A crucial task to overcome in remote work is communicating properly with your team. This is especially important in the accounts receivable department because communication among collectors is a key to your success. Your teammates need to know what is going on with your accounts to understand if escalations need to occur or if an account is being put on hold. This might be an easier task if you can take a short walk and stop by your coworker’s office, but when you are working remotely, a little more thought needs to be put in to make sure your team is communicating often.
How to Encourage Team Communication in Remote Accounts Receivable
The very first step is to set up your team with the right infrastructure at home. Second, you will want to make sure your team has set up a good work environment for themselves. Once those are both in place, it’s time to start considering your strategy from communicating with you accounts receivable team when they are all working remotely.
Use Communication Tools
Make sure your team has access to tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams to easily send a message if they have questions on an account. Accounts receivable professionals tend to have very busy email inboxes, so sending team messages via email can easily get lost. Using tools like instant messaging make it just as easy as walking down the hall to get a response. Encourage your team to be active on the messaging app by making it a habit to open it first thing every morning and setting themselves to away or active so team members know when they can expect a response.
Hold a Daily Standup Meeting
Meet with your collections team every morning using video chat to check in and see how everyone is doing with their accounts. Structure these meetings to go over what each collector has completed and what their goals are for the day. Even if these meetings are only 15 minutes long, it will help keep everyone in the loop despite not working in the same location. It’s also a great chance to discuss issues that might be blocking collections so as to get resolution.
Gain Visibility into Collector’s Activities
Since it’s not as easy to stop by and ask your teammates where things are at with an account, using a cloud-based tool made for accounts receivable, like Lockstep Collect, will help give visibility into your team’s activities and results. This will keep you up-to-date in your reporting and forecasting. Additionally, it’s a good tool to continue mentoring and leading your collections team. With visibility into activities, you can make suggestions to individual team members on where they can improve and where they have exceled.
Share Information Across the Team
It can be a little more difficult to make sure everyone is on the same team when you are working remotely in accounts receivable. That’s why it is vital that you ensure your team is sharing as much information as they can regarding their accounts, whether this is during your daily standups or in a weekly email roundup. Not only should they be sharing it among the accounts receivable team, but with customer support and sales, as well. This is especially important if your business has multiple entities to keep everyone in the loop.
Whether you’re working remotely or in an office, communication is always vital in the accounts receivable department. It might take a little more effort to get communication started when you’re working from home, but once you get into a rhythm, the information will start flowing. Hosting regular daily standups, taking advantage of messaging tools and using a tool specific to accounts receivable to increase visibility will help your accounts receivable team to stay in-touch while working from home.