department needs to worry about? Yes, but so does accounts receivable. You are an extension of customer service for your business and it’s important to remember that when talking to customers. After collaborating with executives on accounts receivable strategy, you should have a good understanding of how they expect you to represent their brand and treat customers. They might have set protocol for how to deal with a disgruntled customer or invoice disputes, but this can’t be revealed until collaboration occurs.